On April 8, 2009, under the leadership of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Portland City Council adopted a resolution to lower the City of Portland flag at sites throughout the city to raise awareness about and honor those children who died from abuse, neglect, and other violence the previous month.
Commissioner Saltzman felt at the time that with over 7,000 reports of child abuse in Multnomah County the previous year (2008) and multiple fatalities that went underreported or overlooked, lowering the City flag would help the community reflect on these tragedies in a powerful way.
Flags are lowered at City Hall, the Portland Building, police and fire stations, Providence Park, Pioneer Courthouse Square, and the World Trade Center. In addition, Commissioner Saltzman makes brief remarks at the beginning of City Council and urges the community to observe a moment of silence.
The flag lowering of May 3, 2017 marked the 17th time we have lowered City flags under these criteria. Please note that some flag lowerings, such as the one in May, have been for multiple fatalities.
Timeline of City of Portland Flag Lowerings
June 1, 2009
Eldon Jay Rebhan Smith, 4, drowned after his mother threw him and his seven-year-old sister from the Sellwood Bridge May 23, 2009. Eldon’s sister Trinity Smith survived. In April 2010, Eldon’s mother pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder.
July 1, 2009
Fernando Chavez, 17, was shot and killed June 6, 2009 after he and another teenager in the home chased a man who tried to break into Fernando’s foster mother’s bedroom window, then stole Fernando’s bike to flee. The assailant was caught and, in February 2010, pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter for Fernando’s death as well as attempted murder for shooting at the second teenager.
December 1, 2009
Ashawn Lorenzo Medina-Barr, 4, was shot and killed alongside his mother Tameka Medina in a domestic-violence related homicide on November 4, 2009. The murderer, Ashawn’s father, also took his own life. Spared was Tameka’s 11-year-old daughter who was at Outdoor School with her sixth-grade class at the time.
July 1, 2010
Billy Moore, 17, was shot and killed after visiting his dying mother June 21, 2010. In March 2011, a 16-year-old young man was sentenced for first-degree manslaughter in Billy’s death which occurred, the investigation revealed, after the two exchanged words and the young man shot at Billy from a distance.
August 2, 2010
Jacoby Phelps, one month old, died from abuse and liver trauma sustained after his father punched him in the stomach and pressed his knees into his chest on July 1, 2010. In July 2011, the father pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
May 2, 2011
Shiloh Hampton, 14, was shot and killed after two men shot into a crowd of people in Holladay Park in the middle of the afternoon on April 18, 2011. In March 2014, both men pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
August 4, 2011
Yashanee Vaughn, 14, was beaten, shot, and killed March 19, 2011 then buried on Rocky Butte. The location of Yashanee’s body was not identified until July 15, 2011 after delays by the suspect’s counsel. In January 2013, the man responsible pled guilty to first first-degree manslaughter.
December 1, 2011
Julio Cesar Marquez, 13, was shot by two teenagers then bludgeoned to death with their rifle November 6, 2011. In May 2013, the two young men responsible pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter as well as unlawful use of a weapon in both this and another incident.
July 2, 2012
Mahanarye Noa, 5, was a victim of abuse and neglect sustained by his parents over time before his death on June 14, 2012. During a hearing in juvenile court the following week, a judge granted the state Department of Human Services temporary custody of the couple's three other children – two daughters, ages 7 and 2, and a son, age 6 – while the children were placed with relatives. In May of 2013, both of Mahanarye’s parents pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter for recklessly causing the death of their child.
June 5, 2013
An unnamed newborn girl was abandoned after her birth and found dead by an employee at EFI Recycling in North Portland on May 28, 2013. An autopsy indicated the infant was born alive and healthy days before the discovery. Later referred to as “Baby Precious” in memorials by police and community members, the infant’s death was investigated as a homicide. The Portland Police Bureau, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers of Oregon, is still asking for the public’s help and offering a cash reward for information to help solve this homicide. People can send information, including anonymous tips, by calling 503-823-4357 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and typing 823Help followed by the information. More info on this case here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=3991
November 6, 2013
Abukar Madey, 15, was shot and killed by another teenager near a Southeast Portland MAX Station October 11, 2013. An investigation later determined that the shooter Silvano Velasquez, 18, had acted in self-defense after Abukar pulled out a sawed-off shotgun. A grand jury indicted Velasquez on two misdemeanor charges – unlawful use of a firearm and tampering with evidence – to which he pleaded guilty in March 2014 and served a 90-day jail sentence.
April 2, 2014
Coltin Salsbury, 2, was thrown headfirst into a toilet by his mother’s boyfriend March 4, 2014 in a Southeast Portland motel room. Coltin died two days later from a fractured skull and other injuries. In October 2015, the man responsible pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and first-degree criminal mistreatment.
June 4, 2014
Mirabella Willard, 4, was shot and killed by her father who then killed himself in their North Portland home on May 8, 2014. Their bodies were discovered by Mirabella’s mother when she came home from work. An older daughter was not home at the time.
Lazaro Fuentes-Burgos, 16, was shot and killed inside a vehicle parked in the Cully Neighborhood of Northeast Portland on May 12, 2014. The Portland Police Bureau, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers of Oregon, is still asking for the public’s help and offering a cash reward for information to help solve this homicide. People can send information, including anonymous tips, by calling 503-823-4357 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and typing 823Help followed by the information. More info on this case here: http://www.crimestoppersoforegon.com/crime-stoppers-featured-case-14-18-lazaro-fuentes-homicide/
August 13, 2014
Krystal Mangus, less than a day old, died of methamphetamine intoxication and neonatal pneumonia on April 12, 2014, a direct result of the drug abuse and neglect of her parents. In December 2014, both parents were sentenced after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
September 14, 2016
Zachariah Luda Daugherty, 2, died from traumatic abuse sustained from his mother’s boyfriend August 16, 2016. A grand jury originally charged the boyfriend with felony murder, murder by abuse, third-degree assault and first-degree criminal mistreatment, amending those charges in November 2016 to aggravated murder by abuse, aggravated felony murder, felony murder, murder by abuse, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, third-degree assault and fourth-degree assault constituting domestic violence. This case is slated to go to trial July 2017.
Fallon Smart, 15, was killed by a reckless speeding driver as she crossed Hawthorne Boulevard in Southeast Portland on August 19, 2016. The driver faces elevated charges of first-degree manslaughter and reckless driving, among other charges. Our last update is that this case is proceeding through the courts.
November 2, 2016
Reginald Harris, Jr., 2, died of a lethal dose of methadone accidentally ingested while riding in his uncle’s car. Reginald's uncle was arrested and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter. Our last update is that this case is proceeding through the courts.
May 3, 2017
Janet Cortinas-Duran, 8, and Jasmine Duran-Cortinas, 11, of Portland were shot and killed by their father the night of April 11, 2017. The father later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before a confrontation with Gresham Police the early hours of April 12.
Shawn M. Scott Jr., 17, of Vancouver who was shot and killed in Holladay Park the afternoon of April 11. To date, three young men ranging in age from 17 to 19 have all been arrested in connection with this homicide and this case is proceeding through the courts.