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Willy Week Claims That Cops Shooting Unarmed Citizens Isn't Murder

According to Willamette Week's Rogue(s) of the Week activists who demand reform when police kill unarmed people are rogues.

"...inflamed rhetoric such as likening a police killing to "murder" does not help the relationship between the Portland police and the community it serves--it only hurts it. Get a grip, people."
EVERY TIME AN UNARMED PERSON IS SHOT BY A POLICE OFFICER Willamette Week, other ineffectual press people and so-called community leaders (they) insist that we "should discuss the problem and see what changes we can make to stop this kind of tragedy from happening again."

That is complete bullshit. They sure have talked about it enough. How many reports and commissions do they need? They know what needs to be done but they don't insist on the changes. They have blood on their hands because change would happen if the they would stop protecting these murderers.

Here's the link to the story:  http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=4997

Here's the police apologist nonsense in full:

Rogue of the Week COLUMN
Portland's crazed leftists / Arissa / Rose City Copwatch

BY WW EDITORIAL STAFF newsdesk at wweek.com


"Sticks and stones will break my bones," goes the old children's taunt, "but words will never hurt me."

Here at Rogue Central, we beg to disagree. Words can hurt us--especially the words we're hearing lately from Portland's crazed leftists in the wake of the fatal police shooting of James Jahar Perez.

"The pigs are getting away with murder...what are we going to do about it?" reads one poster distributed by the group Arissa. "It's about time we put an end to these pigs, their brutality, their murders."

Craig Rosebraugh, founder of Arissa, claims it is "a little bit of a misstatement" to say his poster calls for killing cops. He claims it merely says that "people in the community need to stand up for themselves, and if we don't, we're going to keep planning more funerals."

Yeah, right.

Then there is the poster put up by Rose City Copwatch, bearing photos of Officer Scott McCollister, who fired the shot that killed Kendra James last year, and Officer Jason Sery, who killed Perez, under the headline "Getting away with murder."

The latter poster follows up on a poster the group put up earlier this year offering a reward for McCollister's photo. The Rose City group's Loretta Rock says the two controversial shootings "demonstrate a culture of racism and brutality that's really sort of at the core of policing."

In reality, what the two posters have in common is that they are shameless attempts to exploit highly charged incidents. They are both about inciting generalized anti-cop hysteria at the expense of informed criticism.

Our society has formed a social compact with its police by granting them license to wield firearms in circumstances not available to the rest of us.

It's a deal that at times makes us feel uneasy, especially when shootings such as these occur. But inflamed rhetoric such as likening a police killing to "murder" does not help the relationship between the Portland police and the community it serves--it only hurts it. Get a grip, people.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally published on WEDNESDAY, 4/14/2004

so now I'm a 'leftist' 15.Apr.2004 13:50

seeing the unity

Because I believe that citizens have the right to defend themselves against agents of the government who will kill an unarmed person?

Does anyone with an ounce of sense still believe the in the left/right dichotomy? Tell me I'm not the only one who realizes that it is a complete sham to divide people.

Oh, and one can hardly be shocked from this coming from the corporate media: there job afterall is to be apologists for the government in all its forms (particularly it's domestic repression and foreign aggression).

If anyone hasn't downloaded and watched this video yet, you'll get the idea:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/280786.shtml
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/videos/#Li2UNews

What? 15.Apr.2004 14:12

"crazed" leftist

According to the Willamette Week it's anti-cop hysteria be critical that cops shoot down unarmed people in cold blood several times a year. So I guess I'm hysterical to thinkg that cops killing an unarmed man 24 fucking seconds after a traffic stop is murder.

Screw you Willamette Week.

I'm scared that me, my friends, my family, my neighbors and my fellow citizens will be shot down for no reason and you assholes think that's hysterical.

Murder is murder no matter how you try to spin it.

it's this kind of crap from the 15.Apr.2004 14:21

Willy Week

is why I don't even bother picking it up to read. It's FREE, but who cares if they're
turning into a mouthpiece for the government. Give me THE MERCURY any time, thank you!

Interesting to see the different reactions to Copwatch's poster 15.Apr.2004 14:29

Crazed Leftist

The Willy Week calls folks "crazed leftists", the chief calls the posters "trash", and even JoAnne Bowman says this is not the right approach.

BUT--the response from the community was incredibly positive. Tons of people wanted copies of the posters, others were appreciative of the info, some were just interested. But I did not hear one person say anything negative about them, and I talked to and saw the reactions of dozens of people. Even a corporate media reporter on the "scene" (forget which channel) admitted that he could not find anyone who thought the posters were a bad idea. Meanwhile someone else in corporate media land claimed that the posters were illegal. Not illegally posted, but just illegal. Maybe someone should organize an illegal poster/book/art burning a la Fahrenheit 451.

Fuck the Corporate Media 15.Apr.2004 14:56

CatWoman

I can't say these words enough. Let me say it again: Fuck the Corporate Media.

WW has just proved, once again, whose side they're really on. They play hip and cool, but we know what they really are. One more corporate mouthpiece trying to co-opt the masses.

The only voices in town out there really interested in the truth are our own. The corporate media is still trying to protect McCollister by hiding his face, even as they plaster the faces of every "suspect" the police name across their pages and their screens. Thank God the people no longer need the corporate media to keep informed. They've lost their grip on our minds: we have real alternatives. Thanks to Rose City Copwatch, to whomever found the photo, and to all the people who continue to post that fucker all over town, we know what this "armed and dangerous" criminal looks like without their help.

And thanks to Arissa for stepping up. No matter how much corporate media whining issues forth from the pages of WW or the studio at KATU, we will all be there for the action next week. Fuck killer cops, fuck killer cop apologists, and fuck the corporate media.

Silly Week 15.Apr.2004 16:47

Ex Reader

I guarantee WW would be reporting things differently if it were one of their staff that was a victim of the PPD. Too often, if it does not effect us directly then we don't see how it effects us at all. This is a problem for everyone living in, visiting or just passing through Portland. Anyone could be the next statistic. Maybe a warning should be sent out to anyone/everyone who plans to atend the Rose Festival that they need to be aware of our dangerous and deadly cops.

These are all great comments... 15.Apr.2004 17:15

letter writer

...SO WRITE LETTERS!! Let the willy week know you're outraged. Innundate them with your opinions. Let them know that this stance will cause them to lose readers. it helps. really.

willy week plays hip and cool? 15.Apr.2004 17:24

kurtkabang

if so, they fail.

Don't forget that the Mercury is corporate media too 15.Apr.2004 17:44

gerry

In fact, the Mercury can sometimes be more reactionary than the WW, which caters a bit more to the Wild Oats crowd. When you dig a bit below the Mercury's ultra-hip veneer, you'll find some pretty nasty "patchouli-stinkin' hippie" rhetoric at times (though I have to say the Phil Busse is one of the coolest mainstream media voices in this town). I agree with Catwoman's feelings about corporate media, but it pays to keep in touch so you know what most other people are hearing and seeing--especially if you're going to try and engage them about what's going on. My first web hit every morning is cnn.com for precisely that reason. Then I move on to the true stuff.

the precise point 15.Apr.2004 20:32

blood sweat tears

Although they indulge in a bit of gratuitous emotion to make it, I think the point WW tries to get across, is that technically defining recent killings of citizens by cops as "murder", is presumptuous in the absence of facts and due process. To not use that word at this time does not imply that cops involved in citizen killings are neccessarily innocent of murder. Emotion about, and motivation to act on such incidents are important in this day of confusion, passivity, and apathy, but raising the emotional tone to irrational hysterics is counterproductive. People had better increase the pressure, on the "leaders" to make changes at the training level or things will get much worse before they get better

"Crazed Leftists?" 15.Apr.2004 22:00

Wow

Willamette Week is appallingly out of touch.

Cops killing unarmed people is MURDER in other towns 16.Apr.2004 02:44

see this article:

Kentucky Cop Fired in Killing of Black Teen

 link to customwire.ap.org

...in which: "A Louisville police officer indicted on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of a black teenager was fired Thursday."

cops killing-armed -citizens the media and an un-fair system of justice 16.Apr.2004 08:42

roger FLYNACE007@YAHOO.COM

Lets look at why our system is so screwed up
1.Everytime a cops shoots/kill an citizen it ruled JUSTIFIED
By doing this the bureacrates create hatred for cops).
2.If a citizen defends himself against an out of control cop
its called assualt on a police officer,or attempted murder.
3.If a cop shoots or kills a citizen there is ususally a looong a nd lengthy do NOTHING investigation, only for the results of jury verdict or investigation to be a ruling in favor of the cop.
Case and point the Diallo case in N.Y. and the Latonya Haggerty Murder in chicago.Heres my HYPOTHETICAl solution to cops shooting and killing citizens and getting away with it.
Remember this is only hypothetical.IF a cop murders and un-armed citizen and the system gives him a slap on the wrist,citizens should covertley FIND OUT where he lives,and his tarvel habits, only to make him say goodbye to oxygen.Cops will think twice if this becomes a tactic that citizens adopt.Im NOT ADVOCATING THIS.But, the system will continue to let them get away with it as long a citizens just march and protest.

It's worse than murder... 16.Apr.2004 09:24

@

...it's murder under color of law.

To: the precise point 16.Apr.2004 09:32

shocked

You say that "technically defining recent killings of citizens by cops as "murder", is presumptuous in the absence of facts and due process."

This kind of attitude - "let's wait and see" "Let's not use angry words" "Let's not be upset until we hear all sides."
Is the reason that THE POLICE KEEP SHOOTING UNARMED CITIZENS.

You are wrong about every premise of justice that you suppose attaches to a killing like this. The police are quite obviously above the law in this city. Until you and your ilk realize that - Your EQUIVOCATION IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.

You say "To not use that word at this time does not imply that cops involved in citizen killings are neccessarily innocent of murder."

You, along with Willamette Week employees(and you sure sound like one of them) think that using the legal term Murder is "raising the emotional tone" to irrational hysterics" Well I disagree and so do many of the people in this city. Shooting an unarmed person within 24 seconds of encountering them is murder. Period.

Saying citizens should "increase the pressure" by appealing to "leaders" is insulting and stupid.

The so-called "leaders" in this city have capitulated to the city's whims and wishes. They are part of the process and that means they are ineffectual and cannot be relied upon. Note: this includes Albina Ministerial Alliance and the cities newest lackey JoAnn Bowman.

Any by the way training is one solution but the real solution is to get these fucking pyschopath murderers out the police force. Until they are disarmed we are all in danger and more murders will happen just as they have been happening again and again and again and again....

Keep up the good work! 16.Apr.2004 11:50

@

The vitriol this effort is attacting underscores the effectiveness of the campaign. This should be a case study in police accountability. Good work!

not too bad 16.Apr.2004 16:36

blood sweat tears

"shocked", thanks for the well thought out response. "murder" is a very specific term referring to an incident that has been proven by evidence, testimony and the presentation of facts. Until this procedure has been followed to find out whether murder fits the incident, it's just speculation. But don't wait around until all the officials and bureau personnel postpone and delay information and process...if you can, get busy, make some noise, make people(the ones responsible) really uncomfortable, even miserable, and clearly articulate (with the support of a lot of other people)exactly how you think their jobs should be performed...then, if they can't deal with that throw them out, but do it rationally and legally. There's nothing more frightening to a person in power than someone with a cool head and an airtight case against them. People used to protest downtown and make a really big stink about things like Perez's killing...some people apparently think it's kind of passe' anymore.

P-town Snot-rag 19.Apr.2004 12:02

Chardman

I've always said that WW is for the upscale young urbanite who wants to get down and dirty on Friday night at some poseur rock club, go drinking all night Saturday, and go to wine tastings on Sunday.
The Mercury is for the abovementioned target readership's snotty little brother/sister.
It has nothing at all to do with progressive or leftist ideology.
Check out their reviews for $100K luxury cars.
I only get it because it's free, and for David Walker's unbelievably snotty movie reviews.

It's organizing without strategy, and context , not protest that's passe. 19.Apr.2004 12:14

Michael b mb@resist.ca

Groups across the country have been organizing from protest to protest. This will, and must stop in order to make real change. People are excited because we're defining this protest in the context of a larger campaign. People are excited cause were telling them that "The change ain't gonna stop there!" That we intend to work with people that are willing to do whatever it takes to make REVOLUTIONary change in this country. This is bigger than Portland. You better beleave that.

Blood Sweat and Tears

Is what it's gonna take. You're damn strait, we're not going to let these cops make us or this community victims anymore! I ain't buying this "do it rationally and legally." If the systems broke the the people got to make one that works. I'm all for ration. As long as we ain't rationalizing murder. As long as we ain't rationalizing this murderious system. As long as the one percent that runs this camp ain't setting the portions. The same thing that's happening in Iraq is happening on the streets of Portland. Untill we recognize this we ain't "fighting", we ain't "struggling". The people need to know that this is bigger than portland. That thier Mumia, that thier Lenord Peltier, that the streets of thier City ain't gonna get free tell they know themselves and know thier enemy.

ACT!


to the indy crew- I've got MAD LOVE 4 U!
here's a chant:

KILLER COPS?! APOLOGISTS?! FUCK CORPERATE MEDIA!!!

Just what do you mean by Corporate Media 19.Apr.2004 22:27

((("""MattBatt"""))) unpaginated83@yahoo.com

I understood that that corporate media was media put out by coroprations, but what I'm hearing for Portland Indymedia is that corporate meadia is all media that disagrees with Portland Indymedia. Willamette Week is not affilliated with a publishing group and the Mercury is part of a group of 2 weeklies (we're talking mega-empire now), the other being the Stranger in Seattle.
Now is it really healthy to consider all criticsm, regardless of whether it comes from outside your community or not, to be an act of oppression by a vauge set of forces that have whatever definition is convienient for the situation? Concentration of media ownership is a threat in that it stifles ALL forms of opinion, not just those of radical leftists. If every reaction to an opposing viewpoint is knee-jerk name calling and anecdotal evidence, then how will you fare when YOUR opinion is outside of what is considered true and acceptible by this group. What I see here is not resistance of corporate media, but a hermetically sealed chamber full of privilaged Americans, who lack the skills for serious self reflection.

MattBatt 19.Apr.2004 22:38

Anti-Matter Batter

Your logic is more flawed than your spelling. You also seem to mistake IndyMedia for some kind of monolithic entity instead of open publishing. True, Willy Week is more of a porno ad corporate wanna-be. Maybe you'd like to present evidence for some of your other conclusions.

A More Detailed Explanation of What I Think Corporate Media Is 19.Apr.2004 23:41

((("""MAtt(Spelczecher0)Batt'''))) unpaginated83@yahoo.com

It don't think it's a gross misuse of logic to suppose that a publication has to be corporately owned to be called, in any reasonable estimate, corporate media. Within that logic I demonstrated that since neither the Mercury nor the Willamette Week are owned corporately, they are not corporate media, but merely media that from time to time has an editorial position that happens to be different from Portland Indymedia. We all know that increasingly that journalists and writers are being told that their content is unfit for publication because of a seeming or real conflict between the piece they are writing and companies that generate revenue for the publication through advertising. Both Portland weeklies do advertise and occasionally showcase corporate events in products within their pages, but if that was causing a compromise in either the editorial or journalistic integrity of either publication, I certainly haven't heard of it, and if anyone else in Portland Indymedia has, it would have been revealed and commented upon.
As was not fair to call the parties involved with the posters "crazed leftists" in substitute for real, constructive criticism, it is not fair to replace, in my mind deserved, criticism of that article with banal sloganeering like "fuck corporate media!". Does a term like corporate media mean anything when it is so cheaply used.
As for Indymedia being monolithic... of course it is. I have never seen any article on any Indymedia deviate from a radical leftist editorial stance, not one. Well, aside from the occasional comment loggerhead or racist, like the one who posted above, but who here really takes them seriously.
Yes, Indymedia is open source so in that sense the ownership is not monolithic, but the ideas that are being circulated on them certainly are.
Also, another thing that bothers me is the poster who attacked my position. Are you against me or against my ideas? Anti-MattBatt's opinion or just plain anti-Matt Batt. It would seem the latter, if your psudonym and your petty use of my bad spelling as rhetorical device were any indication.

corporate media = corporate owned, profit driven 20.Apr.2004 00:16

reader

"I understood that that corporate media was media put out by coroprations"

Yes, and the WW is owned and published by, guess what, a corporation. A corporation that like all corporations is driven by profit, not by truth. A corporation whose sole purpose is to shield the owners from any sort of personal responsibility. That's what corporations are.

Frankly, it's privileged "leftists" that read WW, not who are criticizing it. Most people are smarter than to buy into the false left/right dichotomy and recognize corporate media consolidation and bias for what it is.

"I have never seen any article on any Indymedia deviate from a radical leftist editorial stance, not one."

No offense intended, but you aren't looking very hard. There are multiple stories on the front page of this indymedia that would not be considered "leftist". I come here to escape that kind of silliness of "leftism", "right-wing", etc. At one time I may have been called conservative, but people who now call themselves that piss me off. I may have called myself libertarian but many of those people piss me off. And I started to wonder about this whole left/right thing. Why are libertarians who want little to no government on the right and anarchists who want little to no government on the left? It doesn't make any sense except as a tool to divide people.

It doesn't matter what your label is, it's pretty easy to see that corporate interests are opposed to people's interests. If your interest is to sell ads than anything that will compromise your ability to sell ads will not be tolerated. And that means upholding the status quo, at all costs. That's why I prefer non-corporate media. No one is going to agree with most, or even much, of what's posted but at least you're getting what people really think, not what someone is using to make money.

Corporate media 20.Apr.2004 00:51

George Bender

Corporate media is media that promotes corporate interests, regardless of who owns it.


portland indymedia is not leftist 20.Apr.2004 01:44

pdx indy activist

one of the things that makes portland indymedia different from the other U.S. indymedias is that it is NOT traditionally leftist. check out, for example, the feature on the front page right now about Waco, in which the writer talks about how s/he used to be a liberal, but isn't anymore. witness also the center column features that bashed candidate Dean, when he was still in the running. see also the 9/11 Investigation page, which is totally off the radar of the establishment left. look at any number of other features or newswire stories which totally fall outside of the accepted leftist canon. whatreallyhappened.com, which is not a leftist site, links to portland indymedia regularly for this reason.

many people who read and post to Portland IMC are not leftists, because the editors of the center column have chosen to make it hospitable to more than just leftists. why? because the left is dead. it's been dead for awhile. (see "The Capitulation of the Left is Almost Unprecedented", by Alexander Coburn, at  http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn04162004.html for one good account of this fact.) the people who say that pdx indy is just "preaching to the [leftist] choir" are not paying attention to the posts or the comments. this is not a leftist site, and thank goddess! the left is about the last thing that's going to save us at this point. new ways of looking at things (and at all the old issues) will be necessary if we're going to survive in the shit that's coming down soon. socialist atheism, elite intellectualism, middle-class snobbery -- all these things are dead ends. it's time to move on. pdx indy cannot be said to be leading that charge, but it's blaring the call.

Okay, but... 20.Apr.2004 07:20

MattttttBAaaaaaattt

I concede that PDX Indymedia that after re-examining the content of the site that it isn't your average run of the mill leftist mouthpiece, and really if it wasn't that way, I don't think I would even bother to read it. But it's important to know that PDX Indymedia has biases and flaws just like any other news and editorial source. In the end PDX Indymedia's opinion, an opinion that is as valid, well though out, and vital as any other. What disturbs me is people who take that opinion to be the "truth" or the "voice of the people" and reflexively cut off any criticism, as demonstrated by the comments to this article. No one has a monopoly on the truth, not corporate media and not Indymedia. To push ignorantly ahead and make claims without realizing that you are not living in an ideological vacuum is sheer foolishness. Think for yourself, regardless of who is giving you your information.

to letter writer, and matt batt 20.Apr.2004 09:41

a few thoughts

First, letter writer, no need to write to WW, they scan this site with a leach-like zeal. Too lazy to go find out about the world on their own, they wait with baited breath till one of us posts something interesting, then they do some lazy follow up, put a corporate spin on it, and print it.

Matt, here's the thing. You're obviously thinking about this, and that's good. And you're thinking critically, which is also good. What you need now is a little more info about indymedia. Indy is all of us -- you, me, everyone who posts here -- telling our own stories. Not only does indymedia NOT claim to be "living in an ideological vacuum," we (meaning you, me, and everyone else) freely acknowledge that objectivity is a lie. Only the corporate media attempts to produce an illusion of "objectivity." They are SO biased, but refuse to acknowledge it because there's power in speaking The One and Only Truth from The Authority on Truth.

Now, about "murder." What would you call it, matt, when an armed and dangerous man, part of an armed gang known for it's brutal killings throughout the city, walks up to an unarmed man who is sitting down, strapped behind a car door in a seat belt, and shoots that man 24 seconds later? I call it murder. Any sane and "rational" person might call it that.

Finally, on corporate media. Several people above have already done a great job of explaining why WW and the mercury are corporate media. So I probably don't have to. Just to elaborate a little: profit-driven, capitalist enterprises, in this town often in the pocket of the PBA, afraid to move beyond the corporate cannon, willing to sell women's bodies along with their "product," sold out to high paying corporate advertisers, liars. Did I leave anything out? Please feel free to add to this list.

(About the spelling thing, though, fuck that. Some of the most intelligent people on this site can hardly spell at all. Who cares. If people can understand you, there's no reason to take exception at unconventional spelling.)

CR@ZY and i love it! 20.Apr.2004 12:28

@ (the real mccoy)

"the left is dead" "i'm not a liberal anymore" "i hate conservatives" you know, i was reading up on the history of the word 'conservatism', and ppl used to use it in a positive way! these days when you hear it, it's got a negative connotation = ppl with sticks up their asses; language evolves. as for all this self labeling, i understand that sometimes it's just quicker to use a label to describe yourself when exchanging words, but the term isn't universal, if you know what i mean; there are a million different shades.

whether you want to call it 'murder' or 'killing' or 'criminal', i think it basically comes down to this: someone with a weapon KILLED an unarmed man without any PROVEN justifiable provocation. i think that ppl seriously need to question that. if you call me crazy, then it's really 1984 after all...

Petty but important 23.Apr.2004 14:10

hason mcmt23@hotmail.com

This may come off as petty, and certainly it detracts from the theme of these posts, which is the murder (and I would call it murder) of a citizen by a Portland Police officer, but spelling is important. Reading the posts and stories, often it looks as if the poster did not give what they had written so much as a quick scan-through before posting. So many spelling mistakes that look like bad typing jobs, or obliviousness to anything other than typing as fast as possible. And much much more than just "unconventional spelling". If you want to be a journalist of WHATEVER sort, you need to be as rigorous with your presentation as with your fact-checking and information gathering. Everyone makes spelling mistakes, but there is a big difference between an errant vowel and over ten obviously misspelled words in a single posting. It detracts from the information you are trying to impart. It makes you look bad, and makes people not take seriously what you are saying. And with spellcheck a common feature, it's worth it to spend the 30 seconds to run it on your news posting. If you are serious about counter-acting the corporate media behemoth, don't give them an easy ticket to dismiss you.