Woman verbally assaulted by protesters at Moda Center wants chan - KPTV - FOX 12

Woman verbally assaulted by protesters at Moda Center wants change

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

During Paul McCartney’s visit at the Moda Center in April a woman said she and her girlfriend were verbally assaulted by a group of protesters.

“Three men started to verbally attack us,” Emma McIlroy said. “Those three men had mega-phones and signs.”

McIlroy said she was traumatized and shaken after the ordeal.

“Being called names and being told you’re going to kill yourself because you’re a future suicide,” McIlroy said. “Because of your sexuality, because of your unhappiness—they’re two different things. It was traumatizing.”

McIlroy said she asked a nearby police officer for help, but was told he did not have the power to move them because it was on public property and it was free speech.

“I believe it’s hate crimes and targets the most vulnerable in our society,” McIlroy said.

She said her approach is to alert the community leaders, which is why she wrote a letter to the Multnomah County District Attorney.

DA Rod Underhill responded to her saying, “Sadly, your experience is not the first time that this particular group has harangued Moda Center patrons.”

Underhill adds, “as I mentioned last week I asked one of my deputy district attorneys to conduct a review of prosecution options and unfortunately from a legal perspective the Oregon constitution is quite clear that this type of speech cannot be punished criminally. “

Underhill wrote that despite legality, “that does not mean that as community we can or should tolerate such acts.”

The DA adds his office is continuing to work with the city and those at the Moda Center to find a resolution.

McIlroy said all the would like is for the community to be aware of the issue and stand up for each other.

“I think we’re better than that,” said McIlroy. “I think Portland is better than that.

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