portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

anti-racism | police / legal

inner NE PDX March against police violence photo essay

Hundreds of us marched today through inner NE Portland. We marched for justice for Kendra James and others local victims of police brutality.
march for Kendra James (KJ)
march for Kendra James (KJ)
Kendra is only the latest victim
Kendra is only the latest victim
a minister cries out for justice
a minister cries out for justice
singing we shall overcome TODAY
singing we shall overcome TODAY
my sign lists a few KJ facts
my sign lists a few KJ facts
We moved west down NE Killingsworth to the NE Portland Police precinct headquarters and then turned left on MLK (Martin Luther King Blvd). As we marched down MLK we trapped dozens of cars. Horns were blaring wildly. I wondered if all the drivers were really angry. Then I realized that most of those caught in the traffic jam were African-American, and they weren't just honking -- they had their windows rolled down and were shouting encouragement. It was a welcome change from the recent peace marches through downtown Portland in which the police had closed the entire route to vehicle traffic, kept us away from the shoppers near Pioneer Square, and made us feel like we were marching through a ghost town. And then there was the added benefit that all those Portland Police officers stopping traffic for us were folks we wanted to hear the message that if they're afraid of unarmed members of the community they should find another job.

I've lived in this community for twelve years and I have had nothing but good relations with the inner NE Portland police. I want to take this sentence to express my gratitude to the majority Portland police officers who, as far as I can tell, are doing an excellent job. I have also lived here long enough to have learned not to assume that I live in the exact same community that my African-American neighbors live in. Finally, we turned right on NE Skidmore and marched west to the I-5 overpass where Kendra James was killed during a routine traffic stop on the night of May 5th 2003.

On this page I present four pictures from the march and rally and a fifth shot that I snapped as I rode home. The last image is a snapshot of the protest sign that I had attached to the front of my bike. It lists a few of the key facts in the Kendra James case. One fact that I cut reluctantly from the list on my sign was mentioned several times by speakers at the rally:

* And how were two officers involved able to dine together before detectives could interview them? (Why, contrary to police rules, were they given a chance to get their stories straight?)

All these facts were taken from The Oregonian's brief review of the 600 page internal investigation of the Portland Police. You can read that article about police investigation into the killing of Kendra James here:

 http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1053518798278300.xml

homepage: homepage: http://www.rivertext.com/stuff.html

Thank you 24.May.2003 21:56

Sherry

I took two pics - that's it - and they suck, so I was hoping you would share. thank you Bri

marcher count? 24.May.2003 23:32

The One True b!X editor@communique.portland.or.us

Anyone here make an attendance count? Media reports I've seen so far range from "a couple hundred" to "over a thousand" to "almost 1500."


More photos 25.May.2003 01:26

Firetruck

I think about 1500 showed up.
Here are some photos from just before the march. I ran out of "film" before the march actually started.
Two patriots for justice
Two patriots for justice
Democracy and Empire don't mix
Democracy and Empire don't mix
A littel different view
A littel different view

A few more 25.May.2003 01:36

the redcoat

Some more of them
The NorthEast Coalition
The NorthEast Coalition
People gathered at the park
People gathered at the park
Bicycle police formed up at the park before the march.
Bicycle police formed up at the park before the march.

Good Work 25.May.2003 07:25

Foo

May 25
I'd guess 1500 was about right. Nice march, low key and very community. Progressives showed up, lots of 20somethings with bikes weirdo haircuts, some older cranks and lefties, Code Pinks and Quakers. Lots of kids, little kids, big kids, teens. This is always a good sign. I saw Abe Lincoln in the back.

Many thanks to the ministerial activists, Rev. Tate, Pastor Hardy, Bishop Wells and others - they made the march safe by inviting the community, providing security and water, and leading the way. Nice to see the faces of many African-American activists from the distant past. BTW you want to grow the synchronicity between the African-American community in Portland and the progressive communities, work to free the Portland Six!

No sign of any politicos of any sort. I didn't see everybody, but scouted a bit and saw no electeds. Police were low-key and on bikes - with the exception of the sole African American officer who was there who was warmly and continuously greeted and welcomed.

The Portland Police currently don't represent Our North and Northeast Portland population. They don't share our culture, our diversity, our personal concern for the people and property. They are not us and it shows in their behaviors.

Homepage:  http://connectedpdx.blogspot.com/

Teenagers 25.May.2003 09:47

Sherry

It was great to see young people show up and show concern for the community.

My son was one of them - and his cousin and friend. I know young folks care - but my kid usually doesn't feel compelled to take things to the streets. During the war protests - he thought the Marches were "gay" - and a waste of time - because it didn't stop the war (young boy is only 15 and is still learning, bless his little heart) -and doesn't see much of a direct effect on his day to day life - therefore didn't really care.

After the Kendra shooting - we talked about police brutality - and he started thinking. (love to see young people *think*). I pointed out to him - "that could have been your ass". If we just stay home and say "that's a shame" - then it will continue. I also pointed out - living in NE Portland - and the fact that when him and his buddies go driving around - they most likely will be seen as a car full of "suspects"- because of the fact he and his friends are all "minorities" (hate that word). Not to mention - that I and others in our family have been addicts before - "does that justify killing?"

His response was "that's bullshit". You're GODDAMN RIGHT IT IS. So he was moved enough to take time out of his little self centered life - he cared enough to look past himself - to see the picture of community and the concept of the "bigger picture" to show up and be a part of the peoples voice.