I'm not kidding. Check out the PPA website at www.portlandpoliceassociation.com and see this for yourself. Then, if you're interested, click into the rap sheet, where you will be treated to an article by Sergeant Bob Gross entitled, "Responsibility for Shooting Lies with Kendra James." Referring to the tiny stature of Kendra James, Sergeant Gross says, "I know, from experience, that diminutive people often times put up the fiercest fight." Indeed. Well then, isn't it good that we have people like Officer McCollister to take down 90 pound women. You know, in case they get fierce.
The sergeant concludes, "The majority of the responsibility for the outcome of this incident should be placed where it belongs, on Kendra James."
Are they joking?
The entire rap sheet this month seems to be dedicated to exonerating Mr. McCollister in the murder of an unarmed woman, and the lies he told to excuse himself. My personal favorite is a column entitled, "Let's Talk" by Daryl Turner. The subtitle is, "Perfection an Unfair Standard." Mr. Turner decries the "punishment" meted out to Officer McCollister, calling demands for accountability for this crime "monday morning quarterbacking." He says the resulting suspension, "sends out a warning to officers of the Portland Police Bureau: You must be perfect in all your actions and tactics or the hammer will come down on you!"
I beg to differ. I think the intended message was more like, "You better be fucking sure before you pull out that loaded gun, you fucking asshole." Alas, though, it's been watered down to something closer to, "Open season on African American women, as long as you lie."
Later in the piece, Mr. Turner asks, "...is Scott McCollister a scapegoat for the City because it is harder to follow the less-traveled path, even though it may be the right one?" I have no idea what he's trying to say here, but it actually appears he's saying that murdering an unarmed person of color is the right path. Does it sound that way to you? Did I read that right?
Mr. Turner explains, "We all were hired as police officers to make tough, quick and good decisions in a matter of seconds. We are trained to deal with stressful, life-threatening situations and react as best we can and at the same time improvise and adapt in the process. Our training does not, however, prepare us for every possible situation. That is why we have such a rigid hiring process. Now we are told that on top of all that, you gotta be perfect!"
No, not perfect, just not lethal. The fact that he can dismiss a life cut down as if it were just a little mistake is worrisome, to say the least. After all, the Rap Sheet is the internal voice of the Portland Police Association. These are the people we give loaded guns to....