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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.
Thanks, Madam Hatter 26.Jan.2006 07:59

for this rant

We NEED passion like this, and we need a voice like yours. I confess, if you are who I think you are, I was disheartened by one of your early articles in the Sandy Post about what happened, but since then you have more than redeemed yourself. Yours are the only (pseudo) corporate media articles on the subject I can stand to read. Thank you so much!!!

We desperately need to DO something, NOW, before these pigs think they can get away with killing any more of us. And we NEED your voice, and many others, to force people to see that this is really happening, that we really are in the middle of the rise of fascism.


On a side note, regarding what you said about loggers. No need to fear. Most environmentalists totally understand that loggers, too, have been exploited by timber corporations. In a small town like Sandy, working for the timber companies seemed like a golden option, the only one around. ...Until all the forests were gone, their livlihoods were gone, their communities were devastated, their rivers were choked with silt, their hillsides were washing down around them, and even tourists would not bring money in because there was nothing to entice them there. Sad how sometimes people will go for the short term, and destroy themselves and everyone around them in the process.

Good comments! 26.Jan.2006 08:21

RT

I drove several miles out of my way to pick up the Sandy Post yesterday, and read every word of the articles mentioned. Your comments have been a great help. I have gained more incite and see that I missed some points in my first reading. What did disturb me was the constant mentioning of 'meth' as being the big bug-a-boo and we all know that meth had NOTHING to do with what happened to Fouad Kaady. Though, as you said, the article fell short in some areas, it did bring the frightening trend of police shootings back to the front page.

"Intimidated?" I think not 26.Jan.2006 08:47

Juan Segin

Hatter, great article. Say, if Chief Skelton was intimidated by Juan Rubio (one of the least intimidating men I have known), let us all start planning now, for the next Sandy Days parade, so we can show him what true intimidation feels like. Really! Since when does one person's cowardice allow the arrest of another person, who is merely exercising his free speech right? This "chief" of thugs (who allowed Bergin to go back to work before the "investigation" was completeed) needs a lesson in intimidation. Lots of black blockers, lots of bikes, lots of skateboarders, lots of intimidation. Free speech is at stake here, AGAIN.

beyond rant 26.Jan.2006 12:41

st

The news articles referred to re-emphasize that law enforement people and their advocates like to think of confrontations with non-compliant or unco-operative people as potentially life or death situations that justify the "when in doubt" use of lethal force.

The simplistic, brutal distinction of people who are subjects in a police call or traffic stop as either non-compliant or unco-operative is a big part of the problem that has led to the notorious series of recent police shootings in recent past.

The kinds of changes that need to be made are those where officers are enabled and obliged to rapidly make a distinction to the best of their ability, as to whether a non-compliant or unco-operative subject is so, either out of criminal intent or impaired mental function or ability.

If the situation is one of criminal intent, the cop could just go ahead and subdue the subject using whatever means was required, including lethal force. On the other hand, if the subject's demeanor and bearing suggests that mental impairment or ability is a factor, causing that subject to not be fully responsible for his or her actions, this could be a sign for the officer to hold off the use of force and take steps to sufficiently contain the subject if that is possible, until some form of crisis intervention team can arrive and take over.

If impaired mental function or ability in subjects can't be established as grounds to refrain from the use of lethal force by police I can't see how anybody who wants to see this cycle of shootings end has a leg to stand on.

Adding this criteria to policy and procedures might have saved the life of Poot and Fouad Kaady, even Vernon Allen, though maybe not Kendra Jackson or Perez.

Fouad Kaady might not have been drug impaired or mentally ill, but most people would probably agree that his behavior and obvious physical condition should have clearly indicated to cops Willard and Bergin that his mental function was likely impaired and that his behavior was at least partly a result of that.

In the case of Poot, distinction of his mental competence was a slam-dunk. He was in a mental holding facility when they confronted him for the last time, but they shot him anyway because he was waving a metal rod at them in a so called threatening manner. They were able to shoot him thus with relatively little repercussion because of the regard much of the public seems to hold for people whose aggressively violent actions are the result of impaired mental function or competence.

If sufficient numbers of people don't care enough to take a position on policies and procedures used in law enforcent contrary to those that are inhumane, and methodically construct viable alternatives to them, nothing will change.

From one of those "sixteen year olds"... 26.Jan.2006 21:08

Mr. Post

Hello Madam Hatter et. al,

I'm sorry to see that you're not a fan of the Post. I think Zaki and others (Red Tree) would agree that we have been more than unbiased about this whole thing and we just want to get to the truth. The package of articles was written by multiple authors, and note that the articles written by Sandy staff dealt with public reaction and the shooting review board. Look, we can't put out every fire with everyone who doesn't agree with us or sees something between the lines that's not really there. Of course, when people have a preconceived bias, they filter information through that bias. I encourage you to write a letter to the editor or come in and chat with us sometime if you'd really like to get your thoughts out.

meth? 26.Jan.2006 23:15

anonymous or made up

I want to echo the Sandy Post's reporter's statement about bias. As far as I know, the toxicology reports haven't been released to the public, so we DON'T KNOW if Fouad Kaady was under the influence of any drugs. I find it somewhat amusing, but more sad, that the ardent police supporters try to make him out to be some crazed, drug induced animal and the equally ardent police haters said with the utmost confidence that he was not under the influence of meth. People, we DON'T KNOW yet.

Unless, of course, you do know. In that case, perhaps you could enlighten us all rather than make apparently baseless suggestions one way or the other.

I don't work for the Post 27.Jan.2006 01:46

Madam Hatter

Thanks for the responses. But I must assure you, I don't work or write for the Post or any MSM. I'm just a mom in Sandy. A mom who heard all those sirens that bright, sunny, terrible day last September. A mom who's terrified for the safety of her children and the direction in which this world's headed.

Unlike so many others, I don't delude myself that this shit couldn't possibly happen to me or my kids or anyone else who's guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's perverse when I have to warn my children to avoid the police whenever possible. To please, please NOT call them if a friend's in trouble. To keep their heads down and NOT attract attention. To do whatever they say, no matter what.

I live way up here in Sandy because I want my kids to be safe. I want to be able to let them play outside, or walk to town to get a DQ, or take their bikes to the park without being worried they're going to get jumped for $1.50 in pocket change, or be killed in a drive-by shooting.

How sad is it that now we have to fear those whose job it is to allay it?

Preconceived bias??? 27.Jan.2006 04:53

Madam Hatter

Mr. Post,

What preconceived bias are you referring to?

The preconceived bias that police and other public servants (whose salaries and livelihoods come courtesy of we, the lowly taxpayers), should protect and serve rather than indiscriminately mow down critically injured citizens?

The preconceived bias, as Steve Rendell of FAIR wrote here:  http://www.fair.org/extra/0411/stenographers.html
"that journalists have a duty to investigate and assess the credibility of sources and their claims" and to "confront them with contradictory information"? That reporters should not "shirk their journalistic duty to take a critical approach to official and partisan claims—to document them when they are true, and debunk them when they are false"?

Look, you're a professional journalist and are speaking here in your capacity as such. Is it too much to expect that a) you'd read my comments dispassionately, and therefore accurately; and b) objectively respond to my criticism rather than make excuses and pass the buck?

I find it annoying that some are so quick to respond negatively or sarcastically when they haven't taken the time or effort to critically read the offending post. God, I hate this little exercise, but its the kind of thing the press needs to do to hold people accountable when they attempt to spin and/or confuse the issue:

You said: "I'm sorry to see that you're not a fan of the Post."
I said: "I have a love-hate relationship with the Post."


You said: "I think Zaki and others (Red Tree) would agree that we have been more than unbiased about this whole thing and we just want to get to the truth."

Zaki said here:  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/332345.shtml
"If you represent any of a cooperate media, do not bother attempting a story with any kind of family acknowledgment, statements, or help. Your stories are misinformation jokes and you should be embarrassed for what you do. Simply tell your ignorant audience to log onto indymedia."


You said: "Look, we can't put out every fire with everyone who doesn't agree with us..."

I say: Why are you "putting out fires" at all? Responsible journalism shouldn't feel the need to appease its critics. Respond yes, appease no. It isn't a popularity contest and if sufficient thought and research are done prior to publication, you should feel confident enough to stand behind it and be able to justify your position logically.


You said: "...and sees something between the lines that's not really there."

I said: "I get it because I often find info sometimes by reading between the lines..." and then later gave an example:

"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."

and RT said: "Your comments have been a great help. I have gained more incite and see that I missed some points in my first reading."


As far as the toxicology report and my "baseless suggestions" are concerned, don't you find it a bit odd that FK's case is the only one in which officials claim they can't release the results due to "privacy concerns"? That sure didn't stop them in Perez' or James' case (when they came back positive) now did it? Wouldn't these same privacy concerns also prevent them from speculating or insinuating the way they did AND STILL DO, at all then? If we've got to ignore logic and common sense and give the cops the benefit of the doubt, doesn't Fouad deserve that as well?

Anyway, Zaki has posted here:  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/332345.shtml
"The family does have the results, but they will not be released until the civil suite is filed."

Read between those lines, why don't you.

And sorry, Mr. Post. I don't think I'll be writing a letter to the editor. Indy Media is where I "really get my thoughts out", thank you very much. I have no desire to give you editorial license with my words and allow them to be twisted (like you did here), then printed with my name attached, in my hometown paper, with no opportunity to rebut or refute any inaccuracies.

That'd be pretty silly, don't you think? Especially when criticizing the local cops. I have no death wish.

But hey, thanks for the comments. I couldn't have provided a more graphic example of my complaints about the MSM if I had tried.

I welcome intelligent debate and the exchange of ideas. It's the emotional, reactionary, sniping that irks me. By all means, be emotional, be passionate! But if you disagree with someone, is it so much to ask that you stay on topic and maybe take the time to absorb your adversary's words intellectually and reply to them logically before hitting that send key?

Meth is not the issue 27.Jan.2006 22:12

spun

Just as an aside, I am tired of the debate about whether Fouad Kaady was on meth or not. What fucking difference could that possibly make??? I saw the scene where this happened, and surmised that he did not need to be the drug crazed super man that they implied he must have been to get from point A to point B. That was just bullshit. I also understand, from the police reports, that he was SITTING IN THE ROAD when the cops arrived. So who fucking gives a shit if he was on drugs or not? As far as I recall, that's not a capital offense. So I'm getting a little tired of it being played as if it were. As in the corporate media attempting to justify pig homicide if the victim was, or may have been, on drugs. FUCK that.

The facts are clear: He was badly injured; he was sitting in the road when they approached; they acted like assholes; they tortured him with tasers for no goddam reason; he was unarmed; they KNEW he was unarmed; and they shot him. If "policies and procedures" could excuse that, then there is a serious problem indeed. And they can have all the "grand juries" and all the "exhonerations" and all the "clearings of wrongdoing" they fucking well want to have. It will NEVER change the fact that we know what they are. They're murdering fucking pigs. We see you now, officer. You are the enemy.

Missing the facts. 28.Jan.2006 09:18

comaddog comaddog1@yahoo.com

I was a State Employee for more than twenty years. I learned that at least 60% of all Governmental Employees are political appointees. The other 40% are the worker drones; someone has to do the required work. If you find that hard to believe look into your local offices and you will see most of the employees dunking donuts, sipping coffee, and complaining about the work they don't do. Your cop goons are people who can't read or write; if you have a civil service law requiring written tests, they are falsified, with no chance of the tax paying public reviewing the results. This I learned going to the academy, and in the course of training, we were required to know 100 words, among them sargeant, lieutenant, superintendent, for report writing. We were tested on these words, once a week for thirteen weeks, passed the papers amongst ourselves and marked accordingly. The spelling was poor to start and stayed poor thirteen weeks later. And this was supposedly, the top 20 % of the men (pre-female law enforcement participation-1974) who passed the pre-employment test. If these men couldn't spell, how could they read the questions? As a supervisor, I read the incident reports before they were turned in, saving many of these illiterates from going to prison themselves. I had to coach these people in rewriting their reports. I couldn't rewrite the reports, knowing the fool could go to court and say the sergeant wrote it or he told me to write it that way.

Adding to my message. 28.Jan.2006 09:39

comaddog. comaddog1@yahoo.com

Further, remember the person reviewing your police is also a political appointee. Your Grand Juries and Petit Juries, are probably hand picked by your (political appointee) judges and (political appointee Court Clerks. Go to your local courts and check the jurors lists, same people all the time; as the Harris County District Attorney explained it, we keep using the same people all the time because we can rely on them(to do what we tell them to do). If you can get the names of these jurors, check them against the names of Public Employees, I know I liked Jury Duty, sitting around reading the newspaper, having time to bet some horses, knowing I wouldn't be picked for criminal trials, because of my law enforcement job. If there was a tough civil trial, I didn't want to be bothered with, and I was picked for the Jury, I just answered some of the questions intelligently. Immediate dismissal! Lawyers hate intelligent people, we want to know too much. My Jury Duty was short lived; right after the jury I was on found for the wrong person(the case was a slam dunk)I stopped receiving invitations for Jury Duty. Look further into Jury names in your local political party executive committees. If your State Laws reqire judges, attorneys, and yes, your police to take the oath of office, check to see who they have to file with, request a copy, Freedom of Information Law, make sure they comply. New York State found 70% of the judges hadn't taken the Oath to uphold the Constitution(A piece of paper-GWB)

ELECTED OFFICIAL EXTRACTION/ VIOLENT GANGS 29.Jan.2006 06:02

REV. RAWHIDE WAGONTIRE

dear clackamas county voters;

excuse me, but all else aside, i think statistics support the irrefutable fact that those wearing badges and uniforms remain our most violent and dangerous gang members in clackamas county. one of the more absurd things recently coming out of the sheriff's office in response to questions about better training that might prevent another tragedy (murder), like that of mr. fouad kaady, was that deputies were going to be recieving special training in "vehicle extraction". i.e.: how to get a suspect (person) out of a vehicle.
someone needs to do a little homework here. the sheriff's office seems to produce more crime than it prevents, and yet their response is to ask for more money for training and equipment at every concievable opportunity.
law enforcement does a real good job of helping the corporate media scare people about drugs and crime while they go about the business of stealing more of our tax money. it's got to rate as one of the most successful con jobs in history. what other enterprise would we consider giving more money each year, while they failed at their main mission? if it's your job to control crime and drugs and they are on the increase, you obviously aren't doing your job. why should you get more money? the only important connection i see between drugs and the murder of fouad kaady, is that the shooters, officer bergin and deputy willard did not drug test after they shot mr kaady. their behavior as well as some of the more bizarre and irrational statements coming from sheriff roberts and chief skelton stronly suggest a big part of our drug problem in clackamas county may be in our sheriff and police departments. excuse me but don't we have a clackamas county deputy currently in jail suspected of armed robbery of local drug stores?
the bottom line here is that the tax paying citizens of clackamas county are getting a pretty miserable return for their tax dollars. what we need is less apathy and some serious "citizen training". we don't need more training for "vehicle extraction", we need to start training citizens in "elected official extraction" . we do have a process known as
"recall", and we need to start using it to clear the dead weight from our county.
there is no excuse for shooting an unarmed, naked, and badly injured man.
those making excuses for or trying to justify this action are a disgrace to both humanity and law enforcement. we need to raise the bar for public service and public policy in clackamas county.