PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released the following statement after eight people, including six Asian women, were shot and killed at three spas in the Atlanta-area on Tuesday.
“The heinous murders in Atlanta are an unspeakable tragedy. While there’s still much we don’t know about these murders, we do know this – six of the eight murder victims are Asian American. Attacks on Asian communities are growing nationally. Many of these instances are rooted in hate – including some of the cases being prosecuted by this office. Hate will never have a place in our society. I stand with our Asian American Pacific Islander community. I condemn all acts of hate, and I mourn the lives lost in Atlanta and elsewhere. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will always hold those who commit hate crimes accountable.”
On March 16, 2021, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office successfully argued that 38-year-old Daniel Hutchens should be held in-custody pretrial. Hutchens, based on his perception of the victim’s race and national origin, is accused of punching an Asian American in North Portland on December 15, 2020.
Hutchens is charged with two count of bias crime in the second degree and one count of harassment.
At the release hearing, Honcheng Zhao, President and Chairperson of the Oregon Chinese Coalition, provided a statement read into the record by the District Attorney’s Office.
Hutchens is innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office was an active participant of the Oregon Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Task Force and helped draft the language that was in Senate Bill 577. The law, which went into effect on July 15, 2019, renamed the crime of “intimidation” to “bias crime,” added gender identity to the list of protected categories and removed the requirement that two or more people commit the crime in order to make it a felony in certain circumstances.
All potential bias crime cases, whether they are a felony or misdemeanor, are reviewed by the Violent Crimes Unit within the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. If a misdemeanor crime is issued, the felony-level attorney will retain the case.
If you are the victim of a bias crime or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you are the victim of a bias crime and the suspect is no longer present or if you have information about a bias crime committed in the past, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.