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Portland Police Chief Says Some Officers May Feel Targeted


Police Chief Mike Marshman speaks at a press conference surrounding recent police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Police Chief Mike Marshman speaks at a press conference surrounding recent police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Meerah Powell/OPB

Portland’s police chief has given his officers permission to travel in pairs Friday, following the shootings in Dallas.

Chief Mike Marshman thinks some of his officers may feel targeted as they go to work after the shooting.

He found himself choking up when talking about it.

“It’s hard because I’m up here this morning and I flash back to a couple of officers I knew that got shot and killed. It just hit me hard,” he said. 

“It’s a tragedy and I don’t want to diminish what happened to the other African-American men, because that’s just as impactful for the community too. What I don’t want to happen is create a divide, especially in this town; we’re trying to bring everyone together.”

Marshman said that apart from one incident — where Michael Strickland, 36, is accused of waving a gun at the crowd — he was proud of the way people conducted themselves during Thursday evening’s protest in Portland.

The Reverend Mark Knutson of Augusta Lutheran asked people to work with their neighbors to weave a hopeful and beautiful community.

Portland Urban League President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson speaks at a press conference about recent police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Portland Urban League President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson speaks at a press conference about recent police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Meerah Powell/OPB

The president of the Urban League of Portland, Nkenge Harmon Johnson, said she understands people’s frustrations — because she has both a black family and family members who used to be in law enforcement.

“Whether you are angry and protesting and raising your voice because something must change, or at home, simply talking to friends and neighbors about what’s happened. You can feel grief for the families that have lost their loved one in Dallas, just as you can lament those who’ve lost their loved ones in Baton Rouge and Minnesota,” said Harmon Johnson.

Don't Shoot Portland led a protest against police brutality at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland on Thursday, July 7. The protest took place in the wake of two fatal police shootings: Alton Sterling in Louisiana on Tuesday and Philando Castile in Minnesota on Wednesday.

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