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My Portland Mercury story on Jeremy Christian: “Suspect in Portland Hate Crime Murders is a Known White Supremacist”

Jeremy Christian

Jeremy Christian on April 29. Photographs by Doug Brown/Portland Mercury.

I was the first journalist nationally to report that Portland murderer Jeremy Christian is a white supremacist. Christian is accused of (and admitted to) murdering two men and nearly murdering another after they intervened with Christian harassing two young women of color. Christian blamed the murders on “liberalism.”

From my story:

Christian is a known right wing extremist and white supremacist. On April 29, Christian showed up to the right-wing “March for Free Speech” on 82nd Avenue in Montavilla with a baseball bat in an attempt to assault left-wing protesters. The bat was quickly confiscated by Portland police officers. He ranted how he was a nihilist. He’d soon yelled racial slurs (“fuck all you n*****s”) and gave the Nazi salute throughout the day. He yelled “Hail Vinland” throughout the day.

A few Portland police officers on April 29 appeared to be familiar with Christian, but not threatened by him. They claimed he had a head injury and was mentally ill.

I photographed and took video of Christian arriving to the event with a baseball bat, seemingly with the intention to assault left-wing protesters. I photographed him giving the Nazi salute. I took video of him yelling racial slurs. I interviewed him.

My reporting was cited and my photography/video was used by major media outlets, including:

Some of my photographs:

 

Jeremy Christian 4.JPG

By Doug Brown

Jeremy Christian 5.JPG

By Doug Brown

The murders in Portland happened about nine months after Russell Courtier killed 19-year-old black man Larnell Bruce. I revealed then that Courtier was a member of a white supremacist gang, which led to hate crime charges against him.

Year 1: My best stuff for the Portland Mercury, so far

oil train

I’ve been a news reporter for the Portland Mercury for a little more than a year now. Listed below are the pieces I like the most between March 28, 2016, and March 28, 2017, with *** next to pieces I’d particularly like to highlight.

RUSSELL COURTIER

In the summer and fall of 2016, in a series of reports, I exposed that the killer of a black teenager was in a white supremacist gang. After my reporting, prosecutors sent the murder case back to a grand jury, which re-indicted Russell Courtier, a 38-year-old white career criminal who killed Larnell Bruce, with additional hate crime charges. Here’s my reporting.

PROTEST COVERAGE

MORE REPORTING/WRITING

PHOTOGRAPHY

Portland Mercury, news reporter

mercury_logo.png

In March, 2016, I was hired as a news reporter for the Portland Mercury. I’m pumped.

Stories I’ve done

After finishing a five month, 18,000-mile solo road trip in early January 2016, I am now looking for another full-time reporting job. Here are some stories I’ve done since 2012, when I first started doing nationally-recognized reporting, to give a sense of what I can do for a potential employer.

SF Weekly (freelance, 2015-2016)

  • Prior Excessive Force Complaints for Officers Who Shot Mario Woods (link)
  • Rape Victim Sues SFPD, Alleges Police Told Her To Go On “Date” With Rapist, Never Tested Kit (link; written with Chris Roberts)

Cleveland Scene features, in chronological order (staff writer, 2013-2015)

  • The Never-Ending Pain of the Boy Scouts’ ‘Perversion Files’ (link)
  • Worth More Dead Than Alive (link)
  • Inside the Biggest Heroin Bust in Northeast Ohio History (link)
  • Turmoil at the Museum: Inside the Affair, Suicide and Abrupt Resignation That Rocked the Cleveland Museum of Art (link; co-written with Sam Allard).
    • Awards: 2014 Association of Alternative News Media, second place, investigative reporting (link)
  • Degenerate, Inc.: The Paranoid and Obsessive Life of a Mid-Level Bookie (link)
  • The Brothel of Bedford: The Prostitution Bust and the Corrupt Officials Who Went Down with It (link)
  • A Traffic Ticket and a Bullet Through the Chest (link)
  • Freedom Trolls: The Legally Obnoxious Antics of the Activists Behind ‘Cop Block’ (link)
  • Sex, Politics and Revenge: Lawrence Mitchell Was Supposed to Bring Stability to Case Western Reserve University’s Law School, Not Treat It as His Personal Pickup Playground (link)
  • Roofie Island: A Summer of Reported Druggings and Rapes on Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie’s Party Destination (link)
    • Note: Scene’s most read feature story ever.
  • 150 Years of History, Gone in 10 Hours: The Day Garrettsville Went Up in Flames (link)
  • Father Under Fire: A Westlake Church Rallies Around its Pastor After Charges that He Sexually Abused His Adopted Daughter (link)
  • Who Shot Chris Heben? The Strange Tale of a Former Navy SEAL and the Suburban Shopping Plaza Shooting that Never Happened (link)
  • The Program: Meet the East Tech Scarabs, a Cleveland Team Actually Worth Rooting For (link)
  • ‘You’re Lucky We Didn’t Shoot Him’ (link)
  • Club Coke: Inside the Investigation that Brought Down a West Sixth Street Cocaine Dealer (link)
  • Smoke and Tires: On the Road with the Wheelie Kings of Cleveland (link)

Top Cleveland Scene blog posts/daily reporting (staff writer, 2013-2015)

  • Police Report: Johnny Manziel Involved In Massive Fight Late Friday Night at The 9 in Downtown Cleveland (link)
  • Meet the Pro-Slavery Fairview Park Auxiliary Cop (link)
  • Cleveland Police Officers Lobbied Judge On Behalf of Indicted Nightclub Owner in Previous Cocaine Distribution Case (link)
  • After Two Nights in Jail, More Than 50 Nonviolent Protesters and Observers Released On Monday Morning (link)
  • Inside the Ohio Derby: Thistledown Racino’s Largest Purse Draws Horse Racing Elite (link)

Deadspin features (contributing writer, 2012-2013)

  • “Dangerously Excessive”: How Washington State Football Confronted, And Didn’t Confront, The First Bad News Of The Mike Leach Era (link)
  • “I Do Not Fit The Mold You Would Expect”: Meet The Pharmacist, The FedEx Courier, And Other Dreamers Who Applied To Coach Wisconsin Football (link)
  • “I’m Down For Drinks, Laughs, Sex”: The Sexual Harassment Claims That Brought Down Toledo’s Running Coach (link)
  • All The Angry Emails Sent To UCLA By Fans Who Hated The Ugly New Zubaz-Style Uniforms (link)
  • How North Dakota Lost Its Mind Over A “Choke Job” (link)

I also submitted records requests and got documents for these stories written by Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky (2012-2013):

  • Cash-Strapped Southern Miss Tries To Wring More Money Out Of Its Schedule, Considers Canceling BYU Series (link); ‘In The Oil Business, We Call It A Dry Hole’: Angry Letters Boosters Send The AD When The Football Team Goes 0-12 (link); How America Commie-Baited A Baseball Hero (link); Emails: Reporters Pester Urban Meyer About Hernandez (And Tebow) (link).

All of my Cleveland Plain Dealer stories can be found here (reporter, summer 2012)

Daily Kent Stater (enterprise reporter, 2012)

  • ‘Cope Court’ donor withdraws $1 million gift (link)
    • Awards
      • 3rd place, breaking news (large newspaper), 2013 Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
  • The courting of Cope: Behind the scenes of a $1 million withdrawal (link)
    • Awards
      • 1st place, best print story (four-year school), Cleveland Press Club 2013 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards
      • National finalist, in-depth reporting (large newspaper), 2013 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • National finalist, online in-depth reporting (large), 2013 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • 1st place, in-depth reporting (large newspaper), 2013 Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • 1st place, online in-depth reporting (large), 2013 Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • 3rd place, multimedia news story of the year, Associated Collegiate Press.
  • 90Ksu reached with help of department money (link)
    • Awards
      • 1st place, best print sports story (four-year school), Cleveland Press Club 2013 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards
      • National Finalist, online sports reporting (large), 2013 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • 1st place, sports writing (large newspaper), 2013 Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • 1st place, online sports writing (large), 2013 Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
  • Board highlights praise, hides criticism in Lefton evaluation (link; written with Rex Santus)
    • Awards:
      • 2nd place, best print story (four-year school), Cleveland Press Club 2013 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards
      • 2nd place, in-depth reporting (large newspaper), 2013 SPJ Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award
      • 2nd place, online in-depth reporting (large), 2013 Region 4 SPJ Mark of Excellence Award

 

My favorite/best work for Cleveland Scene

Scene covers

After two years as a staff writer for Cleveland Scene, I decided to leave the magazine (and Cleveland, in general). Here are my favorite/best/most important stories I’ve done during my time at Scene.

Features:

Blog posts/reporting

Cleveland Scene: “Inside the Investigation that Brought Down a West Sixth Street Cocaine Dealer”

Mendez story cover

Here is my cover story from March 2015, about a recent federal drug bust of a twice-convicted cocaine dealer who owned a nightclub in downtown Cleveland with a Cleveland police officer. Gilbert Mendez, the nightclub owner, had connections to at least three Cleveland police officers.

If you’ve hung out on West Sixth Street in recent years, you might have bumped into Gilbert Mendez, the energetic, sociable, suit-wearing, fancy car-driving 37-year-old former owner of the now defunct Club Sin nightclub.

Club Sin fit in with the rest of the entertainment district in some ways and stood out in others. It was filled with promoters and faux glitz and glamour, offered the usual bottle service and VIP fun behind velvet ropes, and came equipped with burly bouncers, DJs and shot girls.

Mendez was no stranger to those parties. He was a businessman, through and through, and he ran what was, by most accounts, a successful nightclub packed by shot-slurping crowds every weekend.

He was also no stranger to federal prisons or the Cleveland police department. That history, which rubbed into his present day operation, is what landed Club Sin in the crosshairs of a drug task force.

Continue reading on clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene: “The Program: Meet the East Tech Scarabs, A Cleveland Team Actually Worth Rooting For”

EAST TECH COVER

This is my latest cover story for Cleveland Scene magazine, published on Jan. 21, 2015. It’s a deep dive into the East Tech Scarabs, Cleveland’s best public school basketball program in a generation. Here’s the beginning of “The Program: Meet the East Tech Scarabs, a Cleveland Team Actually Worth Rooting For“:

With two minutes left in the third quarter in the jam-packed Glenville gym, the home crowd is getting restless, as visiting East Tech takes the air out of the ball. It’s Dec. 9, and the East Tech guards are calmly playing keep-away well beyond the 3-point line, content with slowing down the fast-paced game to a standstill, killing the clock to make sure the trailing Tarblooders don’t have a chance to touch the ball again this quarter.

“Man, I knew East Tech was going to stall, they always stall!” one frustrated Glenville dad says in the stands, as a smattering of boos start trickling from the crowd with their team down by 8. “Foul him!” the parent yells down, pleading for someone to send East Tech to the free-throw line.

But no: East Tech is still holding the ball as the crowd gets louder at each second that ticks off the clock. One minute. Thirty seconds. Fifteen seconds. Seven seconds. Finally, some action. East Tech senior guard Anthony Carmon puts the ball on the floor, uses a pick, drives left, cuts to the top of the key and lobs it to the right of the hoop in the path of charging sophomore guard Markell Johnson, who jumps and gently guides the ball in with a single smooth motion just before the third-quarter buzzer sounds.

East Tech coach Brett Moore wildly pumps his arm with the kind of enthusiasm that can only come from knowing it couldn’t have gone better. A collective groan from the home crowd lets out, recognizing that East Tech not only killed the final two minutes of the quarter, but ended it with a seemingly easy alley-oop dunk to boot.

continue reading on clevescene.com.