In his press release, he stated that he witnessed actions by the Portland Police that rose to the level of what he termed "atrocities against humanity" and reminded everyone that Chief Kroeker said that the buck stops with him. On that basis, he demanded that Kroeker resign and that Mayor Katz be part of developing true citizens' oversight and review of police conduct.
After Alan Graf spoke, a number of people came forward to tell their stories. One was Don Joughin, the father of the children who were pepper sprayed 2nd and Alder. He showed photos of his children crying, faces red and swollen. Don told how he and his family were in the back, away from any direct protest and how police surrounded everyone, and would not let people leave, at the same time that other police were ordering people to disperse.
It is clear that these sort of tactics are intentional. They instigate trouble, cause a 'situation' and then use it to attack people with impunity.
As the police readied for violent attack on peaceful citizens, the man went to the police line and asked if he and his children could cross the line and get out of harms way. He was refused. He asked someone else, and was refused again. At that point the police started pepper praying people. One officer sprayed the man's wife and children from just a couple feet away with no regard for their safety or for the fact that they were doing absolutely nothing but standing there.
This is a systemic problem of a near police state -- not a few overzealous or sadistic cops.
Another person spoke up as a witness to the children being pepper sprayed. Yet another person told of being shot with rubber bullets 7 times. He showed all the bruises on arms, legs, and torso. He was also hit with a stick. He was knocked to the ground, and shot while lying there, obviously a great menace to everyone present while lying there. These are just a few of the many senseless acts of brutality by police against peaceful demonstrators.
After speaking with the press outside City Hall, Alan Graf, many of the press, and the 60 or so people who attended the press conference went up to Mayor Katz's office to speak to her. The Mayor was in her office but declined to speak to the people there. She obviously does not care enough about babies and small children being pepper sprayed by police to come out and talk to the father of those children. This sort of callous disregard for the citizens of this city show she is just there to cater to big business. Shame on her for refusing to speak to the father of those children. Shame on her for siding with police violence. Shame on her for supporting an environment of police state oppression and violation of Constitutionally protected civil rights.
A copy of the press release was dropped at each of the commissioners offices, and a few more questions by the press taken. Not a single City Commissioner found it important enough to be there. The mayor was there, but could not be bothered to get off her ass and show some basic respect for injured citizens.
Mayor Katz is a disgrace. It is time for Portland to have a Mayor who cares about the people of the city. Time also for true citizen oversight of the police, because they are way out of control and have come to believe they are above the law.