On June 3, 2020, several members of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office met with families in North Portland at Peninsula Park to talk about race, emotions and safety for individuals wishing to participate in peaceful gatherings.
“It was really great to have this opportunity,” said Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield, who spoke at the event. “The community was gracious. They listened to my experiences, they shared theirs and we talked about what’s happening in our community.”
The gathering was organized by Hiag Brown and the Peninsula Wrestling Club.
In addition to his role with the wrestling club, Brown is also the leader of our local Gang Impacted Family Team, which coordinates services for individuals and their families in the effort to break the intergenerational ties that perpetuate gang involvement and violence in the community.
Approximately 50 people attended including several wrestling club members, their families and friends.
Multnomah County District Attorney Victim Advocate Chanel Thomas, who helped coordinate the gathering, said some of the youth had questions about their rights and safety during protests.
“This gave us the chance to talk with the kids and to hear and understand what they are feeling right now,” Thomas said. “
Senior Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez shared with the group his observations from being at police headquarters during the recent, large scale gatherings.
“We talked about what a riot is, and we explained that peaceful expression of ideas is good and that we support that,” Vasquez said.
Prior to the gathering at Peninsula Park, SDDA Banfield and Victim Advocate Thomas had an online meeting with gang outreach advocates from Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center.
“The message was the same. We want people to go out and express their thoughts but we want them to do it safely,” Banfield said.
Victim Advocate Malia Bruni, Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden and Deputy District Attorney Maggie Burgess also attended the event.
Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director