portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

community building | human & civil rights | police / legal

Arrested for Cop Watching Friday Night

Arrested for "Interfering with a Police Officer"
for standing 30 feet away and silently observing.
I was arrested for "Interfering with a Police Officer" on
Friday night while observing a cop giving a couple of kids a
hard time.

Here is the situation as I recall it.

Walking North on 21st with a friend I noticed two police cruisers parked in the parking lot of the convenience store on the corner of 21st and Division. As we approached I notice that the one cops attitude (two present) towards the two youths he was interrogating seemed to be overly aggressive, I stopped to observer.

Almost immediately after I stopped the cop turned his aggression towards me. He said something to the effect of "Is there something you want?" in a very angry tone.
I said no, that I was just observing. He then told me I had to leave, as he charged towards me. I said that I felt I had a right to stand there (at LEAST 35 feet away). He said that I would be arrested if I didn't leave. Not wanting to get arrested I said fine and asked for some identification. Specifically, I asked for a business card. He made some comment about his uniform being enough identification. I then started to object to this because I wanted his identification to file a complaint. I wasn't given an opportunity to finish this sentence because he had already thrown me against the car and was putting cuff on me.

Not only did I not refuse to obey his orders. I said that I would leave and asked for identification. (I said something to the effect of "OK, I'll leave" when he told me to depart or I will be arrested).

This cop is a loose cannon. His name is J. Letter. For that matter, he isn't a very good cop as cops go either. He searched me from head to toe (looking for drugs) including inside my hat and under the tongues of my shoes. Needless to say he didn't find any drugs, he also didn't find a hunting knife in a sheath on my belt easily reachable even while cuffed. The dumb ass put me in the car
with it on still. It wasn't taken from me until I told one of the Mult. county cops during the booking process that it probably would be a good idea to take such things from people they are arresting.

My court date is set for 5/15 at 1 P.M. They sent my case to community court where they are going to expect me to plead guilty, do 20 hours of community service and write an essay about what I did wrong. I'm going to plead not guilty and exercise my write to a jury trial.

Should be fun!!


If anyone has a good lead for an attorney, I could use one!!

 bayak@riseup.net
Not only did I not refuse to obey his orders? 20.Apr.2003 20:14

hhb

Not only did I not refuse to obey his orders?

yes you did.

you didn't leave, and gave him the third degree.

that is what you did wrong. was it against the law? well now you are going to get to find out.

at least you found out his name..

plus, good luck finding an attorney. unless you were injured in an accident, or have cancer from smoking Phillip Morris Cigarettes, you are going to have to defend yourself!

wtf? 20.Apr.2003 20:55

///

ok, cop apologist. refusing to leave and giving a cop the third degree is not only our right but our duty. can you just go back to surfing for pedophilic porn and leave the political discussions to people with mental capacities great than that of a pea?

hhb 20.Apr.2003 22:26

anonymous

I don't think hhb was being a cop apologist, he was just being really specific about what was described in the incident.

The kid shouldn't have been arrested. But he didn't "obey" the officer right away. That's all that hhb pointed out.

I think he was sincere in his wishes of good luck to the original poster. And so am I! He shouldn't have been arrested at all. But in court, if the prosecutor asks him if he obeyed the officer when the officer told him to leave, he will have to admit that he did not, whether or not it was his intention to do so after he got the officer's name.

One would hope that the officer could get in the same amount of trouble for not providing his name, but... that doesn't seem to be the America we live in these days.

no, I was being sarcastic. 20.Apr.2003 23:05

hhb

sorry, but I was being sarcastic.

No, he shouldn't have been arrested.

However, yes this guy should have done what the officer told him to do.

No, I'm not a cop applogist.

Yes, no attorney will take his case, and I doubt if he is found guilty of anything. it will likely be dismised.

And No, this is "America these days"

25 years ago or even 15 years ago, I have seen police do much the same thing. they believe and have been trained to always be in control of the situation. When in doubt, Arrest. Let the judge decide guilt.


One time I was at an outdoor gathering. (private property, if that matters to anybody).

the police where going to arrest a man because of a drunk and disorderly.

One guy in the crowd yelled at the cop "Hey, he didn't do anything". they cop yelled at the other cop, "Arrest him too!"

both guys spend the weekend in the klink waiting for the judge to grant bail on Monday morning.

This was 1982. (not exactly post 9/11 Bush Facist Police state of today, huh.)

loose cannon? 21.Apr.2003 01:37

hmm

the cops i've seen in recent days are ALL loose cannons. something must be wrong beyond the level of the individual cop with attitude.

Word to Copwatchers 21.Apr.2003 04:08

WatchMan

Word to Bison and other "Cop Watchers". If you want to observe and gather information, do it from a distance with long lenses and "big ear" audio equipment. Write about your observations here and in other friendly forums.

I wasn't there, but what Bison did was cross the line between "observer" and participant. By the rules that the cops play by, that made him fair game for arrest.

Moral of this story: don't cross that line, or don't call yourself a Cop Watcher.

The WatchMan, still in the game and still cop watching.

Did I miss something? 21.Apr.2003 06:49

capsicum

I was taught in the few legal observing workshops I've attended that the magic words that *may* make you safer are: "How far away should I stand?" And to move to that place; To not engage in conversation while tensions are high, maybe ask after an arrest is happening, of either the arrestee or the cop, what the person is being arrested for, ask if there's anyone they would like you to call, try and get badge numbers, and at least the name of whoever is being arrested...and the supervisor's name...

Seems like a legal observer is different from a copwatcher, and yeah, sounds like copwatching needs to be done from a greater distance, especially if one is not trained on how to keep the cops believing they are in control of the situation and not threatened by your presence in any way.

Deescalation is another skill that is a plus when purposefully hanging around cops... Sounds like that wasn't being done here either...

Any other ideas others have gotten from copwatch/legal observing trainings that we might all learn from so we can safely provide mutual aid in these situations?

And what's the number for Rose City Copwatch? Will someone come and observe if that group is called? Is there a database forming there of reports to submit these sorts of complaints to so we can establish a pattern and hopefully pictures of the worst cops?

copwatchers 21.Apr.2003 08:57

hhb

You've got to be kidding me! People actually go to "workshops" to learn how to watch cops interact with people? Don't you have anything better to do than watch people you don't know get arrested and then question the cop who is arresting them. You most likely have no idea what is going on or you wouldn't have to start asking the cops any questions.
Sounds like "copwatchers" are not only a little too curious, but are willing to take the risk of getting arrested for something they cannnot control.

RE: copwatchers 21.Apr.2003 09:24

m/c j

<<Sounds like "copwatchers" are not only a little too curious, but are willing to take the risk of getting arrested for something they cannnot control. >>

Excuse, me? I was under the impression that the Police force are civil servants subject to the will of the people they serve. If in a FREE society these 'Peace keepers' are performing their duties as charged, then they should have no fear in the public observing. Afterall, "if they aren't doing anything wrong, what are they afraid of?"


BTW - Bison, next time you chose to 'observe', it would more than advisable that you do it unarmed. Also remember, you came on the scene late and you can't learn much of what preceded by being cuffed face down on the pavement [or where ever].

The wrong impression 21.Apr.2003 10:10

hhb

Your impression was wrong. Police are not subject to the will of the people. They are there to enforce the laws. They provide a service and are there to protect.
Cops aren't afraid of being observed. People who get arrested like to think that though after they are arrested for sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.
I'll bet if you stood across the street and didn't say a word you would be left alone.
If you really think the cops are bad why don't you hide and watch or videotape. Why go over and draw attention to yourself and possibly get arrested.

Brainwashed Police Staters 21.Apr.2003 10:22

CatWoman

Holy fucking shit. What is the MATTER with people? This guy (by the way, not a "kid"--but that's an interesting assumption) was exercising rights that Americans once had in this country. (At least, white americans had them.) He was observing the behavior of the paid government police force with regard it the citizens that police force is expected to serve and protect.

Police abuses have been rampant and well-documented of late. Without this kind of willingness to observe and document their behavior, this abuse will only escalate. Naturally, being held accountable for their actions is pissing them off.

Bison was arrested while ASKING FOR ID. By the way, the police are legally required to provide citizens with ID if and when asked. Not that they do, but it is still a requirement so far as I know.

I find it very interesting that several people have responded to this incident by blaming the person who was arrested, rather than the brownshirted thugs who illegally arrested him.

Perhaps hhb will be grateful for copwatchers when they show up at his/her door someday. Or, perhaps all the copwatchers will be in jail by then....

Good where he stood 21.Apr.2003 10:39

yElp

Actually spoke to cop watchers that do it a lot.

Dont stand far away. Its really bad. ive had friends who stood far away and the cop used it against the guy he was arresting. Told the man that the copwatcher was an informant. The cops will use whatever they can, to do whatever they want to. Be aware of there tactics and cop watching isnt that bad. Otherwise..? Expect some jail time.

so much to teach you guys 21.Apr.2003 10:49

hhb

Police are not required by law to give you their I.D. Show me the ORS number for that and I'll admit I was wrong.
As far as blaming the person who was arrested, why not? He was charged with a crime. Obviously it was more likely than not he was obstructing the police otherwise they could not have arrested him. It's called probable cause. We blame people accused of crimes all the time. What's different about the dumb-shit who challenged the police and got what was coming to him?
And, they wear blue shirts not brown.

stand close? 21.Apr.2003 10:57

hhb

Standing close doesn't sound like it has a whole lot of advantages. Unless getting tossed in the pokey is an advantage.

portland police ARE REQUIRED to provide ID 21.Apr.2003 11:27

anonymous

Couldn't find the statute, if any, but Portland police are required to provide name and ID number (in the form of a business card) upon request:

 http://www.portlandpolicebureau.com/PDFs/policy.pdf

See section 312.50.

That is not legal 21.Apr.2003 11:33

hhb

What you have is the Portland Police Bureaus book of Rules and Regulations. That is not a legal binding. It is simply the rules and regulations they are to follow. There is no criminal code that requires them to give someone their name.
If they don't give you their name all you could do is file a complaint with the independent review board. Have fun with that!

got training? 21.Apr.2003 11:40

.

copwatching is one tool the community can use to keep the police accountable. it's an activity that should not be done alone, and there are some techniques for copwatching to make it safer and more effective.

contact rose city copwatch if you're interested in learning how to copwatch safely. they give really excellent trainings.

 info@rosecitycopwatch.org

Wrong again, hhb 21.Apr.2003 12:03

Observer

Obviously, hhb is wrong again. The Policies and Procedures manual is, in fact, "legal binding." This outlines the policies and procedures that the portland police are to follow. Don't think so? The police will have fun in court explaining why they didn't follow their own policies and procedures manual in this or any other case. You see, the courts frown on any state agency that deviates from standard practice in order to discriminantly abuse some of its citizens.

Additionally, some readers of this cite who have been targeted by the police lately might be interested in ORS 181.575:

181.575 Specific information not to be collected or maintained. No law enforcement agency, as defined in ORS 181.010, may collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct. [1981 c.905 8]

Note: 181.575 was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 181 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

What? 21.Apr.2003 12:15

annony

Help me out here.
People call the police when they need help, right?
So, with that in mind, why should watching cops not be done alone? Are you putting yourself in danger by watching them?
When people hear things that go bump in the night they call the police, right? Why do they do this? I presume to make themselves feel safe.
Why do you have to be trained to be safe?
I would think that being around a cop is about the safest place you could be.
I guess that may not be the case if your ultimate goal is not to merely watch the police but to somehow let your presence be known to them. (or to try and intimidate them.)
I would think you could call the police or simply ask a cop what is acceptable conduct when you want to watch what they do.
You could also go on ride alongs with the police. This way you could actually be with them and see and understand what they are doing. You wouldn't just be coming up on them and seeing what is happening after the fact.
Just a thought.

not wrong 21.Apr.2003 12:28

hhb

I would be happy to admit I was wrong, but we were talking about things that were, "legal." It is not "illegal" for a police officer not to give you his ID. Are you going to sue him/her for not identifying themselve to you? That won't go very far.
The department says in it's manual that a police officer is required to give his/her ID, but it simply is not a legal requirement.
Police follow the Rule and Regulations and will be indemnified against lawsuits by the city when they are followed. This really only comes up when the officer is sued for some reason in civil court, or in cases of civil rights violations when prison time could be incurred by the officer if found guilty.
But to say the officer is going to do hard time for not handing out his business card is not going to happen.
Also, different departments have different rules governing what they can and cannot do, so every situation is going to be a little different depending on what department you are dealing with.

As far as the compiling of data on people...that is old news. everyone knows that by now.

hhb cointelpro? 21.Apr.2003 12:55

Rollie

or just a dork? the law requires a police officer to have his/her badge number and/or name displayed or provide it when asked.

hhb seems determined to derail that discussion by turning that into a cop "giving his ID." we're not asking for the cop's fucking driver's license, idiot.

btw hhb: you've switched your tone so many times on this string, it's evident you're more than one person or have a personality disorder.

Solid 21.Apr.2003 12:59

salaud

I am really hopeful that copwatchers who are arrested will fold into the already growing cases against police brutality and other lesser abuses.

I support whomever was arrested (Note they didn't give their name) 100%.

It is brave and necessary to copwatch and put one's self into harms way. But, I think it will SO MUCH MORE effective if a good criminal and civil lawsuit is brought against the department and officer. Staying in and fighting it until its completion. Perhaps some of the hippie lawyer crew would be interested in fighting this?

If enough cases mount up AND ARE ACTUALLY FOUGHT...this will make a difference. In the end....its just dollars and cents to the justice system. If we have nothing to lose...

i upset mr. rollie 21.Apr.2003 13:03

hhb

It seems that you didn't read all the comments because Catwoman clearly said that police are required to provide "ID."
Now, if you want to be testy, you should really read before you post anything here. I was simply trying to reply to an erroneous statement.
Your use of four letter words to get your point accross tells me something about yourself.

what is up with that guy? 21.Apr.2003 15:27

bored with him already

Subtitles for hhb:

Puh-LEES off-i-suhrs ahr re-QWI-erd to iy-DENT-if-y them-selves to siv-ILL-yuns.

Do you now understand? Get it? Do ya? Hmmm? Cuz like, we're all getting kinda tired of your obtuse ramblings. Go read some law books or something and leave it for now.

10% of the law is statuatory 21.Apr.2003 15:52

anonymous

hhb-

10% of the law is statuatory.

There is also no statute requiring cops to read suspects their Miranda rights, but that makes it no less legal for them to ignore that.

to annony 21.Apr.2003 16:02

CatWoman

Alas, annony. That's the way it once was, for white people in the suburbs, anyway. Once, we could imagine the police were our friends, there to call on in the event of an emergency. What could be safer than a police officer? IF children were lost, parents instructed them to find the nearest police officer and ask for directions. If one was being followed, or made to feel uncomfortable in any way, one sought assistance from a cop.

Things have changed, annony. Now, the cops beat us in the streets, stalk us, throw us in dungeons. Last week, a man was arrested for holding a sign on the sidewalk in Portland. A crowd of people was pepper sprayed for standing on a sidewalk. A woman was tortured with pepper spray while police officers laughed. Last month, people were assaulted with nightsticks for sitting in the street holding candles. Last summer a crowd of peaceful, ordinary citizens was assaulted with sticks, chemcial weapons, rubber bullets, and police cars for protesting the bush visit. No one has been safe from police aggression in this city for at least a year. Not even babies. It's not like it wasn't always that way for some Americans, but most of us could imagine otherwise.

The fact is, the police have always been part of the capitalist system that preys off the people. Their job is to protect the wealthy from the poor, to protect the property of the propertied, to keep the "riff raff" from asserting their rights.

We didn't really see it this way, though, because capitalism had not reached such depths as it has in recent years. Suddenly, all the illusions are dropping away: No, we don't have democracy in America; Yes, it takes money to buy one's way into the presidency; No, the police are not your friends.

Cops are notorious for abusing their authority. They are equally notorious for having a tight-knit fraternity where cover-ups and protection of their own interests are the norm. Violate that norm, and they target you. People known to copwatch are routinely harrassed. And calling them on their abusive behavior is often rewarded with threats and intimidation. The person who filmed police officers beating 16 year old Damon Chavez as he was handcuffed knew this. As soon as he got the shot, he ran from the scene and ditched his footage with a friend. It wasn't long before they came looking for him and his footage. If he had been clueless about the true nature of the thin blue line, America would never have known about this particular incident of abuse.

Believe it or not, one doesn't have to be doing anything remotely illegal to be arrested in this town. Ask the family whose 10 month old baby was pepper sprayed by police without provocation last summer. Ask Randy Lyon, the KATU news crew engineer who was assaulted by the police as he worked near the KATU van. He wasn't doing anything wrong when he was hit repeatedly in the head by one of Portland's finest.

Ask William Ellis. He was standing on a Portland sidewalk last month when a police officer ran up to him and demanded his ID. Since this is America, Ellis was not obligated to identify himself unless he was being arrested or detained. Since he had done nothing to warrant being arrested or detained, he asked the officer why he needed to identify himself. Without explanation, the officer threw Ellis to the ground, smashed his face repeatedly into the sidewalk, pepper sprayed him while he was handcuffed and not resisting in any way, and hit him in the head with a metal cannister. Ellis was then carted off to jail. Again, he had not broken the law. This was all well documented by copwatchers with video cameras. (See why copwatching is necessary? See why the cops don't like it?)

It's nice to think police officers can be held to a higher standard than most armed thugs. It's nice to think they're the people we can count on to help us out, and not assault us. It's nice, but it's inaccurate.

Copwatching is a dangerous but necessary pursuit precisely because the police are highly armed and wield an enormous amount of power over "ordinary" citizens. They need to be watched to prevent them from abusing their authority, their weapons, their power over the rest of us.

information 21.Apr.2003 16:21

BB

Where to begin - First, I am a cop and I welcome anyone to watch me work. I will be more than happy to provide my business card per policy. The exception being if the providing of my name impairs the performance of my police duties (policy and procedure handbook or on the web). I do not pretend to second guess the individual arrested or the cop who arrested him, but I would agree with one writer who suggested doing a ride along. It is a good way to see how a situation begins and ends. As a cop, I would suggest standing away from the "incident" until an individual is in custody and in the back of a patrol car or until the individuals leave the area. A situation can change instantly, and I can't afford to take my attention away from the people or person I am dealing with. I guess it comes down to common courtesy. There is a time and place for everything.

BB ... Agreed! 21.Apr.2003 17:54

me

"I guess it comes down to common courtesy. There is a time and place for everything."

A time and place indeed.

And, I'd like to suggest, even more than common courtesy (should some person choose to reject that notion in their zeal to insist upon their "rights") ought to come a certain amount of common sense.

Butting in with a confrontational, smart ass attitude during an arrest in progress probably isn't the most effective tactic someone might choose.

to BB 21.Apr.2003 17:56

CatWoman

Hello officer. Are you reading this as part of your duties? Or is this off-duty interest? Just curious. Wouldn't want to think the site is being monitored, contrary to ORS 181.575 or anything....

Actually, maybe you can enlighten me on several things. I am acquainted with several other police officers and ex-police officers, who have expressed agreement that the Portland PDX has been acting atrociously lately. Do you agree? Can you explain their behavior? Personally, I have already stated my thoughts about your job in general, but have found that not all of the people who become police officers are asses. So nothing personal. It's just, as I have said, your job is about fascism.

As for your comment on whether you would identify yourself to someone who asked, this is interesting. I'm pleased that you haven't jumped to the defense of the officer involved in this incident and made the blind assumption (that hhb made) that bison must have had the arrest coming. Because obviously, in this case, the officer had plenty of time to indentify him/herself. If s/he had the time to leave the suspect and wander over to where bison was standing, "at least 35 feet away," then the situation could not have been that demanding.

Are you a portland police officer, BB? If so, what on EARTH is going on with you guys? Arresting people for jaywalking? Obviously politically motivated. Arresting people for standing on sidewalks? Arresting people for copwatching? What's up with all the pepper spray? How do you feel when you go home at night, after beating and spraying your neighbors all day? Do you recognize that they are, in fact, your neighbors? Or do they seem like some distant "other"? Are they "the enemy" while you work? So many questions. I'm just trying to understand all this. This city has become a police state overnight. Do you feel good about that? Do you see what I'm saying?

I'm not trying to put you on the spot, BB. It's just that most of your colleagues refuse to communicate with the lowly populace. I've tried to ask them these questions while they stare me down at protests. But they just stand there, protected by all that padding and plastic and space age armor, as mute as the robots they so closely resemble. I'm honestly interested in the perspective you might share. Since, as I've said, I know police officers, and I know some of them go into this line of work to do good deeds, I'm wondering how it feels to realize your job duties aren't really as noble as they seemed when you first went off to the academy?

Hi BB 21.Apr.2003 18:41

Anonymous

BB, thanks for posting. Sometimes the fact that cops are people too can be lost around here. It is good to hear your view of things, and your emphasis on courtesy is important.

Disobedience to the Government 21.Apr.2003 18:47

Molly Stanton

Mr. Policeman was an embodiment of America. Disobedience to him is same as disobedience to the law and to His Excellency the President.

You committed a crime of treason and lese majeste.

To CatWoman 21.Apr.2003 19:33

BB

I am off duty and I visit this site on a regular basis. I do my best not to take the postings personally. Believe it or not, I feel I can learn something from viewing the various comments.
You have obviously had bad experiences with the police and have developed your own views of what police work is all about. I spend the majority of my time taking 911 calls. And to answer your question, I feel police work is very noble. I feel great going home at night knowing I arrested somebody who beat the crap out of their spouse or arresting somebody who just committed a robbery. I feel good about it even though there are people in the general population who want to spit in my face (which I have had happen on several occasions) or call me all types of names. I put up with a lot of abuse because I know it is a necessary job and it just takes that one time when you know you are helping someone who needs your help to make it all worth it.
Getting back to the original posting, I can't debate the arrest with you because I was not there or I have not heard from both sides. Sorry to disappoint you.
You commented on many issues which would require a lengthy conversation in order to discuss them all and I would be more than happy to get together with you and discuss them. For the time being, I would ask you not stereotype police. It is a difficult job which could ultimately end our life. Please don't take that lightly. I know I don't. Thanks

Good Cop Bad Cop 21.Apr.2003 20:57

insert name here

I'd just like to thank BB, the police officer, for writing respectful and intelligent posts. I have family in the police force, and while i usually don't agree with a lot of what they do, they are still people. You probably couldn't spot them on the street (i've had experiences with people talking about VERY illegal things right in front of my cop family member while she was off-duty); you'd just think they were another person, which is exactly what they are. We need to remember they are not the enemy- a lot of them are working class and are facing just as many ecconomic problems that we are. Just because they are police doesn't mean they agree with the governments policies. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar... Back to BB, i think it's awesome that you are exposing yourself to different points of view, which is allot more than can be said for the general public or some indymedia readers, for that matter. Please remember that while allot of us disagree with what you do, and may make your life a little harder, most of us don't hate you. to those on indymedia- remember that all cops aren't bad people. You just don't read about the good cops on the front page, because that doesn't draw the sensationalist mass media's target audience.

We hear about some good ... 21.Apr.2003 21:43

me

In the heat of current events, we tend to forget it, but we did hear about a lot of heroic police and firemen in NYC when the twin towers fell.

Here at home, we hear about officers like Damon Coates.

We also hear about relatively low key stuff like holiday charity drives, toy and joy, etc ...

Why, we even hear about military reservists risking, and sometimes losing their lives in rescue operations. For example, trying to save trapped hikers with BlackHawk helicopters on Mount Hood.

And all the stories of Coast Guard rescues on the coast.

In fact, a whole lot of good stuff.

Perhaps our perspective could improve? Maybe we should do a better job of remembering all the stuff, not just that which angers us.

I will never forget 21.Apr.2003 22:48

sorry

I will never foget the kindness of the police person that intervened between me and my abusive partner. I will never forget the police person that hit me in the hand (would've been my face) on Aug.22. I will never forget the people that were hurt with pepper spray since then. I know that the police that want to do good are never on the front lines of a protest/action. They are somewhere else. Where, I don't know. I'm trying not to hate police, but, I don't see any of those around here.

copwatch #503-321-5120 21.Apr.2003 23:42

alex

cat woman said most of it for me...

However, I do think that it is important that we do not stereotype cops. It is important because they are human beings. While it is true that this type of position can attract people who are angry and into power and control, there are also some who are community minded and choose this job to be helpful. Secondly, I feel that the police who are angry are so quick to judge, blame, and stereotype. As angry as I am with recent police actions on myself and others, it is important that I am not also stereotyping.

to bb, I think it is great that you are OPEN to discussing -there is lots of writing room, so go for it. Not all cops who come on to this site are as respectful, I have read a lot of threatening, blaming, judging, and sometimes downright abusive stuff from people claiming to be cops.
When I see the aggression on the street and then here, it is really difficult for me to not stereotype, but I refuse to put myself on their level.

Response to BB 22.Apr.2003 00:23

Bison

Hello BB,

Had you been the person
I had stopped to watch, it would have probably been a very
cordial conversation where I explained what I felt was wrong. You would have given me your card and I would have either filed a complaint, or forgotten the whole thing if I felt you where being responsive to my concerns.

I don't stop and watch every time I see a cop stopping someone. I had a reason for stopping in this situation,
the cop was agro when we passed them on the street and
I was concerned about his conduct.

I did not intend to intimidate this cop while he was working. I stood about 30 feet away and placed myself on the other side of the police cruisers while keeping myself in complete view. I keep silent. I intended to ask for his information when he was done. The SECOND I stopped walking he turned his aggression on me. He clearly did not want me to see what he was doing. I never raised my voice; in fact, I was allowed to say very little.

When he asked if he could help me (again, very aggressive and clearly antagonistic). I replied that I was just observing. I WAS observing, I don't dispute that. That shouldn't threaten him unless he was doing something he didn't want me to observe.

When he told me to leave or I would be arrested I said I would do that (even though I believed I had a right to be there) and asked for his name and a business card (I specifically asked him for his card) and I would be on my way. When he wouldn't give it to me I protested and say that he was obligated to per PPD policy. I didn't get to finish this sentence, he was cuffing me.


BB, if you truly compose yourself in the manner you describe, I'm not likely to ever stop and observe you.
Whereas I don't like the concept of a police force, I do not blame individual police officers for this. I know people that work as cops that are in the work because they
truly believe they can do good there. Some of them actually do. Whereas I applaud your commitment to justice, I feel it is misguided. Police do stop drunk fucks from beating their wives, children from being kidnapped, etc. that can't be denied. However, they are also enforcing a strict obedience to popular culture. If you don't want to be part of a capitalist economic system and are vocally advocating its demise, you are a target of police repression. BB, the dirty fact about your job is, your not only stopping morons from
operating motor vehicles while intoxicated and responding to assault and battery calls, you are also charged with suppressing dissent.

While I was in the jail being booked I had an opportunity to speak to several of the other people being booked in. ALL of the women where there for victimless crimes (Prostitution and drugs) and 10 of the 12 males where also there for such offenses. These are political prisoners. There incarceration is no less political than being arrested for observing the conduct of a cop. Here you are enforcing the morals of popular culture. If you don't fit there concepts of personal morality, then you are to be punished.

BB, these are the truths of your job. I am always, therefore
suspicious of what you are doing even know what you may be doing at the time may actually protect life.

Peace.

all prisoners are political prisoners 22.Apr.2003 09:59

sonking

It could be argued that all prisoners are pliotical prisoners right? I mean its interesting how our government disagrees with murder unless THEY are doing it under the guise of war, or rape unless THEY are doing it to our forests, or theft unless THEY work for Haliburton or Enron. How is it that peaceful protesters get sprayed in the face with cayenne (or whatever that shit is), and then THEY are the ones that get punished. And then it becomes this big discussion whether an observer has the right to ask for ID? Give me a break. The priorities when it comes to protection in this country are so fucked up. Whose rights are they protecting when they beat my ass, cuff me, and then pepper spray me? All the while hiding behind riot masks and without visible identification. Police officers ARE people who sign up and decide to take an inherently violent job, enforcing racist, classist laws that have put 12 percent of black males in jail. You have a choice when you become an officer, and you should be held accountable for your violent choice of careers.

is bb that impressive? 28.Apr.2003 22:27

reader

I wasn't that impressed with BB. He dropped the ball on all the good, and spoken from the heart points that catwoman made. He just told her he would be happy to meet with her some other time--as if that would happen, especially since he did not leave contact information--and basically left her hanging. What a "cop out!" I cannot stand these irresponsible government types who don't want to answer for their actions, but feel their salaries need to keep rolling in indefinately...

Portland Cops are hired thugs. 18.Feb.2004 05:19

M. Marsh

There has been an increase in violence by police in Portland. How many Kendra James' will there have to be before a federal investigation is conducted? I do not consider Officer Scott McCallister armed and dangerous. . .I consider all Police armed and dangerous and potential killers. Is it any wonder why people act nervous when dealings with police?
Whose to say the cop doesn't have an itchy trigger finger. Not only do I consider police armed and dangerous. . .I dare say they should be considered
domestic terrorists.