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Police say the incident may not be related to Yik Yak posts



COURTESY OF KAI WARD - Lewis & Clark students sat for hours outside J.R. Howard Hall and the Watzek Library on campus to protest racial Yik Yak posts that popped up shortly after the college's annual symposium on race and ethnic studies.Racial bias might have been a factor in a Friday night assault that police are investigating at Lewis & Clark College.

According to police, the 26-year-old black student reported that at around 9 p.m. Friday three white males assaulted him, using racial slurs, near the campus pool. The victim says he fought back and was able to run back to his residence on campus.

The victim and his friends, however, say the attack happened just after midnight and was promptly reported. Police and the student agree the assault was reported at 12:49 a.m. Saturday. The victim declined medical attention.

The Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct's Bias Crimes Unit detectives are investigating, but say they don't yet know if the attack was related to statements made on the social media platform Yik Yak. SCREENSHOT OF YIK YAK APP - One of the offending Yik Yak posts that popped up at the Lewis & Clark College campus this week.

Reacting to the news, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says the city and nation are in a "sensitive time."

"While we are a city that prides itself on the broad protection of free speech, no matter how abhorrent the content may be, I am calling on all of us to stand together against the use of ugly, disturbing language that inexcusably threatens or otherwise creates fear in any other person," Hales said in a statement released to news media. "Further, I ask each of us to be vigilant in reporting this kind of hate to the appropriate authorities, whether that's campus police, administrators, or Portland Police."

The suspects are described as college-age white males, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and of medium build.

Police say it is unknown if racially charged statements earlier in the week on Yik Yak are related to the incident.

Yik Yak is a smartphone app in which people can send and receive anonymous comments within a certain geographical area, such as a college campus.

KOIN 6 News reported that statements including: "You are allowing coloreds in the chapel now” appeared on the app.

Police say the victim of Friday night's attack has asked for privacy and declined to release additional details.

Police say the victim of Friday night's attack has asked for privacy and declined to release additional details.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Todd Prosser at 503-823-9320, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See related coverage: Racially charged social media posts stir Lewis and Clark student protest


Read the Mayor's full statement:

"Over the past week, there have been several potentially threatening comments made on social media at Lewis & Clark College that have been directed at African-Americans. Last night on the campus, there was an assault on an African-American student. At this time there has not been a link between these events, and the Portland Police Bureau is actively investigating.

While we are a city that prides itself on the broad protection of free speech, no matter how abhorrent the content may be, I am calling on all of us to stand together against the use of ugly, disturbing language that inexcusably threatens or otherwise creates fear in any other person. Further, I ask each of us to be vigilant in reporting this kind of hate to the appropriate authorities, whether that's campus police, administrators, or Portland Police.

We are in a particularly sensitive time here in Portland and around the world. It is imperative that we do as we’ve done time and time again, and show the world that in Portland, we take care of each other; that we choose to live in Portland because of community, not in spite of it.

It’s a time of reflection as we approach the holidays and the end of the year, and I ask each of us to not just think about the tragedies happening around us, but also to dig into our vast reserves of compassion and treat each other with the respect and dignity we all deserve."

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