Last night at approximately 10:45 pm I had the good fortune of witnessing the Portland Police violently apprehend a dangerous criminal on SW Washington.
The police were concerned that there may have been underage drinking taking place at a private party downtown. The young man who was working the door, checking IDs, was told by police that he needed to let them in. The young man said that he had specific instructions not to, and that they needed a warrant to enter the property. The man pulled out his cell phone and called someone inside to notify them that the police were demanding entrance.
This was apparently a threat to society, or at least the people in the immediate area, because the police then grabbed the man's arm, twisting it until he dropped his phone, ganged up on him and arrested him, slamming his head on the concrete in the process.
I'm so glad the police took the precautionary measures of using excessive force to apprehend an innocent civilian, because otherwise he could have done something crazy like...go inside. Or worse yet, someone may have come down to TALK to the police! Could you imagine... a peaceful resolution to the problem?!
I understand that the police have a job to do, and that in attempting to curb underage drinking they were doing what was required of them. What I don't understand is that how only a few minutes into the matter they took it upon themselves to apprehend and injure someone who was in no way a threat to anyone. Was tackling a kid, twisting his arm, and slamming his head on the concrete a necessary maneuver to getting inside?
I've been living here for 6 months, and in that time I've heard of (and witnessed) numerous cases of police using excessive force and brutality, not to mention outright MURDER in some of the towns in the Portland Metro area. It amazes me that this is such a burgeoning, progressive city and yet a noticeable portion of the police are power-abusing yokels. With such a high level of citizen participation in community and government, one would think that the police might actually be part of the community, and be conscious enough to deal with minor offenses with any tact.
This city is making huge strides in many areas like public transportation, progressive politics, economic, political and social activism, creative arts and culture, sustainable living, and community-building. Unfortunately the police department has a long, long way to go.