Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced the filing of three unrelated bias crime cases.
This year, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has issued 27 bias crimes cases.
State v. Dennis Timmins
Timmins, who is white, is charged with four counts of bias crime in the second degree, two counts of attempted bias crime in the second degree, two counts of criminal trespass in the second degree, one count of attempted criminal mischief in the first degree, one count of criminal mischief in the first degree, two counts of disorderly conduct in the second degree and two counts of interfering with public transportation.
This case involves two TriMet bus operators. Both operators are African American.
This investigation started on October 1, 2020, in the area of Southeast 82nd Avenue and Southeast Powell Boulevard. Concerned about passenger and personal safety, the first bus operator denied Timmins boarding based on his behavior, which included kicking and hitting the bus. Timmins also attempted to charge the bus while using racial and gender-specific hate speech toward the driver. After being denied boarding, Timmins grabbed and bent the side mirror of the bus.
Shortly thereafter, Timmins attempted to board a second nearby TriMet bus with similar aggressive behavior. The second bus operator also denied boarding after hearing about the initial disturbance on his TriMet radio. Timmins once again directed racial hate speech toward the second bus operator. After being denied boarding, Timmins continued to use racial hate speech as he broke the windshield wiper of the second bus.
Police were alerted to the situation and responded.
According to court documents, while talking with police, Timmins admitted he used racial hate speech and then started using racial hate speech toward the arresting officer, who is African American, no less than 20 times. The officer recorded a portion of Timmins remarks using his work phone.
State v. Kathleen Louise Kennedy
Kennedy, who is white, is charged with one count of bias crime in the second degree, one count of criminal mischief in the third degree and one count of criminal trespass in the second degree.
According to court documents, a family from Latin America now living in Wood Village reported their neighbor, Kennedy, had frequently yelled racial hate speech toward them, told them to go back to their country and frequently threw her smoked cigarettes into the family’s yard.
On July 2, 2020, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 230000 block of Northeast Sandy Boulevard after receiving information that Kennedy went into the family’s backyard and chopped down their raspberry tree, according to court documents. The witness confronted Kennedy who ran back to her house and slammed the door. During the alleged incident, Kennedy used racial hate speech. The family told the sheriff’s office Kennedy did not have permission to chop down the tree.
State v. Tyler Wayne Burroughs
Burroughs, who is white, is charged with three counts of bias crime in the second degree, three counts of harassment and one count of disorderly conduct in the second degree.
This investigation started on September 10, 2020 when Portland Police responded to a disturbance at a commercial store parking lot on Hayden Island.
It is alleged that Burroughs repeatedly used hate speech toward two individuals, both African Americans. During the disturbance he is also accused of spitting on both of them based on his perception of their gender and race. Witnesses reported the two victims tried to get away from Burroughs but he continued to follow them.
No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on any of these cases.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Burroughs, Kennedy and Timmins are innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office was an active participant of the Oregon Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Task Force and helped draft the language that was in Senate Bill 577. The law, which went into effect on July 15, 2019, renamed the crime of “intimidation” to “bias crime,” added gender identity to the list of protected categories and removed the requirement that two or more people commit the crime in order to make it a felony in certain circumstances.
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. If a misdemeanor crime is issued, the felony-level attorney will retain the case.
If you are the victim of a bias crime assault or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you are the victim of a bias crime and the suspect is no longer present or if you have information about a bias crime committed in the past, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.