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

homelessness | police / legal

Heatstroke and homelessness

I came across a man today who was passed out, breathing but unresponsive, and myself and five other passersby called 911 and tried to help...
On W. Burnside and 18th today, I came across a man who was passed out, breathing but unresponsive, and myself and five other passersby called 911. After about 5 minutes, he opened his eyes a little and we were able to give him some water to drink. He still was very woozy, and stayed laying down on his stomach. He did not smell like alcohol, and we all thought that he had heat exhaustion or heat stroke. After 10 minutes, a lone police officer came and told him it looked like he had been drinking. She asked to see his wallet, and I noticed an Oregon Trail card in it. She had him stand up and put his arms out, put his feet together, etc. and went back to the car. We weren't sure what to do at this point, and gave him a bottle of water and all left. When I was a block away, I turned to see if the officer had left, and saw her handcuffing him and putting him in the back of her squad car.

I don't know if this man was drunk, or homeless, or someone that the officer was familiar with, but the way he was treated made me uncomfortable. I would like to think that if I was passed out on a corner, the police or an ambulance would respond more quickly than in 10 minutes.

What would you do in this situation? We were all clearly uncomfortable with the officer's response, but still left the situation feeling powerless to help.

Be Engaged - Video-record abuses 17.May.2008 14:42

Joe Anybody Ben Waiting iam@joe-anybody.com

(1) Don't call Police - they will jail or shoot
(2) Document / Videotape all human right abuses
(3) Witness / Report / write down what you seen (with badge numbers)
(4) Take Action - Engage - Speak up - Speak out LOUD
(5) Demand Human Right / Civil Right / Law & Order
(6) Solidarity / Community /
(7) Resist / Question / Follow up
(8) Dedication / Love / Compassion
(9) Demand Accountability / Transparency
(10) Share findings of abuse with Community

Thanks for reporting this passerby ... keep up your concern for your fellow man
I encourage you to get a video camera and document the atrocities you encounter to help rectify them by, bringing about peace and justice and accountability here in "our community"

Unrelated Picture - -  Same Issue
Unrelated Picture - - Same Issue