Sandy Rants: Kaady, Rubio, Perez
Some thoughts re: today's media blitz on local epidemic of police-involved shootings.
What a creepy, disheartening day.
Cops were flying around Sandy today like bats out of hell. I went out several times throughout the day and had to pull over 3 different times right in town (several hours between each) to allow a speeding squad car or two to pass. Also saw 2 cars pulled over by 2 squads earlier in the day. I wanted to go home and hide.
Then, of course since it's Wednesday, I have to get the Sandy Post. I have a love-hate relationship with the Post. New editorial staff and reporters (they look to be about 16 - God, am I getting old) have livened the old rag up a bit, with some real attempts to do "investigative" reporting - slanted tho it may be. But like the O, I get it because I often find info sometimes by reading between the lines - though it's often hard on my blood pressure.
Well, the Post is apparently now **NEW** and **IMPROVED** and today it features "Team coverage by the editors and reporters of Pamplin Media Group (shudder) in Clackamas County" with articles on the front page re: the CCSO review panel's decision about Fouad Kaady, the recent epidemic of police shootings in Crackofmyass County, and the "extensive" use-of-force training (92 hours!) of CCSO's deputies. There's also a short Q & A from Sheriff Roberts. And, oh yeah, on page 2 there's a piece about citizen's concerns. You gotta read it (www.sandypost.com), especially the part about the police procedures the review panel DIDN'T evaluate. I can't even begin to address right now all the shit there. I'm sure LN, Catwoman or someone else can put it better than I.
Do note however, how all the experts state the EPIDEMIC of meth and mental illness is most certainly behind the increased danger out there - to the cops (!) - yet in 3 of the 4 cop shooting incidents, meth was not a factor; and "mental illness" per se, wasn't either. It's disgusting how they keep insinuating that FK was high or nuts rather than SERIOUSLY INJURED! This is so fucked.
I especially had to laugh when Sandy police chief Skelton noted that drug cases have increased locally and was quoted as saying "We used to just find a little marijuana once in a while. Now we're finding a lot more meth."
Puhleeze. I've lived in Sandy for almost 9 years now, it is, and always has been, a hotbed for meth, pot, pills, you name it, since I've lived here. There's a bunch of poor, long unemployed loggers and other folk up here - going on the second generation of extreme poverty. (Please no logging debates - I'm a tree hugger too, but it doesn't change the fact that a lot of these people lost the only way of life they knew. I can still feel compassion for their situation.) Meth's been entrenched here for at least a decade or more. But I digress...
Just when you can't stand anymore, there's a tiny little blurb with a HUGE 48 POINT HEADLINE: "Rubio Menacing Trial Jan. 24-25".
Apparently poor Mr. Rubio was charged with menacing Sandy Police Chief Skelton during the Sandy Mountain Days parade last summer. As I recall, Mr. Rubio was following behind the parade handing out flyers about his (at the time) still missing son. Cops told him he wasn't part of the official parade and told him to stop, and he got into a shouting match with Skelton. "Skelton said he and his wife felt threatened by Rubio, who shouted for the police to tell him where his missing son was. The defendant maintains he never acted as if he was going to cause the chief harm but rather was exercising his First Amendment Rights."
Can you fuckin believe it? I feel literally sick to my stomach. I wish Mr. Rubio the best and pray that one day he'll find justice for himself and his dear son. Indy Media needs to stand behind this poor man.
Then, the putrid cherry on top of this whole stinking day: the debacle LN refers to here: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/332652.shtml
is plastered all over the front page of the O. (Thanks for posting it Lew. I much prefer to get my news at indy, if possible.)
I simply can't believe more people out there aren't SCREAMING about this shit. Even a semi-literate person should be able to see the glaring inconsistencies and faulty logic they use to justify legalized murder, even through the obvious bias.
For instance, the O article says:
"City attorneys said the expert was hired to educate jurors in a complex case. They couldn't recall another time when an outside expert was hired to provide testimony in a grand jury review of a police shooting.
The city paid more than $6,000 to hire the expert to testify before the grand jury and the inquest, Rosenthal [Perez family's attorney] learned. He said in court papers that city officials spent "substantial taxpayer dollars" to ensure the grand jury cleared Sery.
Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk told The Oregonian that he accepted the city's offer to pay for the expert — William Lewinski, a law enforcement professor at a Minnesota university — because he thought the testimony would be relevant. He said Lewinski wasn't a "hired gun" advocating for or against the police.
Schrunk said his office didn't have the money to bring in Lewinski, and he doubts jurors were told of the city's payment.
Woboril, the deputy city attorney, said that the information on how the police are trained helped jurors evaluate the shooting"
THEN, in the next paragraph it says:
"The city also hired Lewinski in anticipation of having to defend the police actions in a future lawsuit."
WTF??? Is this not an OBVIOUS, BLATENT conflict of interest? Give me a fuckin break, man. Are they so sure people don't actually read their BS that they can contradict their lame ass assertions in the very next paragraph?
I especially love the part about "action-reaction", the principle police are trained in that "lethal force expert" Lewinski was called in to explain to the grand jury. It goes like this: "It would take someone a tenth of a second to pull a gun from a car's console, and an officer, even with a gun drawn, would not have time to react before he was shot."
"In simple terms," Schrunk asked, "if I see the gun I'm dead?"
"In simple terms, that's it," Lewinski answered."
Well, gee. What about, as in the case of Perez, YOU DON"T HAVE A GUN?? It's a little late, in this scenario, to find out, is it not? Doesn't this twisted "logic" justify shooting ANYONE sitting in a car, because after all, by the time you know for sure whether they do or DON'T have a gun, it's too late! You have to shoot to protect yourself! Especially when YOU instigate the encounter by pulling someone over for having too nice a car for the area.
Or for being bloody, burned, naked and catatonic.
These are our heroes? Our protectors? Healthy, adult, men who feel menaced and threatened when people yell at them?! Fully armed and trained professionals who're terrified of getting blood on themselves?! I feel so safe.
Finally, I have to commend Zaki for the dignity and intelligence he showed in the few comments he was quoted as saying in these articles. Right on Zaki! You showed amazing restraint and class. It must have been hard, but you did good, man. Hang in there.
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