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Black Man in Possession of Rich Man's Car=Reason to Kill

Officer Macomber justified the killing of Jahar Perez, in part, because he and Jason Sery were suspicious that a black man would be driving a luxury car in the hood.

How enlightening.
While I tend to lean toward the explanation offered by numerous indy readers -- that the Perez killing was a pre-meditated gang hit -- I find Macomber's testimony almost as beguiling. He said, in part, that he knew something must be wrong because Perez was driving a car that was too expensive for the working class African American neighborhood he was in. Too expensive, in fact, for a black man.

Apparently, they were so edgy about a black man in a fine car that they had to shoot Perez 24 seconds after stopping him, and then taze his lifeless body for another 3 minutes. Was it an "accident"? Or an example. In the old days, a black man who was found with a white woman faced a lynching. These days, it seems, just being in possession of a CAR that's "out of his league" is enough.

The truth is out. Spilling haplessly from their own lips. The cops are not patrolling N and NE PDX to protect the people who live there, they're not even pretending to be. On the contrary, they're occupying the hood to make sure no brown people get uppity enough to lust after the privilege and status of White Man. They're there to keep the "darkies" in their place.

On any given day, a short trek through the working class neighborhoods of N and NE PDX will reveal patrol cars on almost every avenue. Police visibility in these neighborhoods far outstrips what one might expect to find in, say, trendy NW. All that "protection" costs money. Supporting an occupying army, even a domestic one, is an expensive habit.

City officials sometimes point to the overwhelming financial burden of the domestic army prowling North Precinct as evidence of "investment" in black neighborhoods, but we know differently. We know that if the amount we're spending on cops were instead spent on education, housing, or health care in the same neighborhoods, quality of life for residents would be impacted in a much more positive manner. We also know that all those extra police officers are not there to serve and protect anyone but wealthy white folks who want someone to keep an eye on the hood. And we know that the police are stalking and killing people.

Now, thanks to Officer Macomber's testimony, we know why.
Very well put 29.Apr.2004 19:24

Sandi Nista

I don't see any reason why a black man driving an expensive car should indicate that they got it by stealing it. Oh, stupid me, I forget how cops think (or don't think). There are blacks who have money. Maybe they wanted to show off their new ride to their homeys. Portland police have issues. Just like how, according to the cops here. in Cincinnati, it's punishable by death to run away from an officer. Forgive me for posting to your IMC, but we are struggling to get an IMC in Cincy up and running and I was considering moving to Portland anyhow. Maybe not, considering how your police are.

there's nothing to forgive 29.Apr.2004 19:30

indy reader

Good luck with the imc.

not just in p-town 29.Apr.2004 19:54

auntie

A few years ago my nephew did a lot of commuting between Portland and Eugene and he constantly got stopped for "young non-white driving a nice car". The fact that a young man could make good (legal) money right out of high school never occurred to the police. He's older now and works in town but I still worry.

Hello and welcome 29.Apr.2004 20:04

Father Time

... Sandi Nista, to Portland IMC. And no forgiveness for posting here necessary - we will take all the (to steal a phrase from the wacko side) "right thinking" comrades we can get out here in P-town. In all truth, it is a great place for activists et al to live, in comparison to so many less progressive parts of this empire...

To CatWoman: As a frequent peruser (yet infrequent poster) on indy, I first have to say that I always find your comments/arguments to be well formulated, lucid, and generally right on the proverbial money. I guess I'd sum up my admiration for you by saying you seem to have a gift for succinctly and poignantly putting to print the kinds of ideas I (and I'm sure many others) have rattling around in our collective heads. For this, thank you.

But one piece of fodder on this topic I'd like to throw out... You state:

"While I tend to lean toward the explanation offered by numerous indy readers -- that the Perez killing was a pre-meditated gang hit --"

Attempting to think like a cop for a moment (if such is possible)... If the dynamic duo in fact knew who Mr. Perez was, and "knew" he was a gang member, would it not have been easier for them to attempt to justify their actions by merely stating such? In other words, if they knew who he was, they would have known he was previously arrested for assault, as well as for carrying a weapon. Would this not have given them far more justification to shoot first and, well, <not> ask questions later?

Personally, I believe this was more of a flagrant "profile stop/act before we think/oops oh shit/how do we get out of this mess now" type of thing than a pre-meditated one. Thus the inconsistencies in the testimony, etc.

As to the rest of your post, as usual, I think you're spot on...

Gang Hit 29.Apr.2004 20:31

CatWoman

Thanks for the nice words. Just to clarify the meaning of "gang hit," I'm not implying that Jahar Perez was a gang member, but rather that Sery, Macomber, and the rest of the "boys in blue" are members of the most violent and dangerous gang in the city: The Portland Police Bureau. If Jahar Perez crossed them at some point in his life, it's not beyond reason to believe they were gunning for him.

Maybe there is a techno answer 29.Apr.2004 21:17

bill

I wonder how feasable it would be to put duty recorders on the gear belt of every cop, something that they could not alter that would record sound and images for the duration of their shift, that would have to be turned in to a non-police source at the end of the shift for downloading? Many state highway patrols have "locked" recorders on their car cameras, so the drivers of these cars can not get in and "lose" a tape that shows them in misconduct. Why not just take this one step further with an 8-hour tape recorder, clipped to the belt.

You could even go one step further and have it monitor the officer's vital signs, so that if anything ever happened to the officer help could be summoned. It would then work both ways.

Never happen though, we are just going to have to continue takign these cops word for it that they are not assasinating people for the sheer hell of it.

The tazing was to resuscitate Perez 29.Apr.2004 21:47

Clear and present danger

If we don't speak up, we are next.

I get it 30.Apr.2004 00:00

Father Time

Tracking with you now on the "gang hit" thing, CatWoman. I had heard that the popo were accusing Mr. Perez of being gang affiliated, so that was where my mind went...

Of course we all know the "Blue Boys" are the most prolific gang there is.

And Bill, as to recorders, not sure about the technology or feasibility of belt mounted models (haven't heard of anything like that), but in car cameras are standard in many locations, and usually include a lapel mic. I'm sure with the budget PPB pulls in, it wouldn't require much belt tightening to implement them across the board...

belt recorders 30.Apr.2004 07:27

oldwon

While 'belting' the cops is an interesting idea, such technology would be turned against us in a hot second. How long before each of us would be forced into wearing some kind of security recorder "for our own safety." Observant citizens are still the best resource...and the independent media.

Black Man/Woman+Nice car=Gangster 30.Apr.2004 07:58

Chardman

Used to work with someone who was continually pulled over for no reason.
This mother of three was late for work and our friday afternoon get-togethers often.
We used to factor in the fact that she would be late at the bar because of it.
Cops would detain her for several minutes to run her plates and to see if she was on their gang data base.
One cop screwed up and told her it was because they couldn't figure out how she (early 20s black woman) could be driving such a nice car (early 90s BMW).
This was Vancouver.

St. Johns 30.Apr.2004 09:13

Frank

I'm St. Johns Born and Jt.Johns Bred
When the cops shoot me
I'm St. Johns Dead!
I have lived in St. Johns since 1948. It has always been an area of Portland with racial harmony. There were actually more black folks living here after WW 2 then there are now..
I'd like to skip to the issues at hand..The police have always regarded St. Johns as bad duty and used to refer to it as "Siberia"..Bad cops and cops with problems have always been assigned this beat. They detest St. Johns.
Cops have a legacy of planting drugs and evidence on suspects in North Portland..Does anyone at all remember the house they stormed on N. Lombard some years back and a cop was killed while carrying drugs to plant..Yes, they got caught and exposed but a lot of young people did time before being exonerated..
If you were to ask this question of a Public Defender ; "Have you ever caught a cop lieing in sworn testimony", what do you suppose his answer would be? I have asked this of one PD and got a look of disbelief and a "OH God Yes! beyound counting"..
Now the questions are, do cops get a lifetime pension for stress disability when they gun some poor kid down ? Just what exactly is the type of Physcological screening do they give these Policemen? Why are the cops not drug tested after these incidents, we've all heard the rumours ? When the background of the victim is reported, why not the background of the cop ? One wittness on the scene where young Perez was gunned down was a prior victim of one of these cops and had been awarded a settelment. This was given a buried line in todays Oregonian..
It is a fact that when you have a bad, corrupt or criminal police force it will stay bad or corrupt unless it is absolutly rooted out by corageous newspaper folk and politicians..Our Oregonian is so supportive of this rogue police force and denial of its lethal permissiveness that it is a major part of the problem itself..

Clarity and United Action 30.Apr.2004 12:26

avalon

Thanks for post. It is apparent the more we learn about this case Perez was racially profiled. Probably humiliated and angry for having his civil and human rights violated, Perez was less than totally submissive (but appears to have been cooperative in all reports). 24 seconds after the call to dispatch reporting the stop he was dead. It is my understanding the Grand Jury is a Jury extremely limited as they see only what the DA wants them to see. If there is any inter-agency cronyism or a less than scrupulous DA, justice can not come from a spoon-fed jury. The same is happening at the public inquest. DA Shrunk is bringing eyewitnesses to the stand to state already established facts (surface "what did you see") and then dismissing them. "Don't tell us what you've read or what you think, just what you saw." Our DA is intructing witnesses to not say what they think! You can feel the guts of these witnesses bleeding with the truth as they are told to provide simple visual information, all the while the words 24 seconds are quickly thrown into the middle of a long paragraph spoken by the police officer involved in the shooting to the ears of a sleeping Portland, too busy with their everyday lives and work to bother looking into a case they have been told is already decided. Where is Justice in Portland, where is Conscience in Portland? Friends, it is in the hearts and minds of those who are aware of the details of this case. We must spread the word! Prepare a poster that says DA Shrunk instructs witnesses to not say what they think. Racial profiling and police escalation killed Perez. Perez Death = Manslaughter. This Inquest is an Insult. And take it down town or on a busy street. Tell them why. Learn the facts of this case. The more we know, the more we must learn how we can bring an affective independant review process and police accountablity in Portland. We must end racial profiling in our community once and for all. We must reach out to the conscience of our city and community, including within the police ranks, to bring real accountability. Reach Out! Listen to this inquest on the radio!

Also, does anyone have a public contact number for Albina Ministries Alliance?

Black Man in Possession of Rich Man's Car=Reason to Kill 30.Apr.2004 13:13

azcell

Couldn't have said it better myself. The majority of cops in the US don't care about keeping the peace. All they care about is to keep the city coffers flowing with cash through unconstitutional drug laws, beating up on minorities (driving while brown), and lying about it all in the end. It's sickening that the corruption begins at the top (Police Chief) who tacitly condone this type of thuggery by pricks with badges and guns, but no compassion for their fellow human beings.

yes 30.Apr.2004 16:02

.

i questioned a cops behavior towards me,and he threatened to shoot me.this was in bellingham wa.

owning up to reality 01.May.2004 10:50

is also power

racism is thoroughly inbedded in our society. we all need to accept that. and from the testimonies at the inquiry it is pretty obvious that the dead black man was targeted because of his skin color and the fact that his car was too nice for that color. to the police it seemed out of place in the neighborhood. is it not police officers' duty to protect and serve each and every citizen, not to make sure people of certain colors are driving the cars they should be, given their skin color? or that following a car too nice for the person driving it for 13 blocks just to see if they mess up and then fake a traffic stop, after the driver has already pulled over? or to just assume that because an individual has a past in gangs and is black that they must still be and must be packing heat and out to shoot a cop in broad daylight with a bunch of witnesses all around?

often there is loud speak about rehabilitating gang members and getting them off the streets and cleaned up and trained for jobs, but then this sort of thing happens. drug addiction is not something to be taken lightly, of course, and that can sometimes lead to ill-advised behavior, but is someone's weakness for a substance that helps them forget that they and their peers are targeted by those who are supposed to be allies really enough to kill them less than 30 seconds after confronting them?

really, people, if a white, yellow, purple, asian, indian, european, orange person was pulled over for driving a car too nice for their skin color and was shot within 30 seconds of a faux traffic stop, then YES there would be a public outcry. unfortunately, the reality is, that is just very much more unlikely to happen.