Community creates new memorial for Kendra James who was killed by police in 2003

Kendra James - photo courtesy Teressa Raiford

PORTLAND, Ore. - It’s been 15 years since Portland Police officers shot and killed Kendra James during a traffic stop in North Portland.

The unarmed black woman was just 21 years old.

This weekend, the community worked to keep her memory alive.

Sunday night, a new memorial was placed at the site of the 2003 incident on the North Skidmore overpass at Interstate 5. There’s a photo of James and other signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name.”

Another says, “Let’s build a beloved community where no one is killed by cops.”

KATU News spoke with a woman who didn’t know James, but is part of a support system for victims of police violence.

“This child lost her life to police violence and we’re not going to let people forget it,” said Donna Hayes, a first responder from Pacific Northwest Family Circle. “I want them to remember. I want them to be outraged.”

Hayes said she hopes to see officers’ training reflected in their actions.

The officer who shot James said she tried to get away that night and he acted to save his life.

He remained an officer and his punishment was overturned.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off