Oregon man facing bias crime charges over anti-Muslim rampage

Oregon man facing bias crime charges over anti-Muslim rampage

January 26, 2021

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An Oregon man caught on video threatening to kill a Muslim gas station worker has been charged with a slew of bias crimes, prosecutors said.

Brian Christopher Miller, 43, is facing multiple counts of first- and second-degree bias crime in Friday’s repulsive attack at a Chevron gas station in southeast Portland, where video shows he threatened to kill a Muslim man originally from Afghanistan.

Miller, of Portland, has also been charged with burglary, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, robbery and theft in the shocking onslaught recorded by the 68-year-old victim, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Monday.

“According to court documents, Miller entered the store after being involved in a disturbance outside in the parking lot,” Schmidt said in a statement. “While inside the store, Miller yelled at and used racial hate speech toward the employee based on his perception of the victim’s religion, national origin and his race and skin color.”

The footage shows Miller yelling at the employee for several minutes and tossing items at him before going behind the counter as the man appears to go into a back room.

“Is that how we do things in America, Afghan?” Miller initially asked the employee, video shows. “Al Qaeda? Osama? Huh, is it? You scared? … I’ll grab that f–king camera right out of your f–cking hand, dude. I don’t like cameras.”

Miller then suggested the victim upload the footage to YouTube — where it later appeared — to “tell ‘em what America has done with you unholy immigrants,” according to the clip.

“And I’ll f–king shoot you in the back,” Miller threatened, the footage shows.

Miller, who was initially arrested for criminal mischief and third-degree robbery, remains out of custody early Tuesday, a spokesman for Schmidt told The Post. A judge ordered him during Monday’s arraignment to not contact the victim, as well as to stay 500 feet away from the gas station.

Miller was also ordered to report Tuesday to the county’s Pretrial Release Services office, which evaluates the risk of releasing suspects prior to trial, according to its website.

A court-appointed attorney has been assigned to Miller, but it’s unclear if Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland will ultimately represent him, according to Schmidt spokesman Brent Weisberg.

Seemab Hussaini, vice chairman of Oregon’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told KGW he has met with the victim’s relatives, who relayed that he’s traumatized by the attack but is back at work.

“It’s difficult, it’s painful,” Hussaini told the station. “You have an immigrant famil;y that arrived here in the early 80s. You feel like American when you’re treated like an other.”

Hussaini said he asked the man’s family what “justice” in the case would mean to them.

“They’re like, ‘People need help,’” Hussaini recalled. “‘Who knows what’s wrong with this man, but this man has hate in his heart. How do you stop that?’”

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