FBI, Portland police investigating racist threat targeting multicultural festival

Racist, violent threat sent to local festival

Warning: Offensive language

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The organizers of a decades-old multicultural festival in Northeast Portland are working with city and federal authorities after receiving a racist, threatening letter Wednesday.

The letter, written in all caps and laced with hateful rhetoric and spelling errors, begins: “TO ALL N***** LOVERS AND N******! PRESIDENT TRUMT HAS ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO KILL ALL N******!!!”

KGW did not alter the spelling of the president’s name. 

The letter was delivered to the Northeast Neighborhood Coalition office on Northeast 7th Avenue, the same office listed as the address for Good in the Hood, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to put on the organization’s namesake annual multicultural festival. The festival traditionally features a parade, local music, food and educational opportunities. 

 

The author wrote, “N****** WILL DIE AT THIS SO CALLED GOOD IN THE HOOD!!!!!”

The author goes on to name Shawn Penney, board president of the “Good in the Hood” executive board, writing that he needs to keep their mouth shut, “BEFORE MY THIRTY OTT SIX DOES IT FOR HIM.” 

The author later noted he was part of a group watching the Penney's family.

The letter continued, “THIS IS MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH! WE THE WHITE KKK NOW OWN THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST PORTLAND!”

The body of the letter ended with “THE GOOD IN THE HOOD WILL NOT HAPPEN UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE A BLOOD BATH!!!!!”

Board President Penney said he was devastated when he saw the letter.

"It brought tears to my eyes you know, because our event – we welcome all people of all colors. We don’t discriminate," he said.

Portland police confirmed their investigation into the letter Thursday, releasing this statement:

The Portland Police Bureau is aware of threats sent to the Good in the Hood community organization and is conducting an investigation. At this time, we are unable to confirm the nature of the threats or determine their credibility. We are working with our federal law enforcement partners on this investigation.

Anyone with information about threats to the Good in the Hood community event is asked to provide that information to Detective Jeff Sharp at 503-823-9773, jeff.sharp@portlandoregon.gov. Anyone needing to remain anonymous may report information to Crime Stoppers of Oregon by texting CRIMES (274637) - Type 823HELP, followed by the tip; Online at http://crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php or by calling 503-823-HELP (4357).

A spokesperson for the FBI sent the following statement Thursday afternoon:

The FBI is aware of the threats sent to the Good in the Hood organization, and we are working with the Portland Police Bureau to determine whether the threats are credible. Anyone with information about these threats should contact the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or the Portland Police Bureau. 

The organization’s festival has been held in Portland every year since the early 1990s.

This year’s “kick off party” is scheduled for Friday, June 17 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Self Enhancement Inc. on North Kerby Avenue.

The threatening letter comes less than two weeks after a known white supremacist killed two men and injured a third, after directing hate speech toward two young black women on a MAX train. 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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