Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Celebrating MLK Day -- the skinhead way

More disturbing news on the escalation-of-violence front from the white-supremacist movement, also in my neck of the woods:

Gunfire racially driven, cops say

Four young men -- including three Portland area residents -- are facing hate crime charges after a shotgun shooting spree that police say was aimed at blacks in Northeast Portland.

The four are: Andrew T. Sherwood, 15, of Northeast Portland; Joshua D. Ridley, 19, of Milwaukie; Brian S. Heath, 21, of Gresham; and Denis P. Fahey, 18, of Redmond. They were arrested in Vancouver, Wash., after being chased by police across the Interstate Bridge.

No one was hurt in the shootings, which began shortly after 1 am. Sunday.

According to Portland police, Ridley was the driver of a 1991 black Chevrolet Camaro carrying the four men north through Northeast Portland. One or more of the passengers repeatedly fired shots from the car's open T-top into cars and houses as they drove by, said Police Chief Mark Kroeker. The men told police they also aimed the shotgun at one black male, who quickly ran away.

"They have told us they chose the area because they believed it was predominantly African-American," Kroeker said at a Monday afternoon news conference attended by A.L. "Skipper" Osborne, president of the Portland NAACP, and Robert Richardson, chairman of the police bureau's African-American advisory committee.

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