The Documentary Podcast
Portland, prisons and white supremacy - part two
Thursday, 8 October
The second part of this two-part documentary continues the story of Portland, Oregon and its struggle with white supremacists.
Portland has a reputation as one of the United States’ most liberal and tolerant cities. Since the death of George Floyd, it has been at the forefront of protests and violence as anti-racist demonstrators and far right groups have battled with each other and with the police. Yet, in 2016, the killing of a young black man sparked a national debate about race hatred. Nineteen year old Larnell Bruce died after a white man called Russell Courtier drove his car at him. A trial for murder and a hate crime followed, and exposed a culture of white supremacy in Oregon, rooted in the state’s history and which endures today despite its easy-going image. In this two-part documentary for Assignment, Mobeen Azhar follows the trial of Russell Courtier and investigates the issues it exposed.
Part Two follows Mobeen as he leaves the courtroom to meet Portland’s white supremacists and find out how they operate. He discovers that violent gangs are thriving because of the very institution meant to prevent crime – the prison system. Then, it is time for the verdict.
(This programme was adapted for radio from the feature-length TV documentary, “A Black & White Killing: The Case That Shook America”, made by Expectation Entertainment.)
(Photo: Prisoner being escorted by guards. Credit: BBC)