Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon

Making good use of rare (and expensive) archival footage from the Oregon Historical Society, local documentary Arresting Power is at its strongest when telling the origin story of Portland’s police accountability movement—providing potent evidence that the marches and demands for change that have erupted post-Ferguson are part of a decades-long tradition started by our city’s African American community. Many of those leaders also appear on camera, sharing their wisdom alongside testimonials from community members like Shirley Isadore, whose daughter Kendra James was killed by Portland police in 2003. It’s a good primer for anyone who cares about accountability. But it’s also too bad—in part because work on Arresting Power began well before today’s unrest—that we don’t also hear from some of the newer, younger leaders who’ve been stepping forward within the movement in recent months.

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