Lloyd "Tony" Stevenson was 31 years old when a Portland police officer killed him. It's been 31 years since he died.
Stevenson, an off-duty security guard, father to five and a former Marine, was in a 7-Eleven store in Northeast Portland when it was robbed April 20, 1985. He helped two employees stop the thief, but then got into a fight with a witness in the parking lot.
Portland police Officer Gary L. Barbour put Stevenson in a "sleeper hold" that rendered him unconscious. Barbour chose not to perform CPR when Stevenson collapsed, and 45 minutes later, in a Portland hospital, Stevenson died. Barbour was white. Stevenson was black.
Portlanders were outraged. That fury grew when, on the day of Stevenson's funeral, two white officers, Paul Wickersham and Richard Montee, sold T-shirts to fellow cops. The shirts showed a smoking handgun and the words "Don't Choke 'Em, Smoke 'Em."
Mayor Bud Clark fired Wickersham and Montee, but they got their jobs back. Barbour was never indicted in Stevenson's death.
Stevenson's killing came nearly three decades before the Black Lives Matter movement. But its leaders see parallels.
"Tony Stevenson's murder shows us that it is not what you do but who you are that makes you a target of police violence," says activist Walidah Imarisha, who has taught black studies at PSU. "Protests by the black community in Portland in the wake of Stevenson's murder show the continuity not only of oppression by police, but of resistance in this community."