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Post from Portland Police Officer About the Use of Force

Anonymous PPB post about the use of force.
I imagine there will be conclusions drawn that there were errors in the Kendra James shooting and the officer is not completely guiltless. See the link above about police shooting. I have said before that I am keeping an open mind on the case and allowing myself to learn from it.

So far, what I have learned is extremely frightening, and have considered reconsidering this job (notice I have not actually reconsidered this job yet, though).

I am concerend that I may be forced to shoot someday. I have already been involved it 3 shoot/don't shoot situations. Here they are:

1) I had merely 7 months on the department at the time when I approached the sliding door of a minvan after complaints that this van was associated with people causing a noise disturbance at a party. When I came around the side of the van, partner on the other side, there was a group of 6 people in the van. The one seated closest to me had a .357 revolver in his hand that he was either a) tring to stuff into his pants to hide or b) tring to pull out of his pants to shoot me with. He appeared about 16 and obviously a gang member.

Knowing that he could raise that gun to my head at a range of 3 feet and pull the trigger before I'd have time to react, what do you do? Would I be justified in shooting him immediately, even if he was actually trying to hide the gun rather than shoot me with it?

I put my own life at great risk. I drew my gun and told him to put his hands up. He dropped the gun and put his hands up. Had he decided to shoot me, I'd probably be dead right now, but as it turned out, he was only trying to hide the gun. Afterwards, I've tried to imagine the newspaper articles, the distrust that would be generated because a white policeman killed a hispanic man.

2) 8 months on the department, I received a call from 7-11 clerk that 2 black men had just been in his store. From a distance of 50', the 2 men had been in the parking lot and one lifted his shirt revealing a shiny metallic object in his wasteband. The clerk was convinced it was a chromed gun and called police.

My partner and I discovered the 2 men 2 blocks from the store. We exited our car and went to gunpoint, ordering both to put their hands up. The man I was responsible to cover didn't put his hands up, he immediately drove his left hand into his sweatshirt pocket and pulled out a metallic object. Gun or no gun? Does this man not want to be arrested and would rather try to shoot me and my partner to evade capture? Why else would he dive into his pocket like that?

I gave it an extra second, at a perceived great risk to myself. He put his hands up and showed me he simply had a metallic Motorolla flip phone. Why did he feel he needed to get his phone out before he put his hands up? I didn't tell him I thought he had a gun, he just assumed it and pulled it out. Again, imagine the headlines. White cop kills an unarmed black man in North Portland.

3) I have 13 months on when 2 white men were assaulting a woman at an apartment complex. I arrived and the fight was over, but both men were obviously high on something and very agitated. I took cover behind a dumpster and drew my weapon and waited for cover. I began a series of commands, ordering one man at a time to put their hands up. They refused and paced wildly. One was not wearing a shirt. He decided he wanted to go back into his van which he was standing next to. He reached over the seat, maybe where a gun could be stashed, but pulled out nothing. He ignored all my commands and went to sit on a nearby porch, still within my view. The second was wearing a sweatshirt. He finally dove into his sweatshirt pocket in a way in which he appeared to be reaching for a gun. He was completey uncooperative. He pulled out nothing. I believe he was trying to toy with me and frighten me. It worked, but I didn't shoot. Finally more cover arrived and we got them into custody without further incident. I imagine the headlines....there isn't one because a white cop shot a white man, even though he was unarmed.

Now, especially because of the latest department shooting, my watch has had roll call discussions about not letting the possibility of major backlashes from the community affect decisions to use lethal force. Why?

Suppose I come across that person who really does want to do me harm. What if he is a minority? What at if the moment of decision I hesitate because I worry about what the community may think? Have I not considered everything or done everything I can to prevent a deadly force situation? And suddenly, BANG! An officer falls over dead leaving behind loved ones. And why? Because he wondered what the community might think. He died trying to avoid a community backlash. Noble or stupid?

And what if it isn't me who dies, but my partner, or some other inncocent person.....because I hesitated?

It is a real concern for me that I may hesitate because I am worried I may end up a community pinata.

If you haven't been exposed to this type of insight, take a few moments and place yourself in the shoes of an officer trying to make the decision. You can use the 3 scenarios I posted above if you can't develop your own. Change them around. Make the bad guy really a bad guy who wants to hurt you. Consider that you are not John Wayne and would not be able to shoot the gun from the hand of the bad guy. Consider that you may be so frightened that you may even miss the first shot you take, let alone shoot a leg.

See how the outcry of the community could cause the unfortunate side effect of the death of officers by forcing them to reconsider the shot that may have saved their lives.

there are at least two sides or more to a story 01.Jul.2003 22:14

comment

To expect that there will never be an occasion where a police officer kills an individual is, as the world is currently constituted, an unreasonable expectation. I appreciate the anonymous poster's comments and would hope that the Portland community can move beyond the us-versus-them stereotypes that seem to spring too easily into complex interactions among humans enacting very different roles. I do not mean that any one side is right and another wrong. I doubt the world has ever actually been that simple. I just appreciate the encouragement to look at the world through the eyes of someone who is asked to put her/his life on the line for us.

Thank you 01.Jul.2003 22:17

MCP

Thank you.

You should also mention the dangers of domestic disputes as well.
I hear those are the most dangerous.

What self-pitying Bullshit 01.Jul.2003 23:10

Grow UP

What this heartrending apologist for Police Terror refuses to understand it that you pigs (and yes, that is what you are) have the full force of the American state on your side. You have the guns, the pepper spray, and the so-called Criminal Justice system to back your brutal asses up.

You whine and you cry about how you might become a "community pinata" for capping somebody or that some white boy shot by a white cop doesn't get any media coverage.

Pull your head out of your ass, in this racist America, people of color are disproportionately targetted by the Blue Terrorists and invariably their deaths will be minimized and rationalized away by your phony free press. If the local media and Portland government show "concern" about this issue it is only as a self-serving political move to preempt any outrage and anger that might arise from the acts of their executioners.

Don't believe for one second that the Portand establishment and White America in general aren't nervous over any potential flashpoint that might give the spur to freedom struggles and uprisings similar to ones that have occured in Benton Harbor.

You may get sympathy from clueless Liberals like the two posters above or from the White community in general (after all, these are the people whose interests you represent), but you will get nuthin' but retribution and justice from everyone else.

I Used to Meet Officers... 01.Jul.2003 23:31

Cop Out

...that claimed to have spent decades on the force without ever unholstering their sidearm. What's more, they were proud of that fact. I can't imagine the bullies that I have seen intimidating and attacking the public around Portland for the last couple of years, would consider this to be an achievement- but I do. There are too many cops abusing the law, seemingly for their own entertainment, to get much sympathy here. Chief Wiggam looks to Israel for leadership and it shows.

officer safety top priority 02.Jul.2003 00:17

where's the justice?

I'm appalled that the only concern after each scenario is about what the headlines might say -- not that the officer might have taken a life. If you can't take the heat of public scrutiny, then don't be a public employee granted the right to use deadly force. What the community wants is for officers to use caution but not at the risk of unarmed citizens. As officers, you assume a risk of danger and possibly a loss of life. Other citizens do not assume such a risk. Officers have no right to be so concerned about their own safety that they would kill unarmed citizens as a "just in case". I, too, have met long term officers who have proudly stated they never drew their service weapons and they were street cops their entire career. What's wrong with present day cops that their emphasis is on officer safety? If that's the case, we citizens are at risk by the very people who used to serve and protect us. What's wrong with using alternatives to deadly force or hesitating to kill someone because the metal object might not be a gun? Why doesn't it bother you to take a life?

Anger 02.Jul.2003 01:45

Z

Damn you guys are angry!
Let me say right out of the gate I posted the officers writing, yes me a felon which makes me a known criminal and i'm a medical marijuana patient, oh my.
Let me tell ya a story real quick.
I was setup by cops, and the system and by a blood thirsty DA in a small town with nothing better to do but try and prosecute rocks for loitering. I was looking at 17 years and had to go through some serious BS and it continues. And yes I am pissed.
What do you guys have to be pissed at?
I found a cop shop website and thought I'd have a field day causing chaos and all the good stuff that goes through one mind in my position. The whole time I was mostly treated with respect even had light hearted jokes directed at my pot smoking.
Well, I see the same respect is not found here. And that's a shame.
I posted so give me shit. This cop didn't shoot anyone give him a break.

Why are you so paranoid? 02.Jul.2003 03:25

Skwirl

When you guys are out there doing your job and preventing murders and violence, I think you're the best. When you're risking your ass saving people's lives, I wonder in awe about how the heck somebody could be so selfless.

The problem is, it seems like you spend more time enforcing petty vice laws and nitpicky nuisances than actually helping people. This isn't just some radical anarchist punk's feeling on indymedia, this is a very common feeling within the community.

So, here's the thing, you guys seem to nitpick a heck of a lot worse on the poorer communities and, thanks to our country's legacy of racism, these poorer communities are mostly populated by ethnic minorities. I'm pretty sure that an unarmed white guy getting shot by a white cop is very newsworthy and I doubt any of my journalism professors would disagree with me. The reason you don't see it in the newspapers is probably because it's just not happening. Either that, or the richer communities are too apathetic and disconnected to stand up and protest when one of their own gets gunned down.

You've decided to put your life on the line for a greater cause. I can't express how much I admire you for that. It's true that an armed suspect has the element of surprise on their side, but you've got body armor, training, backup and experience on your side.

I find it very scary indeed that public servants are so dismissive of the community's sentiment.. If you're not protecting and serving our interests, the interests of the citizens of the United States, whose exactly are you serving? If your procedures are above democratic review, then your institution has no right to police a democratic society.

Police Image 02.Jul.2003 08:18

Den Mark

Part of the community problem experienced by police is caused by the fact that there are a few cops who should NOT be cops, & the police profession has a hard time admitting it & getting rid of them. It's like with teachers. The teaching profession has a hard time getting rid of terrible teachers, & the whole profession has to deal with the backlash. I, a blue-eyed blond male, have met cops who have no right to any authority beyond that of sno-cone maker. Yet there they are with their power trips, on the streets, bullying people. Good cops have to deal with the backlash. Also, Skwirl is right about petty shit enforced by cops, like not wearing seat belts or not quite coming to a complete stop at stop signs. That's petty shit, granted the fault of legislators & others, but petty nonetheless. A whole 'nother aspect to this is increased militarization of policing in the last decade or so. When i see robo-cops at peaceful protests & experience wholesale use of violence by cops, i do not admire the sick display of power. The police profession ought to look at itself in the mirror of honest self-policing & deal with its very real shortcomings. Till then, police will not have great public relations. And shouldn't.

Red Herring 02.Jul.2003 11:38

Detour

Hey, officer. Do you understand that the Portland Police Bureau is a fundamentally racist instituion? Until this becomes obvious to you, and to everyone else following this thread, you are part of the problem.

The answer to the problem as posed 02.Jul.2003 12:00

heimdallr

is very simple: do your job right. It appears that this officer (whether he posted the article, which I found quite interesting and worth reading, or not) exercised proper judgment in all of these situations and was thereby able to avoid unnecessarily using deadly force. If he continues to use good judgment in the future, then he has nothing to worry about. Why is the community expected to refrain from expressing their feelings about questionable use of force? A police officer's job is not P.R., it's to protect the community; as long as an officer does this properly, then 'community outcry' shouldn't be a problem.

Question for anonymous 02.Jul.2003 16:16

PP

Ok, so if you had shot one of these people in one of these scenarios, would you then have left them lying on the ground and walked away to your squad car like McCollister did, leaving her to die without attempting to render any aid?

Re: What self-pitying Bullshit 02.Jul.2003 17:48

Reality Check

I'm mostly with "Grow UP" on this one. However, I don't believe that the police directly represent the interests of the white community in general. The police directly represent the specific interests of the "corporate community".

As long as white people shut up, behave, and act as proper middle class consumers, they are in less immediate danger than people of color, the homeless, etc. As soon as white people become anarchists or dissidents, attempt to exercise their freedoms of speech or assembly--or try in other ways to make the world a better place--they become police targets.

The mistake in equating the white community with the corporate community comes from the successful brainwashing of most white people. They are taught to identify with their corporate oppressors. Much of this is done by their employers and the media. Take one little step out of line and find out what a yawning chasm exists between whites and reality.

... 02.Jul.2003 18:41

Tomcat

Excellent comments by Den Mark and Reality Check. They've hit the nail on the head.

Missing the point 02.Jul.2003 18:51

Insight

The posts here largely miss the point. This thread, like many others of a police nature, become a venting arena. It also proves that those that are posting are so closed-minded that they never want to understand what police do. It's easy to bash, much harder to honestly communicate.

Insight 02.Jul.2003 19:27

Reality Check

Police kill and repress at the behest of corporate america. That's what they do. If "insight" thinks that is mere ranting, fine. Killing is wrong. Consider me closed-minded on that topic.

To: Den Mark 02.Jul.2003 19:28

Kroeker's Fired

Great comment. That 'sno-cone maker' bit was hillarious!

to reality check 02.Jul.2003 20:02

proof

Killing is wrong? No, murder is wrong. Is it better to be killed than to kill? Why does the human body have a natural survival instinct? It is absolutely fine to kill someone to preserve your own life. There are countless laws in countries all over the world that support this. I can only think of one religion that prohibits this. You are hugely outnumbered by billions of people who believe differently.

This is what the whole Kendra James thing is about. Did the officer shoot Kendra to save his own life. Overwhelmingly, the answer is yes. The process in which Kendra and the officer got to the point where Kendra is shot is the debate. And Saint Kendra seems to have no blame.

God you're brainwashed 02.Jul.2003 20:41

--

There's "no doubt" the officer had to shoot Kendra to save his life? ... At most I'll grant his FOOT might have been at risk. Fuck off murderer apologists.

Murder is Wrong 02.Jul.2003 21:31

Reality Check

"Proof", since you are so knowledgeable, please explain how a bullet went into Kendra's hip and lodged in her armpit. Was she lying down when shot? What kind of threat to life is that?

While you're at it, maybe you can explain why McCollister was unable to squirt a can of pepper spray (one of the Portland Police's favorite and most often abused weapons), then unable to properly deploy a taser, then was miraculously able to whip out his handgun and kill her? That's a whole lot of stuff to be doing while "fearing for one's life". Does McCollister think he's Dirty Harry?

Kendra James was murdered. The officer's life never was in danger.

"Proof", your natural survival instinct appears to parallel that of the domestic dog. Presumably, you've been fed and patted on the head for your enlightened post.

Proof? 86 Proof, Maybe. 02.Jul.2003 21:50

Gollum

Proof, if you would bother to learn anything about this case, you would know that Scott McCollister's incompetence is the biggest threat to his life. Fact: He did not remove the keys from the ignition, standard police practice. Fact: He climbed into a moving vehicle. Fact: He can't figure out how to shoot a can of pepper spray. Survival instinct? Self-defense? Gilligan with a gun?

you haven't done the research yourseld 02.Jul.2003 22:17

learn the facts

First of all, it is not common police practice to remove the keys from the car on a standard traffic stop. That is done on a high risk felony stop, and it's done by the driver of the car, not the police. This stop did not require a high risk felony stop, since the probable cause for the stop was failure to obey a traffic control device. It is not safe for an officer to reach in past a subject to remove the keys from the ignition. Think of the exposure the officer would have to the suspect. The ignition switch is on the right side of the steering wheel. The officer has to expose himself to the suspect to get at the keys. However, the ignition was off before Kendra hopped into the driver's seat. I suppose you think the officer's tempted her.

The pepper spray. I can't explain that other than to think that adrenaline may have played a part. Though the canister is designed to be used without fine motor skills (since that is what adrenaline does to you), for some reason, the officer failed to activate it. However, it may be irrelevant. Pepper spray has been proven not to work on subjects that are under the influence of cocaine, alcohol, and other drugs. Even subjects that are not under the influence have the ability to fight throught the affects, which don't even begin for at least 10 seconds. Kendra may have been a greater threat to public safety had she been pepper sprayed and the officer didn't shoot her. She may have driven off high speed and blind.

The taser did not function correctly because of the thick clothing Kendra was wearing. While one probe penetrated her skin, the other stuck into her outer jacket. Without contact with the skin, the taser does not get a complete circuit and there is no juice delivered to the suspect. This is a known draw back to the taser system.

The trajectory of the bullet can be explained by the concept of a richochet. The round entered at the hip. The femur and pelvis are a couple of the thickest and densist bones in the body. The round could have struck one of these bones and been deflected upwards. For evidence of this phenomenon, look at the officer who got shot in the head a few months ago. The bullet struck him in the head above the eye and then skimmed along the outside of the skull until it exited behind his ear.

If you are having difficulty with the human survival instinct, try this little experiment: Fill your bath tub with water and have your friend hold you under water. Tell him under no circumstances to let you out of the water. See if you don't fight and squirm to come up for air. If you can't find a friend to do this for you, let me know and I would be glad to assist you on this experiment.

Do not jump to conclusions until you have spent more time studying the case more in depth yourself. I have read every Oregonian article an editorial on the incident. It is clear that you have not.

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE FROM ANOTHER POLICE OFFICER 02.Jul.2003 22:34

Medically Retired Officer Damon Woodcock dwrider59@hotmail.com

I appreciate the writing from the above anonymous officer, whomever you are. And thank you to Z, who actually posted it. I was a member of the Police Bureau for almost seventeen years, was a damn good cop and am proud of the time I served. I am white, and a member of the sexual minority community.

However, after I read the first headline of the first article that was printed in the Oregonian regarding James' death, I thought the headline should have read "Police Officer Murders Woman" instead of "Police Officer Kills Woman". I was literally appalled by what I read, and by what I have learned and heard since then.

I shouldn't have been surprised that McCollister didn't get indicted, but I was. He truly should have been indicted for "Manslaughter" since he "recklessly" took the life of another. And again, I shouldn't be surprised that the Bureau is standing behind McCollister by seeing to it that he did not get indicted, and by not firing him, but I am. The only reason that makes any sense to me is because McCollister is one of the "family", with his own father being a prosecutor.

As much as I wanted to, I was unable to attend last nights' forum due to family obligations. Much of what I had to say, however, was covered in the Oregonian's article on July 1st, titled "Shooting Reveals Flaws In Training Of Police".

The issue here is that McCollister chose to IGNORE his training. He INTENTIONALLY placed himself into a position of harm, and as a result of HIS poor judgment a life was taken that absolutely should not have been. Kendra James also used poor judgment, however her actions certainly did not warrant a death sentence handed down by a trigger happy, rookie cop!

The biggest concern I have, which has not yet been challenged, is the fact that the Bureau and the DA's Office worked together as a team to protect McCollister, and they chose to submit only part of the evidence to the Grand Jury. As a result, McCollister was not indicted. I honestly believe that had the Grand Jury been presented with ALL of the evidence (i.e. the fact that he ignored his training, etc), they would NOT have come to the conclusion that McCollister acted "reasonably".

This concern is based upon the training I received from both the Police Bureau AND the DA's Office regarding the use of deadly physical force. As a part of that training, we (officers) are taught that when one (juror) must decide what is "reasonable" relating to police actions (especially when deadly physical force is used), that one MUST look at the TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES. That "totality" includes the events surrounding the incident, factors such as size/weight of the officer vs. the suspect (i.e. a smaller female officer might be justified in shooting someone in a certain situation, when a larger male officer in the same situation might not be justified), AS WELL AS THE TRAINING RECEIVED BY THE OFFICER.

I have read nothing but what I would term "excuses" from the Bureau and the DA's Office as to why the issue of the training was not presented to the Grand Jury (i.e. that the training issue was more" appropriately" addressed in the internal investigation, etc). Simply put, they are not being completely truthful, and they expect that the public, who truly doesn't know how the system works, will believe them. And guess what? The public DID/DOES believe them!

If an officers' training does not apply to their response to an alleged criminal action, then why do officers routinely get questioned about their training by defense attorneys, while on the stand testifying? Again, simply put, because the issue of the officers' training absolutely IS a factor when one looks at the totality of the circumstances and the actions taken by the officer!!!

Another issue I would like to comment on is the numerous discrepancies within McCollister's statements to the Detectives. I will only point out the most glaring. First, he claimed "I arrived at the front driver's seat which was open at this time, just AFTER the female driver had arrived and had ALREADY started, started the vehicle." (emphasis added) Yet, later he admitted that the car did not start until AFTER he "was already getting into the vehicle". In his first interview, he fully admits that he believed James' intentions were "to get away". Yet, later, to justify his reason for climbing into the vehicle against his training, he claimed "I didn't even anticipate she was gonna take off, drive, put it in drive and take off".

Frankly, his statements make no sense at all. If he truly did not anticipate that she was going to drive away, then why did he state his belief that James' intentions were "to get away"??? If he did not think she was going to drive away, then why was he using physical force, less than lethal force, and later, deadly physical force, at all???

One more thing I must point out. I believe the boys were too anxious to "play" with their toys (baton, pepper spray, and tazer). Had they just grabbed her and pulled her out, without having all their toys out (which prevented them from using both hands), it is quite likely that they would have been successful at pulling her from the vehicle.

One poster, Gollum, indicated that removing the keys from the vehicle is "standard police procedure". Clearly Gollum does not know much about "standard police procedure", since removing the keys is NOT. The only time we are trained to remove keys is while conducting a high-risk traffic stop, and it is the driver that is instructed to remove the keys.

While the Police Bureau continues to claim that race had nothing whatsoever to do with this shooting, I strongly disagree. James' race had EVERYTHING to do with this shooting. Had this been a vehicle stopped in SW Portland, with a white female passenger under the influence, who acted as James' did, I can promise you that the white woman would NOT have been shot. Of course, it's even ridiculous to try to equate this example with the James' incident, since it is highly unlikely that a vehicle in SW Portland would have even been stopped for the same offense.

I, for one, am not afraid to write under my true name or to speak out publicly against the Bureau. I believe that if more officers spoke out about abuses of the system, then perhaps things might change.

But the biggest problem with that is that officers know that if they take any kind of stand against the Bureau or another officer, they will suffer from death threats and harassment from their fellow street officers, and they will suffer from harassment and discrimination from Bureau management and the union.

I know this, because I personally experienced it after turning in a co-worker for threatening to kill half of Central Precinct, because they were "talking" to Internal Affairs, and shortly later, when I forced the Bureau to conduct a hate crime investigation committed by unknown co-worker(s) against me.

The Grand Jury system is a farce, and is set up only to benefit the police and the prosecutors. It is common knowledge amongst those in the criminal justice field that any good prosecutor can get any Grand Jury to bring back an indictment. Those in power abuse the GJ system, by only providing them with the evidence that they want the Grand Jury to see. Evidence that does not help their case is generally withheld from the Grand Jury. They get away with it because normally the defense doesn't even know about the hearing, let alone have an opportunity to present any evidence (unless of course the defense consists of a cop who has used deadly physical force!).

Neither the Bureau nor the system will change until we all stand up together with a unified voice and force that change to occur.

wait until FBI is done 02.Jul.2003 22:51

patience

While I have little faith in the GJ system myself in this matter, I know that a DA can swing the indictment any which way the DA chooses, whether it is for or against the indictment.

Maybe you are not aware of the DA who brought this case to the grand jury. I don't know if she hates cops, but she has definately made a name for herself putting prosecuting them. Do the names, Bailey, Hampton, and Pimentel ring a bell? She has charged them all with felonies and has been able to bring about successful prosecution. Hapton and Bailey recieved 18 months for assault charges. Others may only receive probation as first-time offenders. Stacie Heyworth is not well liked by police officers, and evidence shows she enjoys justice. Because of her enthusiasm when dealing criminally with police officers, I don't think she lost this one on purpose.

The FBI is still doing their investigation. They have proven themselves in the Rodney King beating incident where the criminal system failed to see any wrong doing on the part of officers, they successfully prosecuted civily. I intend to sit back and wait to see what happens there before passing final judgement on this case.

Facts 02.Jul.2003 23:09

Gollum

"Learn the Facts" has read every Oregonian article an editorial on the Kendra James incident. As everyone knows, one can even learn the secrets of the universe if one reads the Oregonian editorials long enough. I know that I'm impressed.

This was a standard traffic stop? If so, why were police so quick to pull out pepper spray, tasers, and handguns? Should the average citizen be a little more careful when running a yellow light--or whatever--lest they end up dead? Those of us getting information from sources other than Oregonian editorials have heard the Portland Police and others say that it would have been normal procedure to remove keys in this case.

The pepper spray is irrelevant because it has been proven not to work on subjects that are under the influence of cocaine, alcohol, etc.? Let's back up for a moment and try to understand why pepper spray was needed (other than pepper spray being the Portland Police's answer to almost everything that moves).

Is LTF a ballistics expert? A medical examiner? The police seem to need a little assistance explaining Kendra's bullet wound, maybe some help would be appreciated. Maybe LTF can help explain the facial bruising and the fractured tooth, too.

Finally, LTF implies that McCollister performed a public service by shooting Kendra instead of letting her drive off pepper-sprayed and blind. LTF later volunteers to hold someone's head down in a bathtub full of water for "experimental" reasons. Thanks for the enlightened defense of the Portland Police and their violent tactics!

Thanks, Damon Woodcock 02.Jul.2003 23:27

Gollum

Thank you for your excellent article. Thank you for your courage.

I appreciate your clarification regarding the procedures for removing keys. Thankfully, I am not overly familiar with standard police procedure, as you point out. What I intended to indicate, without the proper terminology or sufficient detail, is that this was not a standard traffic stop and that the keys should have been removed.

sadly sounds familiar 02.Jul.2003 23:44

concerned

Another thanks to Damon Woodcock. From the officers I've talked to it sounds like you are far from alone in your experience. The best cops are the ones who not only recognize the abuses and injustices done by the police, but who also stand up against them. Sadly, this seems to have severe consequences and most of the good cops I know have chosen the route of picking their battles carefully. While I commend them for at least doing that and standing up to the greatest of injustices somehow the more I read about police misconduct and the more I experience those abuses myself the more I realize that that is simply not going to be enough. I know I will point the cops I know to this post, maybe they will find some strength in knowing that other police officers are speaking out. Maybe then with cops and community together speaking out we will begin to see some changes... I certainly hope so.

An Idea 03.Jul.2003 06:47

anon

I wonder if the police would be less anxious to use their weaponry if they were subjected to the other end of them during their training. Perhaps if they had the painful awareness of how bullets, pepperspray, etc felt they would be a bit more sympathetic. But then again perhaps many of them are just sadistic fucks.

if people would respect 03.Jul.2003 07:38

troy prouty*

If people would respect all life.. There would be no need for police officers.. "I agree with his/her post"

It isn't easy. to think otherwise is ignorance..

"What this heartrending apologist for Police Terror refuses to understand it that you pigs (and yes, that is what you are) have the full force of the American state on your side. You have the guns, the pepper spray, and the so-called Criminal Justice system to back your brutal asses up.

You whine and you cry about how you might become a "community pinata" for capping somebody or that some white boy shot by a white cop doesn't get any media coverage"

** This also does not mean tthat some don't take advantage of being a police officer, but what it means is unless you have been there, chances are you haven't a clue**

If you hate police so much, stop crime and all that goes with it - Then there will be no need for the police..

CHIEF BOAT OAR BRINGS LAPD TO PORTLAND 03.Jul.2003 08:02

KKK Kroeker's Krazy Kowboys

What else can a citizen of Portland expect when we have a Police Commissioner who fails to supervise or remove a police chief who has made clear his attitudes on EXCESSIVE FORCE i.e. disciplining children with a boat oar, GAYS i.e. calling them perverts and defending his right to hold his own personal views, WOMEN i.e. place is in the home and are the reason children grow up troubled. Kroeker described Portland as more difficult than Bosnia because it requires "process" not "panache" as LA did. This Chief's current strategic plan reduces MANDATORY police training to provide more money to expand the toy chest of weapons and the top heavy management in the Bureau.
That said, training was not an issue in McCollister's decision making. He received the same amount of training as thousands of police officers before him who have wrestled vehicle occupants out of their cars without shooting and killing them. As far as removing the keys from the vehicle, I disagree with Woodcock because this was not a routine traffic stop AFTER the driver was arrested and removed from the vehicle leaving a KNOWN flight risk inside. It is standard practice to remove the keys when arresting the driver. McCollister has a common sense and compassion deficiency and should be terminated.
Woodcock is correct that a HUGE problem exists INSIDE the Portland Police Bureau as well. Members are afraid to speak out and report misconduct when it occurs because retaliation is swift and cruel and the management in the Bureau protects the wrongdoers and drives out or relegates to broom closets those who complain. They will NEVER rise to positions within the Bureau to make the changes that are long past due. Instead, Kroeker promotes compliant women and minorities so he can have them sit at his side or parade them out when needed to show what an equal opportunity kind of guy he is when the frying pan gets a little too hot.

police training 03.Jul.2003 11:28

heimdallr

Actually, I know several cops and I believe a standard component of their "self-defense" training is to be sprayed with pepper spray so they become familiar with its effects. (This was confirmed by one of the officers arresting me on March 20th). Personally, I'd like to see rubber bullets, "beanbag" rounds and all that other shit added to this particular training program, but maybe those are only "sub-lethal" enough for use on the general public.

not full on in the face for 10 seconds, though 03.Jul.2003 16:16

beensprayed

i guarantee you that it is not part of officer training to be sprayed full on in the face for 10 seconds from a distance of 2 feet, though.

Mr. Woodcock 04.Jul.2003 00:25

James

That was a truly thoughtful, insightful, post. It's too bad you're retired -- sounds like we're missing you out there.

- James