After City Council approved the Portland Police Association’s collective bargaining agreement despite the protest, things got heated at City Hall.
Now Don’t Shoot PDX leader Gregory McKelvey, a 23-year-old law student, is calling on Mayor Charlie Hales to resign. McKelvey detailed his reasons for continued protesting in a 5 page open letter to Hales.
McKelvey says he witnessed use of excessive force from police during protests on September 23 and October 12.
“What I witnessed yesterday was something I never thought I would see in my hometown,” McKelvey wrote.
He refuted alleged statements from Hales that the group was “just looking for any reason to protest,” by drawing attention to the uncomfortable situations they often find themselves in.
“I do not enjoy getting daily death threats. We do not enjoy sleeping in tents outside of City Hall in the rain. We do not enjoy being pepper-sprayed. We do not enjoy being hurt by your police department. We are not looking for any reason to protest, we are trying to fix the reasons why we must protest. Police brutality, abuse of power, racial disparity in policing and corrupt politicians.”
McKelvey called the contract “flawed and corrupt” and accused Hales of not having the communities best interests in mind.
A protest is planned for Friday, October 14 to protest the events of October 12.
“I am calling on you to resign,” McKelvey wrote. “I understand that you are on your way out but we have no time to spare. Lives are on the line. We will protest against you until you resign. This begins October 14.”