I want justice for victims of racial violence. The world has gone mad. It is disgusting.
Everyone has been talking about the Trayvon Martin (learn about it here) case...frankly I am glad it is getting so much press. It has brought up a lot of strong feelings in my community here and I want to touch on how it relates to the injustice of the system here in Portland.
It's been about a month since the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and on March 13th a local Latino man (link: Alberto Flores-Haro) was shot in the stomach by our notorious police force when he came out into his yard to check for intruders late in the evening.
On top of that, I discovered today that the Portland Police Bureau is considering reinstating Ron Frashour (AFTER HE WAS FIRED!), the officer who shot a mentally-unstable, unarmed Black man in the back with an assault rifle (Jason Campbell) last January. An arbitrator for the case states that "it was reasonable to believe that he could be armed" (Portland Mercury, 2012). What was the justification for this? Was it reasonable because he was Black and upset? The record states that it "appeared" he was reaching for a gun as he ran away but many local citizens are unsatisfied by that idea. I am one of them.
The Trayvon Martin case stirs up a lot of feelings for those of us living here in Portland because of the nature of the crime: An unarmed young Black man being shot to death. The Portland Police Bureau has a sordid history (google Portland Copwatch) of shooting unarmed homeless, disabled and/or people of color. With the possible reinstating of Frashour,it appears that we cannot control the police and we have no voice for justice in our city.
Is there justice anywhere?