Oregon Lawmakers Call on Amtrak to Investigate Case of Oregon Student Brutally Injured on Train

May 25, 2018
Press Release

Portland, Ore. – Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, and Suzanne Bonamici today strongly urged Amtrak Police to utilize all available resources to promptly investigate the case of Aaron Salazar, a Portland State University student who was brutally injured on an Amtrak train.
 
In a letter to Richard Anderson, President and CEO of Amtrak, the Oregon lawmakers requested that Amtrak quickly provide a full report on the investigation of the case to the delegation and to Salazar’s family.
 
The full text of the letter is below. An electronic copy of the letter can be found here.
 
 
May 25, 2018
 
Richard Anderson
President and CEO, Amtrak
1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
 
Dear Mr. Anderson,
 
We write today in great dismay at the news that Aaron Salazar, a Portland State University student, is fighting for his life in a coma, with serious injuries to his brain stem and a broken pelvis.
 
Aaron is a person of color who also identifies as gay, and his injuries suggest that this incident may have been a hate crime against him during an Amtrak layover in Truckee, California. We understand that the Amtrak Police Department, in coordination with the Truckee Police Department, is conducting an investigation and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been contacted.  We also urge Amtrak to utilize all available resources to promptly investigate this case.
 
We have seen an increase in hate crimes across the country. The timing of this incident happens just one year after a white supremacist began harassing two women of color on Portland transit. Of the three people who stepped in to intervene, two were killed and one was seriously injured. There are too many stories like these and too many lives lost or injured due to hate crimes in our communities.
 
We expect a full report on the investigation of this crime, to our federal delegation and to Aaron’s family.
 
Sincerely,
 
###