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Theresa Mitchell convicted

public sentencing Friday
Frequent Portland-Indy readers may recall that I reported an incident here in May, in which I was confronted by a sort of armed vigilante parking-patrol as I attempted to look in a shop window on East Burnside. One of them called my employer (because I was wearing my Tri-Met uniform between shifts)-- I bitched him out royally; then the woman said she had a gun. I attempted to provoke her to pull it (so that I could save my butt by executing a dodge-grab maneuver that I learned long ago). This frustrated the woman mightily. So they called the cops and said that they were threatened, and I left.

The "parking patrol" (actually brother and sister Bill and Judy Craine, owners of Holman's Restaurant and Bar) actually filed charges. A week or so later, I was tricked into a "meeting with my manager" and tackled at work by the Portland cops--the arresting officer was Park (yes, Taser-death Park).

This week I went to trial. The 9-11 tape had Bill and Judy merrily laughing that I was "big and ugly," and the cop text messages said they were going to arrest a "big transvestite--anyone wanna come?" The jury didn't believe the cops or Judy--so no Resisting Arrest charge, nor a rap for "threatening" Judy--but they bought Bill's complaint that he thought I was about to hit him, at some point.

So this Friday, October 6th, at Multnomah County Courthouse, Room 330, I am to face sentencing for my crime. The original "Menacing" charge was changed (not due to plea bargain), and the actual charge is an obscure City misdemeanor ordinance evidently intended to reduce bar-fight confrontations downtown. Therefore, I do not face a year in jail, but rather only ten days, and a $500 fine.

In my opinion, this whole proceeding has been bizarre and a waste of tax money. It has also stressed my family and myself, and cost me thousands in lawyer fees. I think it really boils down to this: can an uppity queer talk back to tormentors, or is that illegal now?

Thanking you fo your time, I am

Theresa Mitchell

Please understand that these are dangerous times... 30.Sep.2006 07:40

Pravda or Consequences

Non-conformity and being OK with it is the same as terrorism.

It is the aim of Christian and Real American Patriots (or "CRAP"), to rid our great country of 'those people'.

Remember to vote early and vote often.

ALL PRAISE to the "queer who bashed back" 30.Sep.2006 12:08

experienced sympathiser

I hope everybody going forward will remember and honor you for your courage and LITERAL conviction; and not just for queers--for everybody with a shread of interest in human rights and now inoperative first amendmant constitutional protections : vote early and vote often - then push for a general strike when this year's "elections" are stolen according to a familiar pattern ...

You go Theresa 30.Sep.2006 12:15

ranger

What a bunch of sorry ass losers. Note to self: Check in on this Holman Bar to see the losers for myself. Great that you were fearless and that the 9-11 call busted them for who they really are.

You go Theresa 30.Sep.2006 13:55

velid

Good for you for hanging in there through all the bullshit and bigotry. What a bunch of asshole lunatics with too much time on their hands (the couple and the cops). They hate their own miserable pinched bitter christian lives so much that they have to try to poison your enjoyment of life as well. Boycott Holman's for sure. What a frigging made up change too. "Menacing" my ass. They threatened you.

Much Respect! 30.Sep.2006 16:23

j

I admire the fact you are proactive and stand up for your rights Theresa. Great job being vocal and speaking out with sharing your experiences. It helps others in understanding the personal hardships faced by the gay/lesbian/transgender community when people describe their individual stories. Thanks for the follow-up from your previous article. I relate to your struggle from my own personal experiences, which I myself have gone through. It's all about mutual respect. Everyone needs to be respected. For me personally, I was born the way I am. I am gay, and it is by nature that I am the way I am. It was never a "lifestyle choice" which I consciously made one day, contrary to what many people like to believe, or are comfortable in believing. The fact that people who are in a 'minority group' and don't have any equality doesn't make sense. It's not fair that we don't have the same rights as those who happen to be in the 'majority'. I find it wrong and bizarre on so many levels. It's not right. How can people justify it as being so? I don't get it. All people need to do, in the pursuit of understanding, is to think about 'if the tables were turned' and the focus of hatred and indifference were being directed at them instead. How would they feel? Would they want to have equal rights? Why do some people think we don't deserve equality? The odds are stacked against us in the pursuit of getting any kind of fair justice or sense of equality in this society. People fear those who are different from them. There's a lot of hate out there which we have to deal with, sad but true. A lot of us, unfortunately, are content to hide in the shadows and not speak out or make waves by voicing our anger at being "judged" as second-class citizens and having to deal with all the discrimination that goes with it.

I've enjoyed reading your past articles here on indymedia. You put forth many great insights. Keep writing! I hope things work out in your favor concerning this latest situation that you're having to deal with. Keep being strong in the fight for equality and justice!!!

*great related article you wrote back in May entitled "solidarity and survival"-  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/05/339634.shtml

what time is the sentincing? 30.Sep.2006 16:41

(hopeful) witness

i work down the street from the courthouse and would like to attend this sentencing. theresa listed the date and courtroom number, but not the time. can theresa or someone provide the time as well?

it seems to me that a formal complaint of the police officers' actions, and possibly a civil suit for a range of claims, should be considered.

it seems we might reach a critical mass of resistance to the sub-par performance and training of the portland police bureau and that each piece of proof will help get us to that point. the latest killing of yet another innocent person (james chasse RIP), is seen for the horrendous crime that it is.

with all of the police killings and abuses that are going on, and will continue, each new incident of discrimination and other poor behavior needs to be brought into the light of day.

8:30 a.m. 30.Sep.2006 16:47

asdf

is the sentencing

Call KMHD 30.Sep.2006 20:52

Varro

They have a show from Holman's every week.

If you donate to KMHD, discontinue your donations until the show is removed from the lineup and KMHD tells Holman's why they are discontinuing the show.

Doug Sweet - Station Manager - (503) 491-7233
Matthew McLean - Program Director - (503) 491-7643

You did the right thing 01.Oct.2006 19:09

Zz

Thanks for taking a stand! You are an inspiration to us all.

call KMHD 01.Oct.2006 22:36

catherine

I took Varro up on his suggestion and called KMHD. I am really upset about what happened, and plan to be pretty outspoken about it.

Stay Strong, Sister! 02.Oct.2006 00:52

SM1

Hmmm, I wonder about the "Big transvestite--anyone wanna come" comment by the Portland police. Troubling. Why zero in on this? And, why invite other officers to join in arresting a "transvestite?" Would we ever see the police text messaging "rich conservative white guy--anyone wanna come?" I doubt it.

Comments like these show just how twisted, bigoted and hateful the Portland police have become. The days of trusting the Portland police, of looking to the Portland police for help, and of the Portland police being there for ALL members of our community (LGBT people included!), why they are long, long gone now... this "thin blue line" has become sick, twisted, and corrupted with power, the idea of the police serving to protect us has turned into fear. Fear of who their next innocent victim will be. Fear of getting beaten. Fear of not being treated fairly. And fear, of not being treated with the simple respect and dignity due to EVERY human being. No, the Portland police gon't give a damn about us. You can see it every day, in the way they operate...

The Portland police are bigoted, intolerant, hateful, and well armed. Trained to kill, supposedly only to protect themselves or others from imminent serious bodily injury, but we all know that in actual practice, this is a lie (look at the latest string of police murders... ). And worst of all, the Portland police have lost their connection to humanity. They feel no empathy and have no conscience for anyone other than their own.

The business vigilantes that started this chain of events, they are not very different from the police, really... did anyone look into their backgrounds? Do they have a concealed weapons permit (was it legal for them to be armed in the first place)? How about any past criminal convictions, especially a felony? Or, does any of that really matter? The police and the courts have already decided whom to support - vigilante business owners! Well, screw 'em! If you have already pled or been found guilty, just go through the motions (heh heh)... do whatever they ask of you with a smile and get this legal stuff behind you. Once it is over, they can't hold it over your head anymore... Meanwhile, be a good witness. Pay attention not only to your own experiences as you go through this, but what happens to other people, too. Look at this as a learning opportunity, and use it AGAINST them later - by sharing your knowledge. By helping others. Together we are strong, and knowledge is power.

Stay strong, sister! :-) We love you.

SM1

trying to understand something 03.Oct.2006 15:19

ne1

Something I don't get here: how did the whole thing actually start? Was it just the Holman pair complaining you were illegally parked?? How exactly did the whole thing wind up escalating into this queer bashing??

Questions 03.Nov.2006 19:37

Vole

I don't get it. What were these people doing? What were they "patrolling" for. And what were you doing (other than looking different) that provoked their approach?

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience 06.Dec.2007 10:34

Aleta blueheron44@earthlink.net

Theresa, I listen to you often and admire you greatly.

I have heard you reference this incident a few times, but I only stumbled on this post today (coincidently, I was listening to you) while searching articles about the Lesbian-Seven (wow, they sound dangerous).

In encouragement and solidarity, I write simply to suggest a reading for you and anyone reading this. The author is Henry David Thoreau, the country was invading Mexico, and he was writing about the sorry state of the government and the governed and the 'Duty of Civil Disobedience'.

Go to:  http://www.readprint.com/work-1429/Henry-David-Thoreau

Enjoy. And stay true to your beautiful and strong and much-needed self!

Aleta
Portland

Portland, Oregon

? 27.Dec.2011 10:25

anonymous

How did this turn into bashing the Christian community? I don't see any reference in the Theresa's story that these folks were Christian. Surely one knows we are all sinners and all fall short, and it is only by the grace of Jesus Christ (JC) and through Him we are saved. As for people who throw stones, take a look at your own inventory before you do. Christianity isn't about perfection, it's about your relationship with God through JC. Now for people who in the name of 'Christianity' are rude, crude and violent, NOT true Christians. As the truth goes JC said "love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul; and love your neighbor as yourself." Thats it. When you really love someone you will do what pleases them right? Right.