PORTLAND -- Two well-known civil rights leaders are now getting involved in the protests surrounding the deadly police shooting of an unarmed young black man in Portland last month.
The Oregon chapter of Reverand Al Sharpton's National Action Network staged a protect in Portland over the weekend, demanding criminal charges in the shooting death of Aaron Campbel. In addition, local activists managed to get on Reverand Jesse Jackson's schedule during his upcoming trip to Oregon. Jackson arrived Tuesday for a speech at the University of Oregon and he will meet with the protesters during his time in the state.
Meantime, black leaders in Portland were calling for changes in state law and in police training to improve accountability for officers who use deadly force. They will also push for a federal investigation after a state grand jury declined to indict a white officer who shot an unarmed young black man in the back with a rifle last month.
At a rally Thursday on the steps of the city Justice Center, several leaders said the death of Aaron Campbell was unnecessary and preventable. Campbell was shot after police were called to an apartment building to check on a man reported to be suicidal.
Campbell's mother, Marva Davis, told the rally that the community should not have to be afraid of the police.
Rev. Jackson was scheduled to speak about leadership and social justice at Tuesday's U of O event. The speech begins at noon in the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom in Eugene. Later that same day, he will speak at the Maranatha Church of God in Portland and will join a 6 p.m. news conference and rally organized by the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.
In addition, the Portland Police Bureau announced it was holding a press conference to discuss the internal review process in the Campbell case on Tuesday. That press conference was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., at the Justice Center on SW 2nd Avenue.