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17 August 2020

Biggs Faces Hate Crime Charges

By Brad Smith

MEDFORD, Ore. -- A man who thought he would violently disrupt the June Black Lives Matter rallies have gotten more than he bargained for.

During the June 1 BLM rally, Christopher Ryan Biggs, 38, White City, allegedly drove his truck into a crowd of BLM protesters -- which got him hit with a hate crime. Now, the Jackson County DA’s Office has filed additional charges against Biggs, particularly using his truck as a weapon.

Biggs already faces first-degree crime bias -- a felony charge -- as the DA’s Office alleges he purposely placed others in “fear of imminent serious physical injury” because of his “perception of the race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation” of the alleged victims, court records say.

According to the DA’s Office, it’s alleged that Biggs was “motivated by prejudice” as he sped up his black Dodge Ram pickup and drove into some BLM protesters. Deputy DA Michael Cohen filed the charges in Jackson County Circuit Court on Aug. 12.

According to an affidavit filed by the Medford Police Dept., at around 4:30 p.m. June 1, MPD officers reportedly saw Biggs’ Dodge pickup approach BLM protesters, who were located at East Main Street and North Central Avenue. The officers reported Biggs’ pickup was moving at a “high rate of speed” as it drove into the crowd. The officers also reported protesters screamed and the truck did hit one person, who sustained minor injuries.

According to court records, MPD officers reviewed a number of videos. They felt it wasn’t safe for Biggs to drive the way he did.

Biggs, on his part, has claimed he was downtown looking for his daughter after her vehicle was allegedly swarmed by protesters. He also alleged protesters struck his truck and tried to climb inside.

However, MPD officers found no video footage supporting Biggs’ claim. And, one MPD officer reportedly heard Biggs scream “Fucking queers” at protesters before the alleged incident. Biggs said someone in another truck shouted the slur but one MPD officer said they heard (Biggs) yell the slur.

On social media, supposedly staunch Blue Lives Matter supporters were angered by the MPD officers’ statements and were questioning “Back the Blue.”

Biggs’ next court appearance is set for Oct. 12. As of press time, Biggs has refused a court appointed public defender and said he would act as his own defense.

According to court records, in the past Biggs has been arrested for fourth-degree assault, harassment, some traffic offenses and procuring alcohol for a minor.

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