Crimes
January 26, 2021

At least one person was killed and five more injured in Portland, Oregon, on Monday afternoon as an unidentified driver went on a hit-and-run spree, steering his silver Honda Element on sidewalks and over laws as he apparently targeted pedestrians along a 15-block stretch in the Southeast quadrant of the city. After the man crashed into an El Camino, neighbors and bystanders prevented him from escaping by foot until police arrived and took him into custody.

Videos of the arrest show the man, who appears to be white and middle-aged, in a standoff with bystanders before police arrived and struggled to put him in cuffs. Several witnesses told The Oregonian the car had Washington plates. Police have not released the name of the driver or any of his victims.

Larry Wolfe told The Oregonian he had an appointment to meet the person killed, a woman in her 70s, and he saw the car hit the woman, turn around and hit her again, then do a U-turn and drag her down the street. Another witness, Arun Gupta, gave a similar account to OPB. "She was struck once, knocked up on the sidewalk ... and then the car did a U-turn, came up on the sidewalk, struck her and dragged her down to Stark and 19th," he said.

Other witnesses described a chaotic scene where the driver, speeding and running red lights, hit cyclists, struck several pedestrians, and pinned two people between and SUV and a retaining wall. Read more witness accounts at The Oregonian. Peter Weber

December 13, 2020

Police in Washington, D.C., on Sunday said they are investigating the burning of Black Lives Matter signs from two historic Black churches as possible hate crimes.

The incidents took place on Saturday night at the Asbury United Methodist Church and the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. Supporters of President Trump took to the streets to protest the results of the election, which he lost, and there were some clashes at the end of the day between pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-protesters.

One video posted on Twitter appears to show a Black Lives Matter banner being torn down from the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, The Associated Press reports, with a crowd chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets." In another recording, people are shown pouring accelerant on a Black Lives Matter banner that was at the Asbury United Methodist Church. The banner is then set on fire as members of the crowd cheer.

"This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart," District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "We will not let that happen." The Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, senior pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church, said in a statement it "pained me especially to see our name, Asbury, in flames. For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings. Seeing this act on video made me both indignant and determined to fight the evil that has reared its ugly head. We will move forward, undaunted in our assurance that Black Lives Matter and we are obligated to continue to shout that truth without ceasing."

Nearly 30 people were arrested on Saturday night for various offenses, including assault and rioting. Catherine Garcia

August 30, 2019

Tevin Biles-Thomas, an active-duty Army soldier and brother of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, was arrested at Fort Stewart, Georgia, on Thursday and charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, and other charges tied to a triple homicide in Cleveland on New Year's Eve. Cleveland police say three men were shot dead and two people seriously wounded at a party in an Airbnb above a pizzeria. Biles-Thomas, who attended high school in Cleveland, is currently being held in county jail in Hinesville, Georgia. He is the only person charged so far in the shootings. Peter Weber

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