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An Open Letter to Our Community in N/NE Portland

mccoy_signMany of your learned of the tragic shooting this past Monday afternoon, June 30th in the New Columbia neighborhood of N Portland. The victim was a 24 yr old man who died at the scene. If the tragic loss of life and if the anguish his family and friends are suffering were not enough, the incident was compounded by the way in which this violent event occurred. Almost two dozen shots were fired and its believed they came from more than a single vehicle. Dozens of people including children were within the line of fire and the line of sight of the shooting.

I spoke with Chief Reese to express my concern and to communicate my expectation that everything be done in his power as the head of the Portland Police Bureau to take the shooter or shooters into custody. There is no reversing the tragic loss that the family and friends of Andrew Coggins are suffering. But we can lessen the risk of any additional loss of life or senseless risk to innocent children and adults by those seeking to even the score if the responsible parties are taken into custody.

Chief Reese shared that few of the many witnesses present were speaking to the detectives. I want to ask you as someone who is invested in this community and the children whose safety is entrusted to us to have your organization, church, family and friends encourage anyone who knows anything to share that information with the authorities. I know that talking to the Portland Police department rubs many in our community the wrong way, but it does not compare to the thought of one of our young innocents being caught in waves of violence that silence is allowing to continue.

Finally, I am the first person to admit that I do not know all of what happened at the crime scene. There may be circumstances that we are not aware of regarding the actions of the shooters. If any of them should find themselves on the receiving end of this message as it gets passed along, and you wish to surrender peacefully but fear retaliation, please go to your pastor, your minister or someone else you trust and have them make arrangements for your surrender. You can also contact the Urban League to assist in your surrender. We cannot have this mark the beginning of a summer of senseless violence.

Yours in the movement,

Michael Alexander Electronic Signature

Michael Alexander
President & CEO