A 43-year-old man was arrested and released without bail after harassing and hurling anti-Muslim slurs at a store owner inside a gas station convenience store in Southeast Portland, Oregon.
According to Oregon Live, Brian Christopher Miller was arrested for suspicion of first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree robbery.
The Multnomah County District Attorney's office is now looking into possible bias crime charges related to the violent incident that was caught on camera.
The store owner was working at the Chevron gas station convenience store at 14440 S.E. Division St. when he encountered Miller.
The unnamed worker filmed the disturbing interaction in a four-minute video that was posted on YouTube by his son—who described his father as a "68-year-old Afghan-American."
In the video's description, the son wrote:
"Racism is still alive, even in liberal city Portland."
WARNING: contains violent and racist language
The video began with the assailant antagonizing the lone worker with anti-Muslim slurs.
He intimidated him by asking:
"Is that how we do things in America? Afghan? Al-Qaeda? Osama?"
"I'll grab that f'king camera out of your f'king hand, dude. I don't like cameras."
Miller then wreaked havoc in the store by throwing various items at the worker. He also knocked over and destroyed store equipment and fixtures—including the cash register, social distancing plexiglass partitions and a rotating pizza case.
He made his way around the counter and picked up cigarette packets strewn on the floor and said while throwing money:
"I don't want your f'king cigarettes now, dude. But here, let's call this the barter system. Five f'king dollars. You can owe me."
Seeing the recording device still focused on him, Miller threatened to kill the store owner, saying:
"You put it on YouTube and you tell them what America's done with you unholy immigrants, and I'll f'king shoot you in the back."
The terrified owner repeatedly said, "Oh my God," and eventually ran to a storage room behind the counter to protect himself from his unpredictable aggressor.
We can never let this kind of behavior be okay. Twitter do your thing with this guy. Portland Hate Crime… https://t.co/du7mj9N4le— Eddy Morales (@Eddy Morales)1611522932.0
Responding police, who showed up around 7:44 p.m. and found Miller wandering outside the store, said the suspect was most likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
They also confirmed the store owner was not physically harmed. Miller was taken to jail but was released on his own recognizance.
The store owner's son added in the video's description:
"Dad is okay. Person was arrested and released on $0 (ZERO) bail in less than 24 hours. Further charges will HOPEFULLY be pressed with further investigation."
While wishing for himself and his father to remain anonymous for safety reasons, the son told KOIN:
"I believe this was an example of White privilege. The guy was released less than 24 hours after it happened with just a slap on the wrist."
"If the roles were reversed, I think the outcome would have been very different."
People who viewed the video were infuriated about Miller being released without bail after his destructive behavior was caught on camera.
@notcapnamerica Perhaps someone who lives in Portland can reach out to this store owner & help him with a gofundme.… https://t.co/EKPQOUi3A0— Heather Fink (@Heather Fink)1611527527.0
@BradMossEsq He was released? 😡 This is a hate crime. https://t.co/Y3FPYSloe3— Aprilneo☮️🖖🏼🖖🖖🏿☮️ (@Aprilneo☮️🖖🏼🖖🖖🏿☮️)1611531650.0
Why is this still happening???? For those that haven't experienced it, a hate crime, hurts ALL people in that minor… https://t.co/ldtoDGRvBP— Imran Haider (@Imran Haider)1611503337.0
Bigot, party of one. Bigot, party of one. https://t.co/HjufPfOGi1— Bradley P. Moss (@Bradley P. Moss)1611523200.0
Folks, this is why there is no compromise or "unity" with the right. https://t.co/OT2vBWnd0f— DR. Waitman Wade Beorn (Amputate to heal) (@DR. Waitman Wade Beorn (Amputate to heal))1611581532.0
But...NOT charged with assault or a hate-crime? I mean, have the police SEEN the video? https://t.co/5wpP4zmb3F— DR. Waitman Wade Beorn (Amputate to heal) (@DR. Waitman Wade Beorn (Amputate to heal))1611581643.0
This man committed a hate crime and was released with out being charged with a hate crime by Portland Police.… https://t.co/HLYeGooo4l— John - Full Rev Media (@John - Full Rev Media)1611444990.0
On Sunday morning, the D.A.'s office released the following statement:
"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."
"We have been working with the Portland Police Bureau's Bias Crime detective to gather all available police report and evidence associated with this incident so the case can be reviewed by Monday's expected court appearance."