PPRC Friday rally and march appeals to community to join Saturday’s
for police reform and accountability
Event: PPRC Rally and March for Peace and Justice
Date: Friday, May 23rd, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square
The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition Friday 5:00
p.m. rally and march at Pioneer Courthouse Square will
focus on the shooting death of 21-year-old Ms. Kendra
James. "This Saturday the many diverse communities of
our city are coming together to rally and march for
accountability and reform in our Police bureau," said
Mikel Clayhold, a volunteer with the PPRC. "If the police
officer was acting within the state law when he brought
Kendra James’ life to an end at a routine traffic stop,
then we have to change state law." The Saturday rally
and march begin at 12:00 Noon at Alberta Park, N.E.
20th & Killingsworth, will proceed to the N.E. Police
Precinct and then to the Kendra James Memorial site
at the N. Skidmore overpass (at N. Michigan).
"They tell us that a police officer is allowed to kill if they
believe’ they face ‘an immediate threat of death or serious physical
and they tell us that Officer Scott McCollister felt just this kind of
threat from Kendra James," said Clayhold. Local peace and justice
are urging the broader community community to question the decision to
under such dubious circumstances, and to ask whether it was reasonable
ethical to respond to the danger posed by Kendra James with deadly
"We don’t know why she reacted the way she did that night, we don’t
fear and panic that she felt," said Clayhold, "but we do know that she
not deserve to die, and we must challenge a system of laws and a grand
review process that looks at this tragedy and unanimously decides that
was nothing wrong here."
Local community activists believe that responsibility for this latest
killing does not lie solely with the police officers directly involved.
"This is an issue of training, an issue of police procedures, an issue
state law, and an issue of precedents set by our police bureau’s
leadership," said Clayhold. "The awards presented to the officers who
killed Jose Santo Victor Mejia Poot sent precisely the wrong message,
fear for how many others may die before we make the changes needed to
prevent future tragedies."
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