Statement on Police Murder in Lents Park

A line of police across the bottom of the photo. Behind them are a row of trees in Lents Park. A police SUV and more officers are visible in the background. Blue sky appears above the scene.

Portland DSA condemns the police murder of our community member, Robert Douglas Delgado, yesterday in Lents Park.

The brutality of policing is an everyday horror perpetrated against the most marginalized people in our society — and it is a tool of capitalism to maintain inequality.

Last year, Portlanders mobilized alongside millions of others around the country to protest racist police violence. Our demonstrations forced the Portland City Council to take action: they voted to defund the Portland Police Bureau by $15 million and remove police presence from schools and public transit. But we must not only prevent this funding from being reinstated — we must go further and strip the police of their power to terrorize and kill with impunity.

This most recent murder by the police happened in the pilot zone of the Portland Street Response. This clearly demonstrates that it’s not enough to create an alternative to the police if nothing is done to decrease the power, scope, and size of the Portland Police Bureau.

To do that, we need an organized mass movement of working class people capable of challenging the police and the ruling class interests they serve. Through coordinated, strategic mass action, we can build the power required to transform the system.

Socialists believe in a world where everyone is guaranteed a home and health care — not a military occupation masquerading as “safety.” We must divest from policing and use those funds to support essential public services that directly address the root causes of poverty, crime, and violence. True safety means dismantling the systems that perpetuate injustice, including the police and the prison industrial complex, and reinvesting in our communities.

That’s why we won’t stop fighting to defund, disarm, and disband the police. That’s why we demand justice for the victim, his family, and the community. And that’s why we demand accountability from Zachary Delong, the officer responsible for the public execution of a member of our community, as well as the Portland Police Bureau and every other police officer and department in this country.

Join Portland DSA at the city budget hearing on May 5 to make our demands heard!

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Portland DSA

Portland DSA

The Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Hailing from all corners of the socialist left, our goal is a better world beyond capitalism.