Headless torsos in Portland courtroom evoke lynchings, critics say


Critics call them “dummies” that epitomize racial insensitivity. The prosecutor’s office calls them “body form trial displays.”

They’re three headless plastic torsos hanging from a metal coat rack in a Multnomah County courtroom.

Each one displays the shirt and pants worn by three African American defendants accused in a fatal shooting. Each set of clothes has a photo attached showing the defendants.

Critics say prosecutors shouldn’t be using the display during the ongoing jury trial, given the nation’s hateful history of lynchings.

Some have taken to social media after civil rights attorney Juan Chavez tweeted commentary and a photograph of the prop.

“Call me new fashioned, but trying three African American men in the United States while three dummies with each of their pictures…

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