Community members and local law enforcement officials came together for an outreach event in Portland Monday night, to talk about gang violence. The event took place at Peninsula Park.
Family members of victims who died in recent weeks talked about their losses. They emphasized the need for a change of attitude among young people. And they stressed that violence is not a means of conflict resolution. They also encouraged people to work with law enforcement during investigations.
One of the speakers was Royal Harris, who said he has lost many family members to gang violence. He encourages a broader dialogue.
“Get out of the comfort zone of sharing with those you know. If I meet 10 new people and I can create a pathway for them to do the same with others, then we can grow this situation exponentially. But I think it can’t be the same old people at the rallies time after time,” Harris said.
The event was in part a memorial for those who died in gang violence since 1987. It was organized by the city’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention.