ThePortlandAlliance.org/police Police Updates
A Vigil for Keaton Otis
Audio evidence has Keaton Otis screaming, his are hands up. An officer shouts, “Let’s do it!” and three members of Portland’s anti-gang HEAT Team open fire... from the Keaton Otis Portal at The NW Alliance for Alternative Media & Education: http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/keatonotis
Police chases kill more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning — combined
This week Zachary Crockett of the Priceonomics blog highlighted some eye-popping statistics on high-speed police pursuits -- you know, the kind that you see on COPS, or that local TV crews chase using helicopters. Here are the numbers that really stand out to me:
Icons via OCHA and Eden Clairicia, The Noun Project
Crockett points to a 2007 study in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care, which found that these crashes take about 323 lives each year. To put it in perspective, that's more than the number of people killed by floods, tornadoes, lightning and hurricanes -- combined.
...But the most shocking thing is that innocent bystanders -- meaning people not at all involved with the chase -- account for 27 percent of all police chase deaths, or 87 deaths per year. This underscores a key fact that may seem obvious: high speed police chases are incredibly dangerous not just to the people involved in them, but to everyone who crosses their path. And given that many chases happen in urban areas, on densely populated city streets, the hazard to residents is high.
Given the high risk, you might assume that cops only give chase to the most violent criminals, in circumstances in which the hazards of a high-speed chase are outweighed by the risk posed by the criminals, right? But you'd be wrong.
Ninety one percent of high-speed chases are initiated in response to a non-violent crime.
... Most -- 42 percent -- involved a simple traffic infraction. Another 18 percent involved a stolen vehicle. 15 percent involved a suspected drunk driver.
So you can start to see the problem here -- is it worth risking life and limb, barreling through town at high speed to catch somebody who ran a red light? Or who failed to signal a turn? If a driver is drunk, does it make sense to engage him in a high-speed pursuit?
Questions like these are making some localities revisit their high speed pursuit policies. There's even a non-profit dedicated to the issue. Some companies are busy devising technical solutions to it as well.
But meanwhile, the drumbeat of fatal police accidents goes on.
Consult Hardesty & Hardesty Consult Hardesty Black Lives Matter Portland,
UO Black Lives Matter, Social Justice and Empowerment Matter,
6 Months Later-Black Lives Still Matter-The Uprising Continues-HANDS UP/
WE CAN'T BREATHE! (Rally, Die-in/Sing In-Reading the NAMES), Black Lives Matter
#BlackLivesMater Dont Shoot Portland #DontShoot #DontShootPDX thanks
Portland police officer resigned after testing positive for steroids, bureau report reveals
The Portland Police Bureau has completed a report containing
summaries of police misconduct cases reviewed by a Police
Review Board in June and December 2014. (The Oregonian/File)
"A Portland police officer tested positive for steroids during a random
drug test last February and resigned last spring, months before the
Police Review Board unanimously recommended that he be fired,
according to bureau documents released this month.
The officer is the second to have a drug test come back positive since
the Police Bureau started random drug testing in 2012. But the officer
who resigned is the first to do so after results showed evidence of steroids.
The only other officer whose test was considered positive was fired,
but not because of the presence of an illegal drug. That officer couldn't provide enough of a urine sample for testing, according to city officials.
In last year's case, the officer submitted a urine sample as part of the
random drug testing on Feb. 11 and the result came back positive for steroids. The Police Review Board recommended the officer be fired, f
inding he failed to adhere to a "contractual condition of employment.''
But the officer resigned April 23 before the recommendation. The bureau's report doesn't identify the officer.
The review board also recommended that the chief include "pro-hormone" substances in the bureau's drug abuse policy -- which prohibits any use on or off-duty of any non-prescription controlled substance -- and note that it is "incumbent on the officer to know what is inside'' a bottle.
But former Chief Mike Reese declined to follow that recommendation after consulting with the bureau's personnel division, according to the bureau.
A summary of the case was among 14 misconduct cases reviewed last year by the review board. The bureau's report doesn't identify the officers by name. The review board is an advisory panel that looks at police internal investigations, issues findings on police misconduct and recommends discipline.
Other cases reviewed last year involved an officer caught driving drunk while off duty; an officer who racked up multiple parking tickets on his personal vehicle that he had stripped of visible license plates and a legible Vehicle Identification Number; two officers who got into a fight with another man while off duty; and a supervisor who made repeated offensive sexual and derogatory comments about women.
Brief summaries of some of the cases reviewed follow, based on the bureau's report:
-- An officer resigned before the board ruled he was untruthful during an internal affairs interview regarding allegations that he inappropriately touched another bureau employee in 2013. The same officer failed to request an on-call child abuse detective to respond to a hospital where a child suffered serious injuries. The failure resulted in the inability to file charges in the case.
-- Officer James Escobar resigned before he was fired for repeatedly racking up parking violations on his personal car. He had removed its license plates and concealed its Vehicle Identification Number. He had incurred enough unpaid tickets that parking patrol ordered his car towed last year. While it was about to be towed, Escober, while on duty, drove up and asked the city employee if he could pay the tickets then to avoid his car being towed. The car was still towed, and Escober did pay the fines. The Police Review Board characterized Escober's actions as "arrogance and entitlement'' and recommended his termination. In a separate complaint, the board found Escober was rude and unprofessional when called to respond to a dispute on a TriMet bus between a passenger and the driver, and that he failed to hand his business card over to the complainant who had asked for it.
-- Officer Kent Scott was found to have violated bureau policy for driving drunk and speeding while off-duty on Southeast Division Street on last Feb. 18. Scott admitted to drinking six to eight shots of whiskey and three beers. But because the officer expressed remorse, four of five review board members recommended a one-week suspension without pay. The chief issued a one-week suspension without pay.
-- A supervising officer admitted to making "sexual and derogatory comments
regarding women" over the course of months. In one instance, he
was relating some kind of inappropriate personal anecdote in a room with
children present and defended himself by claiming he was using the story as a
"teaching moment." One board member couldn't conceive how it would have ever risen to a "teachable moment.'' While one board member suggested a demotion, citing the bureau's potential liability having a supervising officer with this on his record, the majority of the board suggested he be suspended without pay for 40 hours, which the chief upheld.
-- An officer made an inappropriate gesture and touched another employee while standing near the employee's desk, and was then untruthful about the encounter during an internal affairs interview. The officer resigned before the board recommended the officer be fired.
-- An officer asked another officer to run a credit check on a third party. The employee who was asked to conduct the check had concerns and alerted a supervisor. An investigation found the officer lied about the purpose of the credit check, fabricating a reason why it should be done when it was sought for personal reasons - for the officer's spouse. The board voted 3-to-2 to find that the officer was untruthful and recommended termination. The majority argued that police have a "heightened duty'' to be truthful, especially when it comes to the handling of sensitive personal information. The majority sustained the untruthfulness complaint based on a "preponderance of evidence'' standard. The chief issued an 80-hour suspension without pay instead, because the board didn't sustain the untruthfulness complaint under the more stringent "clear and convincing evidence'' standard.
-- Two off-duty officers who were with their families got into a scuffle with a man who had pretended to aim an imaginary weapon in their direction. The families went into a business, and one officer left to follow the man and confront him. Later, the man returned to the business and a struggle ensued at the door. The two officers ended up chasing, tackling and punching the man, and holding him until on-duty officers arrived. The board found the officers used unwarranted force and failed to de-escalate the encounter, and should have called 911. The majority of the board recommended both officers face 20-hour suspensions without pay, which the chief followed."
For the rest of the story: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/01/portland_police_officer_resign.html
9-year-old led away in handcuffs by Portland police prompts outrage, push for policy changes
Don Joughin comforts his eleven-month-old son after the infant was doused in pepper spray by one of Portland’s “Finest.”
“When they put the handcuffs on I thought, `Wait a minute, this has got to be a joke,’” recalled Latoya Harris, describing the arrest of her 9-year-old daughter last May. “The look on my daughter’s face went from humiliation and fear, to a look of sheer panic.”
At the time, the girl was wearing a bathing suit and a towel, still damp from running through a neighborhood sprinkler. She was taken away in handcuffs by officers David McCarthy and Matthew Huspek, fingerprinted, photographed, but never charged with a crime. She was held at police headquarters for an hour before her frantic mother — who didn’t have a car — could retrieve the girl from her captors.
The stated purpose of the visit was to investigate a playground fight that had taken place a few days earlier. The actual purpose of the arrest was probably to serve some depraved impulse on the part of the officers to assert their supposed authority over an intimidated but uncooperative child.
According to the Oregonian newspaper, Officer McCarthy — who, like others in his disreputable profession, fancies himself a mentalist of sorts — believed that the child wasn’t telling the truth in her account of the scuffle. His report characterized her statements as “vague,” and recalled that he observed her “breathing speed up,” an entirely appropriate response to the unwelcome presence of an armed and bellicose stranger.
...The Portland PD, which is under scrutiny by the Justice Department (for whatever good that would do), is notable for the tender solicitude its officers display toward vulnerable children. During a presidential visit by George W. Bush in 2002, police assigned to keep protesters caged in “free speech zones” unleashed a pepper spray fusillade against demonstrators who wandered beyond their pens. Among the victims was Don Joughin, who had brought his wife and three children to the event.
After the Jackboots had subjected the protesters to a caustic shower, Joughin turned to a Portland PD officer obstructing an exit and asked how he and his family could leave.
“He pointed and said to exit to the [northeast], into the spraying police opposite him,” Joughin recalled. Trapped between a panicked crowd and pepper spray-wielding assailants, Joughin pleaded with the officer to allow his family to pass.
“He looked at me, and drew out his can from his hip and sprayed directly at me,” testifies Joughin. His three-year-old son caught most of the blast. The Berserker then turned on Joughin’s wife and newborn son “and doused both of their heads entirely from a distance of less than three feet,” he recounts.
Reeling from the fumes and frantic to get help for his screaming child, Joughin tried to leave — only to find his family’s escape blocked at every turn by armored bullies who closed ranks and cut them off. The victims weren’t allowed to leave until someone in “authority” issued an order.
As Joughin and his family fled, one of the cops hurled a “Collateral Murder”-style taunt at their back: “That’s why you shouldn’t bring kids to protests.”
... Checkout the rest of this article at http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/never-let-your-kids-talk-to-the-police/
"The murders of Aaron Campbell, Keaton Otis, and James Chasse, Jr. have never been resolved. None of the officers who broke the law and violated Police Department Procedures have been charged, tried,or prosecuted for these crimes. We, the citizens of Portland, Oregon have paid millions for the crimes committed by PDX police officers, yet none of these officers have been disciplined. They continue to serve in spite of their crimes. The shootings of James Jahar Perez and Kendra James may have been forgotten by some, but we have yet to see accountability or justice."
But we all have a chance to make a difference.
2010 demands for police accountability in the wake of Aaron Campbell's homicide at the hands of police sniper Ron Frashour ... during a 'welfare check.' Similar turnouts followed the 2003 killing of Kendra James, prompting the formation of an AMA Coalition for Justice & Police Reform. Testimony on reforms will be taken — at Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAMIE VALDEZ -
Gang Enforcement Team officer Patrick Murphy -- after asking permission -- pats down a young black man who had been sitting in a parked car on Southeast 119th Avenue. Officer Brian Dale looks on. Frisking for weapons is expected to increase as Portlands new hot spot policing program puts more officers on foot in high-crime areas.
On a crisp, clear Thursday evening with the temperature outside hovering around freezing, Portland Gang Enforcement Team officers Brian Dale and Patrick Murphy pull their squad car to the curb on Southeast 119th Avenue. A black two-door Honda Civic is a good four or five feet from the curb — the result of either a horrible parking job or someone intentionally half-blocking the street.
As the officers walk toward the car, Murphy shines his flashlight inside and sees three young black men. They aren’t wearing gang colors or smoking dope. They’re just sitting, engine off. Dale and Murphy want to talk to them.
With Portland police rolling out the city’s new hot-spot policing program, the unfolding scene involving Dale and Murphy and the young men they are about to confront is a microcosm of what criminologists say might be the program’s defining moment.
The evidence is clear that done right, repeated, short police visits to high-crime areas reduce overall crime, says Franklin Zimring, a University of California, Berkeley law professor and author of “The City That Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control.” But what matters most, Zimring emphasizes, is what the officers do during those 15 minutes they are out of their cars and community policing.
In New York City, police officers in high-crime areas until recently routinely stopped and frisked pedestrians in their version of hot-spot policing. New York’s policy is under review after a U.S. District judge ruled it unconstitutional because African Americans and Hispanics were being searched at a higher rate than whites.
In rural Manhattan, Kan., a 2010 experiment showed that officers who simply parked their squad cars, exited and stood beside the cars for random 15-minute intervals a few times a day reduced crime.
Portland-style hot-spot policing will fall somewhere between the two Manhattan examples. Precisely how it plays out may determine whether hot-spot policing succeeds or fails here. more info:
From Roger David Hardesty on PDX "Police Reform"
Reese is a product of our electorate, through those we chose to govern. He serves at the pleasure of the Mayor. I got all excited when former Chief Ron Louie talked about 'culture change' when speaking on police accountability at an ACLU gig a couple months back ... as if he 'got it:' Executive leadership could follow a proven plan, with established benchmarks, to obtain improved performance. You gotta realize that leadership is a concept beyond the ken of Reese's employers. See the pattern. When Jo Ann (& I & others) pushed for a plan to address racial profiling, the Mayor Adams gang adopted one Chief Sizer drew up. The board adopted the plan, never implemented AND sat idle as the HEAT unit went into action, based solely on racial profiling.
While this next rubber- stamp gang thinks it's complying with reforms to civil rights violations - under the watchful eye of the DoJ - all parties permit a new stop 'n frisk campaign to roll out. If City Commissioners DO 'get it,' then we are faced with the prospect that successive administrations are actively engaged in race-based oppression. I prefer to think they are just weather vanes, blowing around and seeking to appease everyone but lady justice. It's not governance.
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