U.S. Attorney for Oregon to Probe Kill List Mailed to Activists

“I want to reassure the community that the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes these threats very seriously.”

Workers remove and preserve a Breonna Taylor mural in front of Portland's Apple Store. (Chris Nesseth)

The U.S. attorney for Oregon announced Jan. 25 that his office had opened an investigation into the mailing of two racist and threatening letters to Black leaders.

The letters, mailed in July and November, featured a "kill list" of progressive Portland activists, most of them people of color.

"I want to reassure the community that the U.S. Attorney's Office takes these threats very seriously and, together with our partners at the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, is engaged in an active investigation to determine who is responsible for creating and sending these letters and to evaluate criminal wrongdoing," said U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams.

Kamelah Adams, the founder of Mimi's Fresh Tees and one of the first recipients of the letters, worked with community leader Candace Avalos to advocate for a public statement from Williams.

Avalos said the announcement was "essential to demonstrating to Oregonians that this behavior is intolerable."

In this conversation, Avalos discusses how receiving one of these letters changed her life.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.