“A new day must come” was the theme of last night's rally urging both justice in the police shooting death of Aaron Campbell - and reform of Portland police.
“We all have loved ones, and we don't want to see this happen again,” said Campbell's mother Marva Davis at the event sponsored by the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.
Others attending the Friday night rally at the Emmanuel Temple in North Portland said Campbell's shooting by police in January was part of a longer troubling pattern.
“I'm here because I think there were a lot of screw-ups with the Aaron Campbell shooting and the Chasse incident was inexcusable,” said attendee Madeline Sheridan, referring to the 2006 death of James Chasse Jr. while he was in police custody. “I can't imagine the pain the family must be feeling."
AMA co-chairperson LeRoy Haynes Jr. agrees. “We need to hold police accountable,” Haynes said, “We need changes to bring about justice, and justice to bring about healing.”
The changes Haynes and the AMA Coalition want include strengthening the Independent Police Review Committee and for the Citizen Action Committee to make policing a more transparent, community-based activity.
“We have to make sure that police are no longer an occupying force in our society,” said state Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland), “As an occupying force, they feel afraid and we feel afraid…We need to change the attitude to a community policing situation instead of a military situation.”
To avoid unnecessary use of force in the future, the AMA also proposes a thorough review and revision of police use of force patterns, policies, and trainings. Additionally, the AMA would like to see the active recruitment and hiring of more African-American police officers