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No charges in case of noose found at Benson Polytechnic High School that prompted bias crime investigation

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Three students from Benson Polytechnic High School took responsibility for placing a noose on the school's roof that led to a police investigation.A noose found on the roof of a Portland high school that prompted police to open a bias crime investigation has been closed after three students admitted responsibility.

In an update issued Friday, Feb. 28, a week after the rope was found Portland Police Bureau said investigators found "no evidence to suggest the noose was placed on the roof with intent to threaten and alarm another person based on the person's perception of race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin of another person."

According to PPB, three Benson students came forward Monday, Feb. 24 and admitted they had placed the noose at their school.

Police investigated the incident as a potential bias crime- a new law carved out in Oregon that went into effect in January. The law makes it legally punishable to lodge threats, intimidation, injury or property damage at another if the act is based on perception of the victim's race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.

Police also referred the Benson case to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office for review.

"After carefully reviewing all of the police reports and evidence in this case, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office determined that from a legal perspective, this type of behavior cannot be punished criminally," Multnomah County D.A. Rod Underhill stated.


Courtney Vaughn
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