I learned today, from Rachid Kaady, that the name "Fouad" means "heart" in Lebanese. Somehow, that seems very fitting. Because, although I never met the young man whose life was taken by the police, his presence was nevertheless everywhere today. In the passionate words of his cousins and friends, in the gentle hugs from his father, and in the people who will not let his story fade away, there was surely a lot of heart in Clackamas County this afternoon. And from the bottom of my own heart, I thank each and every one of you who came to stand together on the doorstep of the CCSO, to say we've had enough. |
Alejandro Queral, from the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center, began the event by eloquently explaining why we came. "This is not about retaliation," he said. "This is about justice. This is about feeling safe in our communities. This is about holding police accountable for their actions." Alejandro expressed shock and outrage about what happened to Fouad Kaady, and demanded transparency from the police. "We can't have officers investigating themselves," he said. "I hope that you will join me in demanding that Sheriff Roberts create a mechanism by which incidents of this nature can be reviewed by the citizens of this county, and where the entire investigation is made public so that there can be scrutiny of the police department."
Immediately following Alejandro's speech, Alton McDonald of the National Action Network gave a rousing call to action. "Why did the police react in such a brutal and vicious way upon this young man, who needed medical help?" He asked. "Why didn't they call for a paramedic? Why did they do this? The question has yet to be answered." Alton pointed out that the way the police have handled this incident is the way they always handle such incidents: They spend days working on cover stories and spinning lies through the corporate media. They do not seek justice. "This facility," he said, "That was built with tax payer's dollars to protect and serve the community, has now become a place where evil prevails. A place where injustice prevails. The People's rights have been violated by people who work in that building, who are paid by our tax dollars. So I ask you, the citizens of Oregon, is this right?" The crowd answered with a resounding "No!"
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