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

actions & protests | bikes/transportation | imperialism & war m20: day x

March 20 charges dropped for critical mass

On March 20, 2003, in solidarity with the world community, Portland demonstrators took to the streets and to the highways. Many were arrested and charged with various crimes from disorderly conduct to criminal tresspassing while voicing their first ammendment rights. Charges are now being dropped.
On March 20, 2003, critical mass riders took over the I405 highway to draw attention to the invasion in Iraq. Almost an entire year later, the city is dropping all charges on the mass riders. Those who showed solidarity by not pleading guilty and accepting community service will pay no fine, serve no time and can now file suit against the city for false arrest. This should be a lesson to all; that we need to stick together on these issues and we can and will prevail.
Next time let's shut down the federal building, the court, the injustice center, or city hall or all of them...they are all in close proximity to each other and the people participating in the wicked government, that we are all forced to live under, need to understand that this country is killing the world. Pioneer Square would also be nice to shut down as cronic shoppers need to be woken up!

guess we know now who was "brave" and who was 19.Feb.2004 22:13

chicken!

This report shows the cop-thugs as being the "chickens" in this match, or would
it be more correct to say "chickenshit"? Way to go protester's! Hang in there
and show these mighty "powerful" loonies to be what they really are. As respect
for you soars, they'll find theirs on the dive! Game is now: black clothed team
is 2, and the blue clothed team is 0...as in zero for the zero's!

who is going to pay for all these suits arising from 19.Feb.2004 22:49

false arrest?

Here is an idea: first, the City condemn and take the house Mark Kroeker still
has here in Portland as his "contribution" to the settlement, then we take Vera
Katz's retirement pension as her "contribution" to the settlement, then we go
after the individual cops involved, taking their bank accounts, their homes, and
their cars (let 'em have the clothes on their backs...we aren't that greedy), and
we do this to make an EXAMPLE of them that violate other's civil & human rights,
so that those who follow in their path are forewarned that they'd best not abuse
the trust they've been given, as have these deplorable clowns that now stand in
the BLUE HALL OF SHAME for their waywardness and abusive behaviors!

The beauty of this is that is saves the ever-suffering City Tax-payer a fortune
that would only result in further reduction of public services should we allow
these craven officials and shamefaced authorities to lay it on us, as they'll
surely try, and will, if we don't arise and head them off at the pass. We've
got to take this herd of male-bovine-defecaters and put 'em in the OK Coral, so
we can watch 'em closely, err they rob us yet more!

Loud cheers for the protesters, and may their lawsuits bring them comfort and
satisfaction in having stood the test of "freedom" and earned it rightfully
and honestly in their stand against the amassed forces of neoAmerican Fascism!
All praise the protester's and boo's to the cops/officials!

as far as the money goes 20.Feb.2004 02:28

noticer

the money should ABSOLUTELY come out of the pockets, etc. of the offenders. I don't regard that as any kind of a theory or nice idea--this is just the best way to handle that type of situation!!
If it's not being done that way right now, well then that's another example of how they have swindled and boondoggled us to the Nth degree. I think that the lawyer involved should specify this condition, and to say to all who object, that unless they can prove otherwise, this is the way it's got to be.
We shouldn't waste time listening to those jackasses piss and moan about the unfairness of it, when we all know damn well that this is the absolute fairest thing we can do!!!!!!!
And, fines, etc., shouldn't be set at a certain amount. They should be set at the rate that will "hurt" the offender. That way, rich people won't KEEP ON breaking the law because the fines don't harm them.......
Wouldn't it be great if we did this and all cities followed this model--It would revolutionize the nation!!!!

Lawsuit tips from an ex-cop 20.Feb.2004 08:54

.

There really is only one way to make the individual crimina-, err, "police officers" pay for their misdeeds:

A) First sue the cops, but do NOT sue the city (you can sue the city later after you have won the first round). If you sue BOTH the city and the cops at the same time, the city pays the lawsuit, giving the cops a free ride.

B) Make sure to sue for MORE than the level of the police officer's insurance (most cops carry liability insurance, similar to medical malpractice insurance carried by doctors and nurses), but LESS than the total net worth of the cops (so they can not just bankrupt out of the suit). This means that if the cops have $100,000 equity in their hosue and car and whatnot, and a $1,000,000 police liability policy, make sure to sue for at least $1 million, but no more than $1.1 million or they might get off the hook. Never settle for less than the payout of their insurance or they do not have to pay a cent out of their own pockets.

C) Take out a victim's protective order against the cops that wronged you. I do not mean this as a harassment suggestion, you have a legit claim to feel threatened by this cop. As an added bonus, while under the VPO's restrictions, most defendants are forbidden from being near firearms (in other words, it disarms them for a few weeks).

D)AFTER you have sued the police officers and had their assets seized, THEN sue the city (please donate some of your take from the city to worthy causes like local jail support or protestor defense coucils). The city of Portland is self-insured, so you don't have to keep a limit to your lawsuit amount, and you can sue for more than just cash (like mandatory retraining for cops, mandatory policies that disarm accused bad cops until they can have a trail of some sort, etc).

I wish you all the best, cops only get worse when society lets them slide on things like this so keep the pressure on.

thanks, dear "ex-cop"...you're one worthy of the 20.Feb.2004 09:14

Blue Uniform you wore...thanks a lot!

Thanks a lot! It's really reassuring to read comments such as yours, not only
as it gives the protester's powerful guidance, but it reaffirms in our minds the
fact that there a indeed "good guys" out there wearing blue and have worn it.

In the malignant climate created by these "bad actor cops" it is too easy to for-
get the FACT that there are really good guys (and gals too now) fighting all the
harder to right the wrongs of these dastardly few that grab all the "negative"
bad press.

Please rest assured that you are respected and hailed as a "good cop"...a PEACE
OFFICER that surely wore the badge honorably. Thanks again!

March 20, 2004 ! 20.Feb.2004 09:31

Let's Do It Again !

Best way to remember and honor these anti-war actions is to do it all again exactly one month from today on the anniversary of the bloody Iraq invasion.

See ya in the streets!

Congrats 20.Feb.2004 09:34

Darrow

Be wary of lay legal advice...

First, good general tips from the ex-cop, but you likely wouldn't succeed against the city if you took the action against just the cops to judgment and then turned around and sued the city. The subsequent case against the city would most likely be tossed because of claim and issue preclusion.

Second, if an arrestee accepted the community service in exchange for no fine, time, etc., then that might be construed as some sort of admission of liability.

Find an experienced civil rights attorney who has experience in this area, like Alan Graf.

It's not about the money 20.Feb.2004 10:02

it's the principle

I frankly don't want any of their money, but if money is all that they listen to, I'll sue on princple and donate the money to people who need it more than I. Money is the root of all evil and I choose not to have that blood on my hands.

Way to go 20.Feb.2004 10:14

x

I'm so happy.

Solidarity works. Now we know that the city will back down.

Now you guys and gals should sue the city for false arrest.

To It's Not About The Money 20.Feb.2004 10:42

news junkie

Hey - think of it as redistribution of resources.

You've been harmed and you deserve to be compensated. When they give you mucho dineros give it to a copwatch group so they can buy cameras and camcorders. Or create a legal fund for other political prisoners.

The city sure as fuck isn't going to use that money for a better purpose than you can come up with.

The principle is to make the city pay for not babysitting their armed employees. Until police brutality becomes too costly to the city there is no incentive to reign them in.

Good luck.

PS. Don't give up if you can't find a lawyer to take your case. You can file your own suit if it comes to that - it's not nearly as difficult as you might think. Whatever you do make sure it gets filed.

robin hood 20.Feb.2004 11:49

lucky weda

I'm usually not very enthustiastic about lawsuits etc. and the "super sue" attitude. But I think in this case, yeah, money is just about the only thing that'll turn their heads. And they (government, politicians, some cops) obviously don't give a damn about real, honest to goodness people, so I don't think you could do any worse on the budget than they have. Maybe the funds could be donated to publice education and resources -making a point that, "shit, you steal from us, you got another thing coming". Anyway, how bad does it look when a city is sued by it's own people (on charges that their rights were ignored, no less) and then the money is given by the people to the people? Anyway, right on, it's great that everyone stuck together on this, maybe things will turn around. Chronic consumers really DO need to be woken up.

Darrow has a point 20.Feb.2004 12:16

ex-cop

Yes, if you sue the cops and then try to sue the city for the same thing, it will likely get tossed. BUT if you sue the cops for their crimes, and then sue the city for a related claim (such as suing the cops for violating your civil rights, and then suing the city after that for failing to supervise the cops, failing to train them right, authorizing cops to perform unlawful actions like clearing parks out, etc.), your prior lawsuit will not likely mess up your second lawsuit. Two different lawsuits for two different actions that caused you harm.

But definately get a lawyer like Alan Graf to represent you if possible (though you should never give up on doing the right thing due to a lack of a lawyer; sue in small claims court if you can't find a lawyer to take your case).

And thanks to the person who complimented me on my service as a cop (though my uniform was not blue, it was black and it still fits after all this time LOL). I actually worked for a really good sheriff who was more of a civil rights activist than most people, and trained all his deputies to think the same way. Taking back the police is something that can be done, and it can be done by grassroots very easily. The sheriff is ELECTED, and you can nominate a new candidate and campaign for that person, and at least take back county police services in the name of the people. Do this, and the city cops can't be too far behind. Vote out bad politicians that support bad cops, and if you have to recruit from your own ranks, nominate an activist sheriff candidate.