Records: Portland Man Arrested at Protest One Week Before Deadly Stabbing

September 2, 2020 Updated: September 2, 2020

A man accused of killing two people in Portland in June was arrested for allegedly interfering with an officer during a riot several days before the murders.

Philip Nelson, 38, was one of 19 adults arrested during the riot, which took place overnight June 12 in downtown Portland.

According to court records obtained by KOIN, the charges against Nelson were dismissed the next day by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

A spokesman for the office told The Epoch Times via email that the case was not dropped.

“We did not make a charging decision at the time because we wanted to ensure we had all of the available police reports and evidence associated with his arrest,” he said.

Shootings have spiked in Portland this year, combining with ongoing unrest to consistently overwhelm the Portland Police Bureau.

Mike Schmidt, who recently took office, announced a new policy last month that guides prosecutors to presumptively dismiss some charges, including interfering with an officer. Schmidt was not in office when the charges against Nelson were dropped.

Epoch Times Photo
Najaf Hobbs (L) and Cassy Leaton were stabbed to death in Portland, Ore., on June 16, 2020. (Portland Police Bureau)

Nelson was arrested on June 18 on first-degree murder charges for allegedly stabbing Cassy Leaton, 22, and Najaf “Nate” Hobbs. 39, to death.

Police officials said the stabbing took place on Northeast Davis Street in broad daylight.

“The capture of the double homicide suspect provides some relief but will not bring back the lives lost,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said at the time.

“I am extremely proud of our investigators and those who assisted with the arrest, especially after the exhausting hours worked in the past three weeks. Your commitment and dedication to community safety is commendable.”

According to the court records, Nelson had no criminal history. He told authorities he was living homeless in the Portland area for about two months before the stabbings.

The lawyer representing Nelson did not return a voicemail.

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