Watch: Hate-filled rant targets Portland lesbian couple

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After finding a dog running loose, Trudy and Wendy Dragoon say they were going door-to-door on Sunday night in Southeast Portland, hoping to find its owner. Instead, the lesbian couple found a confrontation.

The video, captured on Southeast Duke and Southeast 63rd Avenue, has been seen thousands of times. And while the Dragoons say they are upset about the interaction and the hate speech hurled their way, they say they’re also disappointed that an officer on scene didn’t step in. 

Wendy said she started rolling the camera when Trudy and the unidentified man met nearly face-to-face. 

“He started threatening violence and so that’s when I’m like ‘OK, I guess i have to record this in case something happens,” Wendy said. 

For three minutes, Wendy and Trudy heard threats and hateful language. Eventually a police officer arrives. The video ends there, but the interaction doesn’t.

Trudy, according to Wendy, asked the officer, “what can I do?”

“He said ‘Not until he actually physically assaults you, there’s nothing that can be done,'” Wendy recalled. 

Portland Police Public Information Officer Chris Burley released a statement regarding the officer’s response. 

The Police Bureau is aware that speech, such as the speech present in this video, instills fear in members of our community.  The Police Bureau works with community members and community organizations regarding bias crimes.

I am not able to speak about the event, as this is an open investigation, I was not present at the time of the incident and a video does not necessarily convey everything that was occurring at the time of this incident.  I will provide the officer that responded to the incident with this video so he may document the video and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office may review for consideration.
 

A day later, the Dragoons are still upset at the officer’s response. That officer and a supervisor were on scene Monday to collect statements. 

Also on Monday, a man that was with the man in the video was spotted. His name is Josh. When asked if the man had the right to put up his fists to a woman and hurl insults after some mutual cussing, Josh said no, “but she was also threatening him at the same time.”

A girl shows support for Trudy and Wendy Dragoon, who were targeted with hate speech in Southeast Portland on July 17, 2018. (Courtesy Canteen Photography Co.)

Strangers also headed to 63rd and Duke to write messages on the street and the sidewalk, showing support for the Dragoons. 

Trudy said people who spew hate speech need to be brought to light. 

“It needs to stop,” she said. “There are too many people that get berated daily. It’s sickening.”

Burley also shared this information on bias crime reporting. 

KOIN 6 News Reporter Eileen Park contributed to this report

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