portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

human & civil rights | police / legal

Right on, Rubio! Sandy Cops' lawsuits: 1 down, 5 to go?

Is the lawsuit that Juan Rubio brought against Sandy cop K.T. "Opie" Taylor in county court now settled?
Today's Sandy Post reports that the "Rubio-Taylor lawsuit [is] apparently settled." The piece is small and details are sketchy. It's online here:
 http://www.sandypost.com/news/story.php?story_id=118296272286415700
but I'll repost it here too:

=====
One of the lawsuits against a Sandy police officer appears to have been settled, according to the Clackamas County Circuit Court. On June 11, parties representing Officer Kalen "K.T." Taylor and plaintiff Juan Rubio met at with a county judge for a settlement conference. Courthouse staff said the parties have agreed to settle the case independent of county mediators.

Rubio's attorney, Edward Merrill of Bend, is expected to file settlement paperwork with the county by July 15, letting the court know how they resolved the issue but not disclosing exact numbers. If the attorney doesn't turn in the paperwork, the county will assume the case was dropped.

Rubio had sued Taylor for $100,000, seeking punitive damages for emotional distress for a series of alleged incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2006.
=====

So let's review, shall we? According to the Post's previous article re: the six (count 'em, SIX!) lawsuits against our local boys in blue:

Police Chief Skelton said: "I have total confidence in my officers. We're always watching, always paying attention to make sure we're doing things legally."

City manager Scott Lazenby said he "has no concerns regarding the behavior of city police officers."

Salem attorney Bruce Mowery, who represents the city said "There's absolutely no merit to the claims."


Gee! What happened fellas? Were you wrong? And golly, if you were wrong once, just maybe you're wrong about a whole lot of other things too. Especially when it comes to all this "total confidence" and utter lack of concern re: the behavior of cops around here.

I'm just dying to see how the kids at the Post spin this one. Will anyone be held accountable? Will anyone even remind the bozos that run this city what they said a mere 3 months ago? Now THAT might constitute award winning journalism rather then the police PR pieces that they pass off as reporting.

Are you listening Marcus?

Settlement 27.Jun.2007 18:25

Money

It's often most cost effective to settle a suit than to pursue it in the courts. That often happens in situations like this, it's not an admission of guilt or wrong doing.

No shit 27.Jun.2007 20:40

mh

"It's often most cost effective to settle a suit than to pursue it in the courts."

Wow. Really? Thanks for the newsflash.


"...it's not an admission of guilt or wrong doing."

Since we don't yet know the details of the settlement, that remains to be seen, does it not? But considering all the public blustering by our civic "leaders" re: the alleged baselessness (?) of these cases, the threats to countersue, and the complete confidence they have in the actions of our local police, it's a fair assumption to say that they knew it wasn't worth the fight because they would lose.

I was roundly castigated on the Post's website for asking how much these lawsuits were going to cost the city. I was informed - none too nicely - that the city's insurance would cover both the cost of litigating these cases as well as any settlements or damage awards. While I am not so stupid as to not have thought of that, my point was that even if insurance does cover all this, there HAS to be some sort of negative financial ramifications - whether those be increased insurance rates, or some other. But I was pooh-poohed.

So.... which is it then? If there's no negative financial implications for the city from these lawsuits, why be concerned with the cost effectiveness of settling one of them rather than pursuing it? You can't have it both ways.

Yeah, no financial ramifications 28.Jun.2007 06:14

Stanley Steemer

Right on, MH! Great reporting.
There will be, I guarantee, some financial burden born by the taxpayer. There is also the vindication for the family of Carlos. Juan can now hold his head up, and know that at least those of his neighbors who are awake (even if they do get their "news" from Marcus Halfcocked), will know that he was in the right, and that their gestapo force IS out of control.
Keep us informed. HK

Thanks Madam-Hatter 28.Jun.2007 20:38

Olwen

Thank you for posting this good news. You do a great job of keeping us posted about what is happening in Sandy. You are appreciated!

Moving towards a "Police State 07.Jul.2007 02:33

Jerry Atlansky js@atlansky.com

Saturday-July 7, 2007 Jerry Atlansky-Chairperson Oregon State Police- Independent Citizens Review Board Subject: United States Law Enforcement Is Two Major Steps Towards "A Police State!" Updated condensed report adding a 6th top cop's refusal to protect against rogue cops. OPEN LETTER TO ALL OREGONIANS: In the fall of 2005 after the horrific police action against Fouad Kaady, the 27 year old man that needed medical help as he was naked, bleeding, burned,in shock, and had no weapons when he was located near the city of Sandy, Oregon a Sandy Police Officer and a Clackamas County Sheriff didn't want to get blood on them, and left a Police shotgun unsecured on top of a police vehicle. The Police tased Kaady twice and then both cops shot and killed Kaady with 7 bullets. The cops said, Kaady said I'm going to kill you, but many witnesses said they heard no threat from Kaady against anyone. Per the F.B.I. that is non-justifiable homicide as Kaady didn't attack anyone. I called the top police official in the training division of Oregon State Police and asked Lt.Fred, what must an officer do when he sees another officer repeatedly beating/kicking a restrained person? Lt. Fred said, the witnessing officer must assist in the arrest and report the incident. I said what good would that do if the victim is maimed for life or dies due to the police brutality? Not until I said I will form a citizens oversight board did Lt. Fred say, I will take two steps to make that change. Seven months later Lt. Fred's top superior, Superintendent Ruecker failed to reply to our letters and telephone calls to verify the changes we requested to amend their policy/procedures, add new training and work with our oversight board to require all officers and their supervisors to intervene when an officer is using excessive force as it is their duty too do so. We notified all Oregon State Legislators of this non-response from Supt. Ruecker so they pressured Ruecker's superior which forced Ruecker to send us their code of conduct and a cover letter admitting that Ruecker had setup no specific data that we requested of changes to protect all Oregonians from police brutality. On December 1, 2006 Supt. Ruecker resigned as he said for the betterment of members, his family and Oregonians. Lt. Fred also resigned in 2006 as he was pressured too do so. On March 12, 2007 Supt. Ruecker's replacement, Acting Supt. McLain said in answer to my question as we secured on video/audio tape at his senate hearing was, the person should file a complaint. If that was his family member getting beaten would that be his same answer? Sheriff Roberts of Clackamas County, their top cop failed to respond to our registered letter for 6 months asking the same question so we contacted all the Clackamas County Commissioners and they required Roberts to respond to us. A repeat of NO changes in their policy/procedures, training and they will not work with our oversight board to protect all Oregonians from police brutality. On July 4, 2006 we sent a registered letter to the Police Chief, Skelton of Sandy, Oregon again asking for the same documents; policy/procedure, training and reporting to our oversight board as stated above and without any surprise to us NO response from the the police chief. On Feb. 20, 2007 I asked Portland Police Chief Sizer at a public meeting,Chief's Forum the same question, what would you do if you saw one of your officers repeatedly beating/kicking a restrained person? Chief Sizer said, I answered that question, which I replied that is a false statement! We received another video/audio tape that proves our allegation that Chief failed to respond to our police brutality question. We sent a registered letter to Chief Sizer to give her another chance to answer our dire question and she failed again to respond as we received NO letter or telephone call on this matter from her. On June 18, 2007 Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon replied to our, Open Letter To All Oregonians that he respects all the five top cops we named even though he doesn't know any of them, current policy/procedures are working just fine, training in place is extensive and well thought out, and police oversight boards are too political to do an effective job. Sheriff Gordon failed to address our three steps to reform law enforcement until we asked him direct questions and amazing as it may seem he was the first of all the top cops we have highlighted that states, his supervisors, deputies and himself would intervene if an officer is repeatedly beating/kicking a restrained person. Will Sheriff Gordon amend his Code of Conduct policy/procedures, add new training and work with our oversight board, not in this lifetime.....he talks the talk but refuses to walk the walk. Since the Nixon White house we have had a meltdown in personal integrity. All 6 top cops were made aware they are in violation of their sworn oaths of office, and many violations of Oregon State and United States Constitution Laws and that this data has been given to federal agencies as our very top state officials, the governor & the attorney General condone the 6 top cops wrong, illegal actions/inactions. The attorney general was pressured to author a new bill, Senate Bill 111, "Police Excessive Force" but refused to even consider our formal 3 amendments to the senate bill to protect all Oregonians as stated above to all the 6 top cops of Oregon. The amendments we are requesting to the Code of Conduct should read: 1. Law Enforcement supervisors and line officers are required to intervene when an officer uses excess force as it is their duty. 2. When officers are repeatedly beating/kicking a restrained person supervisors and line officers must stop the excessive force and arrest the offending officers. 3. If a person is not attacking anyone the F.B.I. state that if lethal force is used against a person that is unjustifiable homicide. Without specific policy/procedures we will continue with police reports final determinations on excessive force use as, "No Department Police/Procedures violated." WE THE PEOPLE, are convinced that from the very top Oregon State Officials, Governor Kulongoski, Attorney General Myers, former and current O.S.P Superintendent's Ruecker & McLain, Sheriff Roberts Clackamas County, Portland Police Chief Sizer, Police Chief Skelton City of Sandy and Sheriff Gordon Washington County not only refuse to protect all Oregonians from Rogue Cops, they don't care about the people that were killed in unjustifiable homicides by out of control cops which stole about 130 years away from Rubio, Kaady & Chasse men & shattered their families and friends lives. In the last 10 months these 3 cases were filed in the federal courts of Oregon and are expected to exceed over $100 million which will drain the funds to operate effective law enforcement agencies. The contempt for law and the contempt for the human consequence of lawbreaking go from the bottom to the top of American society. Margaret Mead Andree Tremoulet, will you please assist us to help stop the over 150 years of "Police Code of Silence & Testilying?" What happens in Oregon goes Nationwide. Jerry Atlansky js@atlansky.com 24/366