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Portland Community Liberation Front Targeted by PPD for Copwatching

Last night the Portland Police tried to intimidate local community groups by following them in cars and on foot, issuing excessive citations for bogus charges in an attempt to counteract the Constitutional rights of citizens to peacefully observe--without interfering--the police officers on duty.
* * B R E A K I N G N E W S * * B R E A K I N G N E W S * *

Portland Community Policing Group Targeted by PPD for Copwatching
For Immediate Release

Portland, OR - IN ANOTHER CLASH with the Portland Police Department [PPD], Portland Community Liberation Front [PCLF] successfully provided legal, non-violent observance of over five traffic stops on or near the intersection of MLK and Killingsworth Thursday, November 11 between 10pm and 1am. PPD's extreme response resulted in over $1,100.00 in minor traffic citations. This is not the first time the PPD has attempted to stifle the activities of PCLF and other community patrolling/Copwatching organizations. The events of the evening are indicative of PPD resistance to community involvement in police accountability.

On Thursday nights, PCLF (a police accountability organization by and for people of color that formed in response to the killings of James and Perez last year) holds its routine community patrol in North and Northeast PDX. They observe and document the activities of police officers during interactions with community members. The goal of community patrolling is to inform community members of their rights - which eventually may prevent another tragedy of police violence. When asked by police about their presence PCLF responds consistently in accordance with their rights, "We are here to observe, we do not intend to interfere."

During these patrols, PCLF has been subject to harassment, disrespectful actions and a lack of professionalism from the PPD. This includes PPD shining spotlights directly in the eyes of community patrollers for upwards of 20 minutes, stalking the cars of PCLF for more than 8 blocks at a time, and verbal abuse of the community observers during traffic stops. The harassment does not end when PCLF explains that they are participating in the constitutional right to observe law enforcement officers in the line of duty.

On Thursday night, this harassment was taken to a new level of intimidation. Over three hours, two African American leaders of the organization were cited with $1147 worth of bogus misdemeanor tickets. These citations were given for charges such as "failure to use a crosswalk" or using a turn signal "not soon enough." In addition, a PCLF car was pulled over under the pretext that the license plate light did not work; upon inspection of the working lights, the officer conceded that it was an excuse to detain PCLF members.

These incidents are proof that this police accountability work is essential. PCLF will continue non-violent community patrolling. PCLF feels that the PPD in its current state is not accountable to the communities in which it operates. PCFL does not intend to work with the PPD. They feel that the police have been given ample time and opportunity to change their behavior or seek community assistance. PCLF does not wish to waive its right to community patrolling under the name of coalition building. PCLF recognizes that there are other community groups building relationships with the PPD. PCLF respects those organizations.
this is nothing more than Vera Katz's spiteful 12.Nov.2004 18:16


to the activist community. By the looks of her, she ain't for long herself! hip! hip! hooray!

tell me, did the 12.Nov.2004 18:19


have their darling Scott McCollister out in that area at MLK & Killingsworth?????

Thanks for Doing This Work 12.Nov.2004 20:01

and stay safe

Thanks for doing this work. I'll *bet* the PoPo don't like having observers.

van pd 12.Nov.2004 21:34

is much the same

Pig dont like you to watch.

Best of luck.

And you will file a lawsuit monday, right? 13.Nov.2004 01:53

Teddy Ruxpin (The Lousy Typist)

File a small claims suit for a buck in multnomah county court. It is symbolic at least, and makes a permanent record. Show them that they can write bullshit tickets, and we can file bullshit lawsuits. Let's see who gets sick of this game first.

good work 13.Nov.2004 12:41


do you take video cameras with you on these copwatching excursions? video can be a powerful evidentiary tool to prove that the police are acting inappropriately. mini-disc recorders are also a good idea to record high-quality audio of encounters with the police.

i admire this action and encourage others to build the movement.

(by the way, the portland police are known as the 'portland police bureau', or ppb, not 'ppd'. this is a small distinction that is not intended to take away from the good work you are doing.)

PPD wants to break up black families and community 13.Nov.2004 13:28


We're having some hard times with our allies getting targeted for thier skin color too. Is there any kind of non-governmnent group that helps with domestic disputes? Cause those fucking pigs are making our friends life hell, and we need some help.


mb - 13.Nov.2004 16:01

social worker

What sort of "domestic disputes" are you referring to? There are plenty of non governmental agencies that help with various issues, but they are all pretty specialized. A bit more info would be helpful to get you the correct referrals.

Please name the cops who are harassing you 13.Nov.2004 18:30


Please name the cops who are using these intimidation tactics.

Naming them helps the community so people can use extreme caution around these rogues (some examples: turn on tape recorders or video cameras, make a cell phone call so the interaction is recorded or monitored by others, scream for help so witnesses will see the interaction).

Naming them also helps to protect you.

Thanks for the good work. Good to hear you won't capitulate and work with the PPB. Thanks for the post. Stay strong.

rogues? 13.Nov.2004 22:07

or just PP peepeeing on the public?

They're not "rogues" unless the rest of the cops repudiate their behavior. So far the cops are one big happy family. If you wanna hold your breath until the (mythical?) "good cops" denounce the "bad" ones, go ahead.

RIGHT ON! 14.Nov.2004 22:41

abu salaam

Yes indeed, it is way past high time that popo was scrutinized in its doings! i, a person of color, have felt the excessively heavy hand of the popo. their "style" of law enforcement is decidedly unhealthy for people of color far too often (even ONCE is far too much!).this used to be a "free" country. i wonder what happened. :( people of portland if you don't want to lose ALL of your remaining civil rights you had better keep on excersising them! power to the people!

salaam alikuum, shalom, peace, as

WE Stand With You 15.Nov.2004 11:14

Citizen X

Get down! I did not know about PCLF, though I had heard rumors that someone was doing this. Thank God someone is standing up to these insane killers. What can we do to help?

You might talk with Alan Graf of the Constitutional Law Center (I think I have that name right) regarding possible legal actions. He can be reached at 503-452-2375. His office, I think, is at 1020 SW Taylor St., Ste. 230 Portland, Oregon 97205. At least that's where it used to be, though I think I heard he moved up a floor.

You could also try the Belmont Law center, though I do not have their contact info. (Stu or someone, could you give it to them?)

Please do post here to let us know what we can do to help. At the very least, I think each of us should be willing to go out and bear witness to police actions in African American neighborhoods. They're killing people out there, we all know it, and those of us with white skin need to be AT LEAST as active at stopping it as people of color. White skin confers an unearned privilege, in that we risk far less than a person of color by standing up to the pigs.

I have a camera, and will be out on the streets watching.

You all deserve a lot of respect. 16.Nov.2004 10:50


This is tough freaking work that you are doing!!! Someone should make a documentary about your work, to show the rest of the country that this is how real life citizens are keeping the country intact--so that you can get credit for yourselves, etc.---and to show that this is how bad things really are here--that when the people who this government represents THE MOST (all LEGITIMATE authority of government is based on preventing harms, and being black is enough to put one in harm's way)---that this is what we get: smacked in the face. For doing our job. When you consider that the whole American Revolution and this country was born out of the issue of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION................What the PCLF is doing is MAJOR, and very weighty. The PCLF is in solidarity with all the great struggles of humanity, and we should give them respect in every way for the hard work that they are doing right here in our town.

ITS ALIVE 16.Nov.2004 13:32

nature boy

if the PCLF gets this be careful there is rumor that the PPB are trying to infiltrate your organization with people posing as members that leak information this is serious stuff even though PCLF is not breaking any laws the bureau does not want this to happen it will put ill Ill-advised people in power. be careful