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gender & sexuality | police / legal

Derrick Foxworth's Difficulties

I suppose, by now, everyone's heard the news. Chief Foxworth has been accused of "sexual misconduct" by a woman who bolsters her complaints with very graphic, very private emails which he wrote to her. I am very conflicted about this news.
Make no mistake, Derrick Foxworth is no friend to me. He presides over a band of thugs who needs a harsh spanking, not the indulgent patience he has exhibited toward them. And in addition, I do not support sexist oppression of women in any guise. It would seem to me that anyone who engages in a sexual relationship with a subordinate is almost literally courting disaster. Having said that, though, I must confess that I am extremely uncomfortable with the public lashing that's been raging in the corporate media all day long. I find KATU's coverage to be particularly unethical. (A KATU reporter stood downtown flashing the more salacious bits of private email conversations to passersby, and then selectively quoted a few who vacantly said he should not keep his job. Come on.)

I do not know the details of what went on between Mr. Foxworth and the woman who has accused him of said misconduct any more than anyone else who saw the coverage today. However, from the details presented so far, this smacks of something far less sensational and more personal than it's made out to be. I will not engage in picking through the story of the accuser, because as I said, I know nothing about what occurred. But I will say that I find the release of such very personal conversations to be gross and unethical. It's one thing to allege that Chief Foxworth deserves censure for improprieties. It's quite another thing to place such private thoughts up on a billboard for the world to see. (And, KATU, it's still another thing to flap these intimate words at people walking by on the street and then pretend it's news that some of them are appalled.)

I feel for Mr. Foxworth as he weathers this difficult time, and I hope that he will not be driven out of town on the rails of the corporate media. If he is to be fired, then it should be because he failed to reprimand officers who have shot and killed unarmed people. It should be because he allows the uncontrolled officers in his charge to weild tasers, and has not reconsidered this decision even after a man was killed with one of them. (Whatever the police-subsidized medical examiner would have us believe, we know that man died because he was tased.) But he should not be held up for a public lynching over what appears to be a very, very private matter.

I don't know, depending on what we learn next, I could certainly change my mind about this. As I said, if he actually forced this woman into a situation she was not comfortable with, then I cannot support him. But for now, it seems to me that this is more about a sour relationship and personal retribution than anything else, and is, therefore, none of our business. All I can say is, Portland has been different since Derrick Foxworth replaced the infamous Mark Kroeker, and Mayor Potter replaced Very Katz. And so for now, I give Mr. Foxworth the benefit of the doubt.
The Fox Rocks 06.Apr.2006 09:19

jac

I t5hink Foxworth is the best thingto happen around here in a long time and I see this as an attempt to force him out so they can hire another Kroeker who will do whatever the money in this town wants. I support this cop, even tho so many of them deserve to be jailed or fired this one is not one of those.

Huh? 06.Apr.2006 19:15

Den Mark, Vancouver

I cannot believe this thread so far. Maybe this is some badly done satire. foxworthless has thugs on his force, has mentally-unhinged thugs on his force, & has done nothing about it. The deaths on his watch hardly need comment. And, i saw him at the anti-war protest that ended at Shemansky Park (sp?), when cops were pushing it, when they were confronting, when they were provoking, when they were ordering protesters onto sidewalks, & then OFF sidewalks, making uncalled-for threats with their broken-down loudspeaker & calling out their riot cops, & on & on, & foxworthless was there, watching & approving, def approving, how his thugs kept ratcheting up the situation. I went up to him to complain, & he looked at me like i was speaking a foreign language, which to him i was, i suppose. He's a jerk. He's incompetent. And he's slimy, this present case being NOT the first time he's had to use his badge to get sex. I'm amazed from my vantage point outside your city that this thread could exist. foxworthless should go.

Typical Corporate Media... 06.Apr.2006 23:12

Someone

What you are seeing is typical corporate media at its best. None of these so-called "news" programs are actually interested in news at all. All they care about is ratings, and as everyone knows, "sex sells." Any kind of sick, scandalous crap they can dredge up on somebody in the public eye, they will do it. They are going to keep talking about it because they want more viewers to tune in and keep watching, so their ratings go up and the stations can charge more money for their commercial time slots. You know the deal...

The Snoregonian newspaper ran huge, multi page articles on this today, along with an editorial saying Foxworth should go. Fact is, this behavior at PPB is nothing new and Foxworth's tale is but the tip of the iceberg. What makes this different is that it became public, this time. There is lots more still going on at PPB that is not common public knowledge and may never be.

I think Foxworth should go, but not just for this case. He should have gone long ago, as part of the internal structure (and now it's head) that encourages and allows police brutality. And PPB is a crappy agency, it does not serve the public as effectively as it could while officers of highly questionable motives and backgrounds are allowed to stay on. That ruins it for the officers that do try to do good. Eventually, many become victims to their enviromment and turn into the type that have no empathy, no humanity... working at an agency that refuses to recognize and learn from its mistakes. Business as usual.

Not only should Foxworth go, but the entire PPB should be disbanded and replaced. But that will never happen under the current power structure, and the evil will continue.

Hey Someone, 07.Apr.2006 23:15

We wanna know.

You said, "There is lots more still going on at PPB that is not common public knowledge and may never be."
How about some details, or maybe even some facts? Lets hear them and your source.
You tose out a statemnt like that and I, and maybe some others, would like to know.

get a clue 08.Apr.2006 18:41

abuse of power

all of these emails defending this scumbag must have been written by his family. this not only rises to the occasion of improper conduct, but he should loose his cushy pension too. if we don't demand more of our public servants then we see now the results. she would not be stupid enough to put on fake emails because they can be easily traced (probably not by the Portland Police though). Innocent until proven guilty, no, I don't need any more information to make up my mind. You apologists for this type of behavior had better hope these type of predators don't go after your woman.

Hurt Feelings 12.Apr.2006 13:01

Takes Two to Tango

Wanting sex and forcing someone to have sex are two completely different things. Let's look at the facts as they are written in the Tort Claim. Foxworth was her Commanding Officer when they started the affair. He was also in process of a divorce and had a live-in girlfriend. He didn't tell her 'have sex with me or get fired', he propositioned her and she said yes even when she knew about the wife and other girlfriend. She stayed with him while he was an officer, then Assistant Chief and he finally became Chief. Only after he married his girlfriend did she have the courage to break it off. Why did she wait so long? She could have taken the very first email and reported him with harassment before he was Chief, before he was re-married. Instead she had sex with him over and over thru the course of the affair but she drew the line at his "bizarre" fantasies. Sounds to me like maybe she was hoping to be the next Mrs. Foxworth and since she lost that race, she wants to punish him.

You might not like him because he had an affair. Or maybe because he was married, had a girlfriend, and was looking for more sex from someone else. Maybe even it's because he wrote very explicit emails. Condemn him for being a pig but don't condemn him for abusing his power or harassment until you hear all the facts.

The Tort Claim says Oswalt would like to resolve this without going public but doesn't explain what the resolution would be. Then goes on to say that if a resolution doesn't happen quickly they will be forced to go public. This thing was very poorly written, almost like an amateur wrote it. Things like the email quotes don't normally go in this type of document, unless of course the attorney was hoping this would go public and people would decide Foxworth guilty before hearing any of the real details...maybe he's not an amateur after all.