TWO HATE CRIMES TARGET IMMIGRANTS: Oregon opened the new year with two shocking hate crimes. On Jan. 6, the Deschutes County district attorney charged 53-year-old Eugene resident James Lamb with bias crime, attempted murder, and strangulation after he allegedly attacked a 70-year-old Indian immigrant who owns a motel, and expressed a desire to "rid America of people like her." Days earlier, on Jan. 3, the Multnomah County district attorney charged Jasmine Campbell, 23, with bias crime for allegedly forcibly removing a Muslim woman's hijab, attempting to choke her with it, and rubbing it across her genitals and breasts. Lamb and Campbell are the first two Oregonians to be charged with bias crimes in 2020. The charges follow last year's revisions of the state's hate crime law, which hadn't been updated since 1981. "This is a critical time for marginalized communities to get support," says Zakir Khan, board chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Oregon chapter.
NO MORE SOBERING CENTER: A week after Portland police decided to no longer transport intoxicated people to a sobering center, the city contractor shut its doors. WW first reported Christmas Eve that police would no longer work with the detox station, run by Central City Concern. The nonprofit closed the center Jan. 3. The decision follows complaints by Central City staff, who cited an increasingly violent clientele due to an upsurge in methamphetamine use. "The current standard of medical care for agitated patients is to receive oral or injectable medications and be monitored medically in a hospital or hospital-like setting," the nonprofit wrote on its website. "The health complexity of the people brought to the sobering station required a new solution." The center admitted an average of 10 new clients a day.