portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

human & civil rights | police / legal a21 bush protests

New info on police abuse

Police used ethyl alcohol to erase legal resource phone numbers from protesters
Several released protesters have reported having their jail support hotline numbers erased from their arms by the police. After being handcuffed, police allegedly used rubbing alcohol to remove the sharpie-drawn jail support numbers the protesters had drawn on their forearms because they knew the police would not let them have the yellow pages, call 411 or let them keep a piece of paper with the numbers written on them.

This effectively denied them their right to contact a lawyer (problem #1), was a use of force that exceeded their authority (problem #2) and is not an accepted police tactic (problem #3).

Food for thought.

---today's test--------

Can you name the source of this quote: "Unreasonable searches or seizures. No law shall violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search, or seizure; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath, or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.—"

Did you guess the US constitution? Nope, this is Article I, Section 9 of the OREGON constitution. Seems that the protesters rights were violated at the state level as well as federal. More from interesting stuff from Oregon's constitution, which our officers were supposed to uphold (all under article I):

Section 13. Treatment of arrested or confined persons. No person arrested, or confined in jail, shall be treated with unnecessary rigor.—

Section 16. Excessive bail and fines; cruel and unusual punishments; power of jury in criminal case. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted, but all penalties shall be proportioned to the offense.—In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law, and the facts under the direction of the Court as to the law, and the right of new trial, as in civil cases.

Section 20. Equality of privileges and immunities of citizens. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.—

Section 22. Suspension of operation of laws. The operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by the Authority of the Legislative Assembly -(note: does NOT say the police can suspend the laws)

Section 26. Assemblages of people; instruction of representatives; application to legislature. No law shall be passed restraining any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner to consult for their common good; nor from instructing their Representatives; nor from applying to the Legislature for redress of greviances (sic).—

I like this part 23.Aug.2003 07:16


Section 16.
...In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law..."

So what does this say about measure 11 sentencing?? Seems it would be unconstitutional on its face.

As the enforcers were lined up at Columbia Park Annex, I could not help but think of them as oath breakers.

Of of course they could always say, "I was just following orders."

11 23.Aug.2003 12:47


Seems like a constitutional challenge at the state level might have a chance, it is not a really solid one but depending on the judges it could work. More people need to try Oregon State constitutional challenges, it is really fertile ground and fills in a lot of the gaps the federal constitution has. Lots of people like to yell at the cops saying things they do are unconstitutional, but nodoby will listen unless you can state exactly what part of which constitution they are violating (Oregon cops have to uphold BOTH documents).

Print them both out, carry them around and be able to quote the exact violations to them.

Write it somewhere else 23.Aug.2003 14:40


Hey--how about writing the sharpie # somewhere they can't see right away? I mean, in lieu of litigation enforcing our right to write on ourselves.

Too Stupid? 23.Aug.2003 17:20


Are the protesters too stupid to memorize a phone number? Bet they know their dealer's and their social worker's. No dope or welfare checks otherwise.

Orachist is a provacateur 23.Aug.2003 17:36


this "person" is a provacateur and has been using several different names on indymedia. ignore them.

New level of interference 24.Aug.2003 14:32


Wow, you think you've heard everything, and now this. This seems completely illegal, not that that's stopped the cops before. Next time, definitely memorize the legal support number. I remember from my arrest a few months back a sign in the jail that says police or jailors CANNOT take pieces of paper with important phone numbers off of yr person while in jail. So, while writing the number on yrself may not work anymore - legally, if you write it down on a piece of paper they can't take it away. While they may do this anyway, it seems to me that you can lawfully sue them and win.

Yeah, that guy is a putz, but I had to comment anyway 24.Aug.2003 23:13

Teddy Ruxpin

Memorizing a 10-digit phone number given to you in the middle of a march half an hour before getting arrested sounds to me like a bit of a hard task. The sharpie is a great idea.

Who owns this web ? 12.Jun.2004 00:32

Beth Wallace firefly@ados.com

Before sharing I wish to know whom is monitoring this web and what is written.
The goals and purpose of this web ? It needs to be clear to the public this is a safe web to say things.....and what your agenda and focus is all about.
If this is about Oregon and police abuses and justice I would like to share a serious matter in one County with the DA and grand jury. I would like to post if someone would write me back as to whom I am speaking to.