‘March against murder’ held in NE Portland

Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 8:56 AM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A March Against Murder rally took place Saturday in the Cully Neighborhood in northeast Portland.

It comes as the city sees 30 murders this year alone, 29 of them by gunfire.

The event was put on by Izelle Harris and his brother Royal Harris, the co-founders of March Against Murder. This is the fifth march they’ve held since May 2021. They said they are hopeful by bringing the community together, they can prevent more tragedies in the future.

“We can’t do anything about the violence that has already happened, but we’re really trying to catch people before the violence takes place and introduce them to positive activities,” Cherrell Edwards-El, a program supervisor with the Multnomah County Health Department, said.

Health officials said prevention is the focus of the rally at Fernhill Park. Edwards-El said the location of the rally is significant to their mission of putting an end to violence.

“There’s been a lot of gentrification in the neighborhood,” she said. “There’s been a lot of integration of different cultures in this neighborhood, especially low-income families. There’s been an uptick in violence and we’ve also lost lives at Khunamokwst Park.”

Multnomah County employees said they have hired more workers with ties to the community as they believe lasting change starts at the community level. Specifically, with the youth.

Edwards-El said specialists will be reaching out to families and local schools to introduce more positive activities to the youth in the community. Those include book clubs, meditation, and exercise groups.

“Today is about unity, bringing the community together, kicking off national youth violence prevention week, and taking a stand against murder,” Edwards-El said.