I agree with some of the posts on this site and with Lloyd Marbet that this settlement has not as of yet made any noticeable difference in the brutality and oppression of the Portland Police.
However, for those of you who know me, I have been involved in trying to bring accountability to the police for years. See the Majority Report on the city of Portland website. I don't do this for recognition or for monetary gain. My grandparents were dragged out in the middle of the night by nazi thugs in uniform to be gassed to death at Auschwitz. I am genetically inclined to do battle with the forces of oppression for the sake of my grandparents and my children and grandchildren. Like everyone else, I appreciate appreciation, but don't expect it.
I, like Lloyd, would have preferred some written policy changes. However after negotiating for five months, the city offered us only watered down policy directives that were meaningless. I was not ready to recommend some meaningless piece of paper to my clients.
This law suit, BY ITSELF, will accomplish little change. I agree. However, all of the Plaintiffs and lawyers, other than Lloyd, have committed to funding the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center, a project of the National Lawyers Guild.
All of the guild lawyers who I have spoken with nationally, who have worked in mass prosecution of protest cases and who have sued other cities over protest violations tell me that if you keep hitting them in their pocketbook, again and again, they will change.
Los Angeles is now a much more First Amendment friendly town than before because the city council realized they would go bankrupt if they didn't reel in their cops. This is a good example of what we can do here.
Here is what we plan to do. We will sue again and in fact we are gathering evidence from the latest demonstrations including videos and photos that we plan to share soon.
We will depose and investigate the police. We hired private investigators to go after Herr Kruger and will do it again and again if the police continue to violate your Consitutional Rights.
We plan to buy cameras and train people in using them including African-American youth in North Portland so that those streets can be safer from police brutality.
We plan to keep files on them, like they keep files on us. Touche!
The beauty of this is--that we won a battle. Wow, that is hard for some of the left to accept. We can win? Something must be wrong with it? -------------NOT!!
This is not my victory or the Plaintiffs or the legal team. It is yours. You can appreciate it, use it or spit on it. It is your choice. But if you have strong opinions either way, please do something more than simply criticize the good works of others. Get up off your ass and put your ideas into action. Then come talk to me.
For those who expect one law suit to make fundamental changes in the system, don't understand the system. The system will not allow it. As Arthur Kinoy once said, justice is a constant struggle.
I, like my colleagues, have made a life-time committment to making positive changes. Activism is not a fast foods phenomenon. The struggles we engage in and the efforts we make to change society may not even come to fruition within our lifetimes.
All we can do is try our best and use as many tools that are available to get the work done.
We did win a battle here,
and if I have my way, we will continue to do battle.
Will you join me?
We plan to throw a celebration party and you ALL ARE INVITED.
a hippy who kicked police butt
and plans to do it again.