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The guy that got $700 in tickets on his bike in Gresham

Hey, court was a few days ago, how about an update? Lots of us want to know how your trial went!
Please update us and let us know if you got off on those bogus charges!

background 29.Apr.2005 10:19

indyista

for readers who want to know:

Long story short, today I got $700 worth of tickets on my bike in Gresham
2005.03.31 07:38
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/03/314641.shtml

Update 29.Apr.2005 12:46

Rider

So I went to court but since i was pleading not guilty, I will have a trial which has now been scheduled for 5/23. I hate the delay but since I dont have any $$ I guess time is good.

I have learned a few other things since then. After filing a written complaint against Officer Durbin, I got a response from Sgt. O'Keeffe (Traffic Supervisor) It read:
Thanking for taking your time to complete our "Citizen Comment Form" regarding the contact you had with ne of our traffic officers.
I read your complaint and your comments on the "Portland Independent Media Center's" website. I also talked to my traffic officers about the contact.
It is obvious that my officer was unprofessional and rude. It is also just as obvious that you were just as unprofessional and rude.I cant dictate the conduct of the Public. I can only hold my Officers to a higher stndard tehn some of the people they have to deal with.
There were mistakes made by all parties involved in this incindent. Some of the mistakes were traffic violations and some were mistakes in judgement. I will deal with my Officer administratively.
I hope that all parties involved learned lessons. If you want respect, you have to show respect and that doesnt just apply to Police Officers
I cant address the citation issue, but the best advise you recieved was from "The Cop" on the website.
Good Luck, stay safe on your bike and I am sorry that you cnotact with the Gresham Police Department was a negative contact.


So that was the letter I got. Indymedia is big obviously with the Gresham Police. Another thing I got in the mail was a certified letter from officer Durbin with the actual violations, codes # and a xeroxed copy of the what the law states.
I found this exceptionally wierd and have never heard of anyone getting sent a copy of their ticket from the officer. I can only gather that he did this because he read the indy post and didnt want me to have a chance to fight the tickets based on lack on knowledge. (See advice from Commuting Cop in original post)

I also learned that Officer Durbin is a complete dick and has a history of harrassing bike riders. Further evidence of Durbin being a dick was documented in the Gresham Outlook (local paper) in a letter to the editor by a 32 year vetern of the Portland Fire Department named Michael McCormick. (Way more credible than me) Michael said "I recieved a $201 ticket from Officer Jeff Durbin in a very disturbing manner....If this is the way the Gresham Police Department treats the citizens of Gresham, than there is a problem."
Yes indeed there is a problem. And his name is officer Durbin. I have heard stories of this guy's abuse of power and of his vindictiveness. Which is exactly what I need. A power abusing vindictive cop who reads what I write on indymedia.

Anyway that is an update. Does anyone know if it is possible to get access to the notes the officer took about the traffic stop? Is it possible to get info on other complaints this officer has had in the past? Aside from the ones I hear from other riders.
Looks like my monetary fate is put off for another month.

Reality Check 29.Apr.2005 14:12

Bully Buster

Re: "It is obvious that my officer was unprofessional and rude. It is also just as obvious that you were just as unprofessional and rude."

Hold your horses, Kimosabe. While it sounds like the rider lost his/(her?) temper, they were certainly NOT unprofessional, as they made no claim to be practicing any profession. In contrast, the officers involved in the incident were presumably practicing a profession that has the stated primary philosophical intent to 'protect and serve', yet chose to act abusively and unprofessionally instead.

Throughout Portland, and, increasingly throughout the state/country, good citizens are growing weary of corrupt and abusive officials. At hand is an opportunity for those abusers to change their behavior, or start looking for other work. The patience of the people for the bullying cowardess demonstrated by some of our civil servants is nearing the limit.

Re: "If you want respect, you have to show respect and that doesnt just apply to Police Officers"

While it is often desirable to show respect towards others, there is no law against being an asshole. In contrast, a police officer has been entrusted by the public with special powers. In exchange, the officer is bound by duty to maintain professional behavior, and to DEMONSTRATE basic respect to all members of the public of which he/she is sworn to serve. "The Cop" seemed to have a far better grasp of this concept than Sgt. O'Keeffe. Perhaps "The Cop" would be a more suitable candidate for Mr. O'Keeffe's position.

The cop reads indymedia 29.Apr.2005 18:18

J

I like to know that the pigs read this site. Maybe they could actually listen to what people feel. Maybe they should also understand that enforcing the Bush doctrine and being aggresive assholes is not the way.

Talk to the media 29.Apr.2005 19:47

Power trip

What you should do is call your local newspaper. Trust me, they will print a story on it if you are willing to do it. The one thing these official power abusers are scared of is exposure. It would have been better if you had not swore, but no big deal, that's just human nature, I would have done the same as you did. The cop was admittedly acting in a malicious fasion by the way he verbally attacked you (your swearing did not give him the right to verbally assault you). He certainly had no right to use his position as a police officer to take revenge on you for his personal pleasure. He instigated the whole episode by yelling at you first. In fact you could file a lawsuit against the city for malicious prosecution. If they escalate the situation and continue to demand the money from you, that option will remain open to you. You now have a letter proving the officer was unprofessional (not to bright of them)and keep everything they write. Anyway, talk to the media, the police will probably work a deal to drop the charges if you agree not to publish. If the paper doesn't go along by some chance, you can always write a letter to the editor. Good luck!

My thoughts... 29.Apr.2005 19:59

MeTwo

"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!"

Not sure how this fits the subject, but I have been dying to quote it for some time.

Thanks!

I just wann'a know. . . 29.Apr.2005 22:13

kikasmofo

is why you copper's aint aresting the lying poloticians who are getting oregon state citizens killed?

manslaughter is the act of causing another's death through acts of gross neglegence or as a result of an other crime.

i believe that oregon peace officers have juristiction over the crime if it either occures in oregon or if the victim lived in oregon. and if they have jurisdiction over the crime, then they must be obliged to act in an affirmative manner in order to protect the public and enforce the law.

I SUBMIT to the officers of GRESHAM the crime of MANSLAUGHTER has been committed against each and every Oregon Guardsmen who have died in Iraq.

- either George W Bush and Richard R Cheney were grossly incompetent

- or they dileberately deceived the Congress and the American People

Either way, every one of them is an innocent man in danger. Each Guardsman is a citizen who deserves being defended. A crime is a crime.


So Gresham police, and portland popo, gladd that you are listening. Glad that you are checking us out.

. . . . . but now it is your turn to act. Either they incompetent, or are corrupt. America was Not 20 minutes from death and there are NO weapons of mass destruction!

so next bush or cheny come to town, and I see you at the protest, I'm gonna have to ask you to arrest the Manslaughterer. You gonna do it?

just a suggestion? 29.Apr.2005 23:33

who knows

maybe submit the officer or Gresham Police as Willamette Weekly's "rogue of the week". Maybe not the best venue, but seems like an easy way to get exposure to the officer and/or Gresham police.

Calls Himself A Christian 30.Apr.2005 01:06

Greshamite

From what I hear, this officer calls himself a Christian and is known to frequent the "Good Shepard" church. His actions do not sound so Christian to me. Typical

Know What You Mean 30.Apr.2005 01:12

Another Rider

I was riding in Gresham 2 nites ago about 9 pm. I was riding on Powell just past the Gresham Post office when a cop coming towards me whipped into the turning lane. He stopped as if to turn around and come my way. I kicked it into high gear took a sharp left and sped away from that officer as I hit the Springwater trail. Gresham cops are slow, next time just ride away.
Then again, if a cop walked in front of me...

"tire tracks all across your back, I can see you had your fun" JH

Speechless 30.Apr.2005 10:24

Commuter Cop

I just don't know what to say, that letter is HUGE. It might not seem like much, but speaking as a cop, that letter (which, by the way, would be a good idea to take with you to court, just in case, but don't use it unless you have to) is not just uncommon, it is unheard of! "Administraitively" can mean a lot of things, from verbal warnings all the way through termination, so don't read too much into that. But admitting he was unprofessional, and apologizing, well trust me it is big.

Oh, I don't know if I remembered to advise you of this or not, but be sure to file a "request for discovery" at the police station, asking for the officer's notes, reports and any related documents. Be very specific in your wording, since this is a court document and can only be "narrowly interpreted."

It is a bit strange to find out the Gresham PD reads Indy, I thought I was a bit rare in being a regular reader. . . Food for thought.

subtle ways of repression 30.Apr.2005 10:35

keepthepoormandown

tickets for bike violations, parking and speeding tickets, jaywalking-

anytime a person get's a citation for any of these, a more serious crime has been committed: this is the crime of enforcing laws that repress the poor. How are these laws unfair, here is a situation: when someone driving a BMW gets a speeding ticket, he silently curses the cop for wasting his time, but cares little for the money spent on the ticket- when a poor man get's the same ticket, a major event has just taken place in his life; sacrifices in other parts of his life have to be made, economic choices. More people might protest in serious way's if they didn't fear citations and court court fees
Spend any time in a courtroom and you will find poor people caught up in the unfair system of traffic citations and fines; people who are on payment
plans because they cannot afford to pay off their ridiculous fines. The person who got 700 dollars in fines on his bike is a perfect example of this. The fact that this officer is being defended by a superior in the name of mutual respect is disturbing; we MUST not take it as a given that a cop will destroy you economically if you are rude to him, this is unacceptable, and scary state of things- especially when the attitude comes from readers of this website. A good quote about this comes from Engels:

"The rich man is equally prohibited from stealing bread"

all laws are not equal, enforcement of these laws must be recognized as such.

Very Well Put 30.Apr.2005 11:51

Reader

keepthepoormandown that was excellently put. Thanks for the food for thought

A Blip in the Matrix 30.Apr.2005 15:01

Power Trip

I just wanted to clarify a point, if you decide to talk to the media, and you should, it's kind of fun anyway, don't feel intimidated, there's no reason to be. Anyway, what will happen is that they will take your side of the story, tell them everything, especially tell them about the note. They will ask you some questions to round out all the facts for the article. Then they will contact the police department for comment. This is the nice thing about it, they will know what their options are and figure out what they want to do without ego's getting in the way. It is very clear the officer was engaged in a vendetta against you, they will not want this being printed for all the public to see. I expect they will, in some kind of face-saving way decide to drop the tickets. This will make them look better even if the article is printed and will end the possibility of a follow-up article. The big-whigs and legal dept. will make these decisions and it will not be lost on them how an article of this type will make them appear. Do not underestimate the fact that the police dept. does not want bad publicity, especially over something as ridiculous as $700 dollars worth of tickets for doing nothing other than riding your bike, this will make them look like complete idiots in any context. I also noticed that it wasn't when you were right in front of officer Power Mad that he had a problem with your adherance to traffic laws, it was only after you dared to answer his yelling at you in kind. Write every point down so you can refer to it in court if it does make it that far. Represent yourself, make the cop answer every detail of what he did and said. Maybe you should record the whole thing as I doubt they'll give you a transcript. You'll be very nervous at first, but that will pass quickly when you start getting mad when the cop starts telling whoppers on the stand. Judges know the score, he's going to have a problem with the ammount of tickets for simply riding your bike. I'm digressing here, if you hjave questions or need help with a letter, just mention it on the site here. Again, Good Luck!

To the media 30.Apr.2005 21:33

Expat

I definitely agree you should take this to the media. Hard to believe they sent that letter, but since you have it, put it to good use. Even if WW is a corporate rag, the "Rogue of the Week" angle is a natural in this situation. It also lets a wider audience know that there's such a thing as Indymedia; (believe me, many people have little idea of how to start educating themselves on the net.)

As for working class people getting tickets...an absolutely brilliant fictional rendering of such an event can be found in Tom Wolfe's "A Man in Full." Yes, much of the book is predictably reactionary, but his depiction of how difficult it is for a working class person to get enough time off of work to get his car out of hock and pay a ticket is chillingly accurate and powerful. He does have an amazing eye and ear for the class struggle, even if his sympathies are somewhat elitist.

Matrix Reloaded 30.Apr.2005 23:24

Power Trip

Here's another unhappy customer that got a $201 dollar ticket from Jeffrey Durbin in a Gresham speed trap that wrote a letter to the editor -----------------------------> www.theoutlookonline.com/article/6923

courtroom advice 01.May.2005 11:30

freedom rider

1. I ain't a law-yer, so consider yourself warned.

I got a couple tickets at critical masses in Boise back in the the day (1998/99?). Anyway, I got off on one and had the other reduced from 60 some bucks (which I didn't have half of) to 5 bucks which I paid, like a sellout, whatever.

First -- read the wording of the laws that you were cited with breaking. There should be a law library in Gresham, possibly somewhere around the courthouse. Find out exactly what the law says is illegal. If you didn't do those things, or actually if the city can't prove you did them, you win. How the cop behaved may be irrelevant in the judge's deciding whether you broke the traffic laws, unless you intend to argue the cop's ticketing was based solely on bad attitude, if you admit to doing all the things and say, but the cop was a real dick, the judge will probably say "case closed pay up". I'm not saying not to mention that the cop was pissed cos you said fuck off or whatever--because that may best explain why you were ticketed, just don't admit that you did all the other stuff in the same breath, you know?

The one I got off on was "unsafe lane change." The City of Boise lawyer asked the cop all these details about the critical mass and whether it appeared that I was some sort of "leader." Objection! Has nothing to do with whether I changed lanes unsafely. Sustained. Fuck yeah. That right there was worth it all. I recognized the law was a kinda subjective one, so I asked the cop how fast I was going (I think he said 10mph), how fast the car behind me was going (20mph), how far behind me the nearest car was (several car lengths), whether I signalled (yes, but only for three seconds while the law reqires 5), etc. The judge ruled not guilty, though I would have been guilty if I'd been cited for failure to signal properly. I walked. On the way out, the cop told me I should take a bicycle safety class, I told him he should quit harrassing protestors. He was pissed.

Also I would check out the details on signaling in Gresham, Moltnomah county, and Oregon (or wherever the fuck Gresham is) and see if cyclists are given any kind of exemption from signalling. I think in Idaho if you have something in one hand, or if for any reason it may be unsafe to signal, you don't have to. I would also check out the rules on stopping, as in some instances bikes are not required to stop, only yield--maybe this is true in parking lots provided there's no traffic.... Anyway, do your homework. Oh yeah and like commuter cop said, do file for discovery--that way you should get any evidence they may use against you. Just be sure to file for all notes, documents, and recordings (audio and video), etc. That way you can know what evidence they'll lay down against you. Maybe he had a tape recorder on his belt, and plans to use that against you.

Moral: Everything you do, if you wind up in the courtroom, should be directed towards causing doubt that you broke the laws on those tickets.

Of course lying is very dangerous (unless you're a cop), not recommended. Remember you also don't have to testify, all you have to do is show that the cop hasn't proven you broke the law. If it comes down to lying, better would probably be taking a hit on the tickets and suing the shit out of these fuckers for employing this verbally abusive nut-job.

Oh yeah, and in the courtroom, if you want the judge to listen to you don't call the pig a "cop." Call him "officer dorkin" or whatever. Unless you're just going for abbie hoffman style political theater.

I agree with everyone who said go to the press. If you can avoid going to trial, you won't run the risk of having to pay up.

And remember, I'm not a lawyer.

good luck

Sorry dude, wrong advice 01.May.2005 15:59

law student

Violations in Oregon are considered civil cases, not criminal. Thus, the standard is not "beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt," but "preponderance of the evidence." In simple terms, it means that for crimes (misdemeanors and felonies) they have to prove you did it. For violations (traffic tickets and the like) they have to prove only that it is 51% likely that you did it.

And judges in this state can not reduce fines more than 25% under any circumstances, by state law. No matter how sympathetic the judge is, a recent law change means that if he finds you guilty you have to pay at minimum of 75% of the fine no matter what. No classes, no traffic school, no community service.

As for the law, the oregon laws are all online, read them. There is a signaling exemption for bikes, it states that you only signal if it is safe. Come up with a reason it was unsafe to signal at that moment in time (wet road, gravel on street, etc) and you are innocent.

Discovery 02.May.2005 13:32

Another voice

Earlier you asked if you could see the notes that the officer took regarding this stop. It may be possible under the discovery phase of your trial. I don't know if you must file a motion or if you simply ask for any evidence they will use to convict. Discovery is provided for by the court system and there are rules that dictate because anyone charged is entitled to know the charges in order to prepare a defense. Again, not a lawyer, good luck.

incredible... 03.May.2005 08:20

mossy bitch

You recieved an apology letter from the Gresham police? That's crazy. They have the worst reputation from beatings, to molestation, to just plain rudeness. I've been struck, falsely accused of crimes over and over as a campaign of harassment, molested in an arrest situation, just plain pulled over for no reason, dogs sent after me for "illegal camping", struck by a parental figure in plain view of a cop but I was arrested for assault "to teach me to respect my elders", etc, etc. I have never recieved anything like an apology.
Although I guess it shouldn't surprise me too much with O'Keefe. He was always kind to me and helped me when I needed help. Unlike the majority, he seemed to not leave his humanity at home the second he put on the uniform.

Another Officer Durbin complaint 24.Jan.2006 12:49

Hendra Kusuma Kusuma.Hendra@gmail.com

I met officer Durbin in court on Jan. 6, 2005 for my ticket issued as "Failed to yield to a Pedestrian". It was very obvious that I was trapped by the order of officer Durbin to his crew, of so labelled as traffic monitoring conduct. The pedestrian was a decoy (one of his officer dressed as a casual pedestrian attempted to cross the street) as admitted by officer Durbin himself and many facts were "make ups" and "lies" facts presented to the court to create a situation of my word against his in front of the judge. At the time of conviction, I never saw the pedestrian, maybe because my view was blocked by a delivery truck in the process of merging/changing lane behind it. That day, according to Officer Durbin, I was driving at 30 MPH on 45/50 MPH zone, yes, I should be aware that there is a crosswalk, but at the same token, a crosswalk is not as clear as a stop sign, yet its function is somewhat is a temporary stop sign (as an analogy), because, it is not a stop sign when there is no one attempting to cross the crosswalk , therefore its function are very much depended upon the existence of a person attempting to cross the street. The truck in front of me never been stop, and maybe because I was driving slower just to assure my safety and the truck was much faster to catch up to, I was the fall victim. What was upsetting to me is the fact that Officer Durbin made up so many lies stories in his attempt to convict me and I was not able to respond per the order of the judge (I was only given one chance to present my case). Yes, I am strongly agree that this is a case of Officer Durbin brutality as was illustrated in this forum and need to be stopped before another would become a victim of his madness. The day I was in the court, majority of the cases (more than 67%) were somehow and somewhat related to his madness and almost all involved entrapment, which I consider brutality, yet, it is a waste of their resources. We as the citizen of US paying our duty as a tax payer paying their wages so they can enforce the law and assure orderly conduct by all citizen as a good member of the community, remember, we are not paying them to entrap us, worst he uses our hard earned $ to even hurt us more by entrapping us. I wonder if the community of Gresham particularly and Multnomah county are so safe that a police enforcers are not needed to protect the neighborhood and instead using its resources to conduct to realized the dream of a mad officer? ... yes and again his name is Officer Durbin ... which I strongly suspect that many of his victim knows this name very well ... and hopeless to complaint. It is my hope that someone with a good knowledge of our judicial system to rise against this mad officer.