PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A crowd gathered at Ainsworth United Church of Christ in Northeast Portland Sunday to remember George Flowed and other local community members killed by police.
The anniversary of George Floyd’s death is Tuesday. He was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for several minutes while Floyd told the officer he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests around the country by people speaking out against racial injustice.
Joe “Bean” Keller, the father of Deontae Keller, who was shot in the back by former Portland police officer and West Linn police chief Terry Kreuger in 1996, was at Sunday’s ceremony in Portland.
“It affects the families themselves and that’s what people really realize… once we start putting pressure on these officers and let them know that we’re not going to allow to let this keep happening, that’s what’s going to make a difference,” Keller said.
City Commissioner Mingus Mapps also attended the event and said the city is taking steps toward change.
“We’ve increased the number of park rangers that we have out there so that public spaces are safer. We’ve increased the number of officers that aren’t armed and we’ve made huge investments in violence prevention programs,” Mapps said.
In April, city council approved a $6 million plan to address gun violence, which is still rising dramatically in the city. Meanwhile, Portland Police Bureau will see a budget cut on July 1.