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Bias crime investigation marks three in five months centered in Southwest Portland

COURTESY PPS - Bridlemile Elementary School in Southwest Portland as seen on their website.A noose found on a fence near Bridlemile Elementary School last month marked the second time since June that a suspicious rope was found in Southwest Portland, and the third bias crime investigation.

The rope was discovered behind the backstop of a baseball diamond at Hamilton Park on Southwest 47th Drive near the school, police told Pamplin Media Group partner KOIN 6 News.

"Officers arrived at the location and spoke to school officials, learning the rope was possibly hung from the backstop sometime on October 15th," Portland Police Bureau noted. "Bias crime detectives were notified and are currently reviewing the case."

PHOTO COURTESY OF PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU - A rope tied like a noose was found at Hamilton Park near Bridlemile Elementary School on Oct. 20.

When school administrators learned about the noose, they put into place the district's response to hate protocols, reported it to the city of Portland and the Portland police, Regional Superintendent Esther Omogbehin said in a letter to parents.

"The Bridlemile team is consulting with district leadership about the best way to support staff, students and families. We will share more information early next week with specific details regarding next steps," she wrote in part.

Omogbehin noted the racist history of the noose and how it can spark reaction and trauma.

"This kind of incident is not isolated to our community, but I know that we do not want to be motivated by fear and hate, and I trust we will come together to support each other and do the work necessary to continue to provide a caring, supportive and healthy environment for everyone in our community," she said. "This act is incredibly disturbing. Hate speech or symbols are never tolerated in any PPS school or anywhere in our District."

The noose at the public park marked at least the second finding in recent months. In June, a rope tied in a noose was found on a construction site for a new development being built by Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University and the city of Portland. In August, fire investigators deemed an Aug. 19 fire at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life suspicious, and deemed it arson. That fire followed an electrical fire at the same location the week prior.

Anyone with information about the rope found at Hamilton Park can contact PPB at 503-823-3333. Anonymous reports can be made to Crime Stoppers of Oregon at crimestoppersoforegon.com, or by phone at 503-823-HELP (4357).

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group.You can read KOIN's coverage here..


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