The Channel family, who live next door, is Black and told KOIN 6 News they feel targeted by the incident. The family also says the same neighbor called their son by the same slur earlier in December.
Additionally, a neighbor — who only wanted to share his first name, Jason — told KOIN 6 News he watched the homeowner paint the slur on the house on Christmas.
Neighbors say police are called several times a month, and sometimes several times a week, to the house as they hear screaming, see random people staying in the yard of the house and watched as the homeowner broke windows and damaged the home.
“This person is crying out for help, evidently. And the police have told us many times that she’s a danger to herself, and that she’s also a danger now to others. It’s been escalating. There’s been some response, but there’s no solution,” neighbor Andre Channel said.
Jason, told KOIN 6 News “the cops have been here pretty much two or three times a week for the past two months? Three months? They’re doing all they can do about it, but we all know the system is broken.”
Despite, Jason’s feelings that law enforcement’s options are limited, The Channel family feels there is more the department can do. WLPD says they did respond to the first call as it came in, but the Channel family says the slur was not removed at that time. They say they had neighbors “bombard” the police department to get the slur covered up.
With the homeowner’s permission, police have spray painted over the slur.
West Linn police told KOIN 6 News they are familiar with the address and the person who lives there.
Police said they’ve spoken to the homeowner and neighbors, and say they are investigating the incident as a bias crime and refer people to Oregon’s Bias Response Hotline at (844) 924-BIAS (2427).
“In cases such as these, our highest priority is to respond promptly and use all available resources to investigate thoroughly and completely,” the West Linn Police Department wrote in a press release.
“Incidents such as this cause actual harm, both to those specifically targeted and the wider community at large. We stand firmly against hate and bigotry in all of its forms, and in solidarity with our community members,” the West Linn Police Department stated.
Andre Channel has been bothered by all the previous disturbances, but a racist slur thrown against his family has taken it to the next level.
“To be honest with you, this crossed the line,” Channel said.