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Marchers protest police shooting of Kendra James

Robert Larry, president of the Portland NAACP chapter, called it the largest civil rights march he's seen in Portland.

Willie Brown of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhood Associations called it a 'rainbow of folks who care about justice.'

More than 1,000 people of all races marched through the heart of Portland's black community Saturday afternoon to protest the police killing of 21-year-old Kendra James.

Led by a flatbed truck carrying members of James' family and local ministers, the march wound more than two miles from a rally at Alberta Park, at Northeast 19th Avenue and Killingsworth Street, to the Skidmore Street/Interstate 5 overpass in North Portland. James was killed there

May 5 during an early-morning traffic stop.

A Multnomah County grand jury did not charge officer Scott McCollister for shooting James. According to Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk, McCollister said he was partly in the car carrying James and feared for his life when the car began moving.

The march paused at the police bureau's Northeast Precinct at Northeast Killingsworth Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. There, Bishop A.A. Wells of the Emanuel Temple Church compared James to civil rights icon Rosa Parks, saying neither woman was willing to give up her seat.

Speaker after speaker Saturday called the shooting unjustified.

'We know what the police said. They said they were justified,' said the Rev. Roy Tate, president of the Albina Ministerial Alliance. 'We say it was homicide.'

The speakers also disagreed with the grand jury decision, calling it a 'coverup' and promising to work for legislation opening grand jury proceedings to the public. The ministerial alliance is organizing a June 4 trip to Salem to lobby lawmakers.

Contact Jim Redden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .