On Sunday two men were attacked as they walked off the Hawthorne bridge. The three assailants said nothing before or after the incident, and left the mens’ possessions alone. It is believed the only reason these two individuals were targeted was because they were holding hands. This Sunday there is a sponsored event for individuals to show their solidarity with the victims of the attack by linking hands across the bridge.
Bias-based crimes are not uncommon. Portland Police Bureau says that there were 38 reported bias crimes last year. After one attack left a man unconscious, the Portland LGBTQ community united with civic leaders and concerned citizens to help create reforms in the way the city handles bias crime.
Among those reforms was the creation of the Q-patrol. From mid-summer to Halloween of last year, every Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m., a group of volunteers walked through Downtown Portland’s entertainment district helping assist individuals on their way home.
The Q patrol never extended to the the Hawthorne Bridge, and hasn’t begun for the season, but in fact there were passerby — they just didn’t help.
Is the city doing enough to protect all of its community members? Are their fellow Portlanders? Have you ever felt threatened holding hands in public? What’s your response to the latest attack?
- Paul Fukui: Operations Manager at the Q-center
- Kevin Warren: Bias Crime Detective with Portland Police Bureau