The day after Rev. Jesse Jackson urged
Portlanders to keep up their protests over the fatal Jan. 29 police shooting of Aaron Campbell, hundreds of people did just that this afternoon -- first at the Justice Center downtown, then at the City Hall office of Mayor Sam Adams.
"No justice, no peace" were the words that kicked off the Justice Center rally at noon today. Several minutes later, Rev. Leroy Haynes addressed the crowd of African-American, Latino, Native American and white Portlanders. He urged the crowd to file civil rights complaints against the Portland Police Bureau and called for the creation of a new special prosecutor to handle cases of excessive and deadly police force.
Former state Sen. Avel Gordly, currently the spokeswoman for the campaign to recall Mayor Sam Adams, tied her message of "incompetent and ineffective leadership at City Hall" to a pitch to force a recall of Adams. "It's all related," she told demonstrators. "It does start at the top."
The crowd of protesters spilled onto Southwest 3rd Avenue outside the Justice Center. Passing cars honked their horns. But pedestrians continued to mill about the downtown block without too much regard for what was happening.
"You know what's really striking?" Bonnyé Giles said to me. "It's not this," he said, gesturing at the demonstration. "It's all of the people back here who could care less."
Those who did care carried their protests to City Hall. And though they were forced to abandon the signs they held saying "Justice" and "Justicia," they flocked to the third floor of City Hall where Mayor Sam Adams' office is located.
Adams emerged from his office. He used a bullhorn to address the crowd but quickly opted to do without it. "We're working hard to not be defensive," he said.
After several minutes, he went back inside his office with some of Campbell's family members. His office then locked the double doors. "Fire him, fire him," people shouted, referring to Ronald Frashour, the police officer who fired the shot that killed the unarmed Campbell on Jan. 29. Those shouts then gave way to "We'll recall you today" and, later, "We Shall Overcome."
Lashell Douglass, Campbell's sister, spoke with reporters outside the mayor's office around 1 pm. "What's done is done," she said. "But there needs to be change."