PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland area continues to see a spike in gun violence across the city. But a group of community organizers gathered on Saturday to put together a “March Against Murder” from Peninsula Park to Woodlawn Park. The group said it is focusing on conflict resolution so that pulling the trigger is no longer an option.
“The hope is that lethal force does not become a legitimate problem-solving tool,” Royal Harris, the organizer, said.
Cari Brown and her family lost her nephew, Noah Terry, to gun violence in October of 2020. She said he is the reason they are marching.
“Justice doesn’t exist after a murder,” Brown said. “Justice is in the moment when someone decides not to pull the trigger.”
Terry’s grandmother, Kathy Dolyniuck, said the family feels like they’re being left behind.
“To be honest we’re struggling with the lack of justice in Portland,” Dolyniuck said.
She said they want justice for her grandson.
“The ball has definitely been dropped and we’ve been told that repeatedly and so we’re addressing this the best we can as a family,” she said. “We are fighting for justice for Noah Terry.”
Earlier this week, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell announced specifics to help curb the increase in gun violence which includes a new gun violence intervention team and including community leaders in their plans.
Harris said it’s long overdue.
“We overemphasize the politics and the city government aspect of it and don’t really get to the root of solutions to it which are rooted in the people in these places,” he said.