PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV/CNN) – A string of billboards popped up within the past week, courtesy of the group “Portland Equity in Action.”
The goal: to raise awareness about African Americans who died in police shootings and in controversial cases.
The group “PDX Billboard Project” talks about its purpose on its website. It calls the deaths of Terrell Johnson and Larnell Bruce Junior “unjust.”
Johnson died May 10th of last year according to police. He threatened people at the Flavel Street MAX Station and pulled out a knife.
A grand jury ruled deadly force was justified.
The second death stems from a 2016 case where a driver and his girlfriend targeted Larnell Bruce outside of a 7-11 in Gresham.
According to police, Russell Courtier and Colleen Hunt fought with Bruce, then Courtier ran him over.
Bruce died from his injuries days later.
Police say courtier and hunt have ties to white supremacist groups.
The cases are fresh wounds for the group behind the billboards, which states on its website it wants to raise awareness about the role white supremacy plays in Portland and the unfair ways police investigate crimes.
People who’ve seen the billboards say they send the message, loud and clear.
One resident said, “Hopefully it starts the conversation again, actually it’s an ongoing conversation…people need to be aware of, and get the background of, the African American black person’s story.”
One case will be top of mind for the group this week. The suspects in the death of Larnell Bruce are back in court Friday.
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