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

bikes/transportation | homelessness

Remember Jose Santos Mejia Poot.

What should our community do about this abuse of power?
What should our community do about this?
I am a homeless individual. I was stopped by Tri-met fare checkers after stepping off of the MAX at 82nd St. By the end of this description of what happened to me I hope readers will be a bit outraged.
There were maybe 6 or 7 fare checkers. One asked me for fare and I breezed by, ignoring him. Then another one walked beside me and repeatedly asked to see my fare. I ignored him and walked on as if nothing were happening. When I reached the stairway that leads up to the street there were 2 fare checkers blocking my entry. The stairway and elevator are the only exits. I tried to move between these 2 and one bumped up against me, then with an angry face and voice began yelling at me to stop touching him. So I circled around to the elevator. They had disabled the elevator. I then tried to walk back to the stairway but 2 fare checkers blocked my way again. Still violently bumping me and telling me to stop or they would be forced to hit me! I asked them Am I free to go or am I being detained? They just asked me for fare again. I told them to call the cops and they said they would but no one moved to make any phone calls. I asked for their ID. They said I would have to give mine first. I put my hands up in the air above my head and put the front of my body against a wall and moved sideways aong the wall so people could see that I wasn't using any violence to get past them. Once I was around them I had to climb over part of the stair case to get on the stairs as 2 other fare checkers were standing at the entrance to block me. I ran up the stairs, crossed the street and sought safety at a nearby business.
IT IS NOT OKAY WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!!!! I felt physicaly threatened, afraid, and worried that they were trying to frame me for assault charges. I am free to walk anywhere I please. These people are not police officers. They are using totaly immoral and illegal methods to intimidate riders. I do not ever consent to being searched illegaly, which is exactly what forced fare checking is. I have a valid tri-met transfer that is good for the time and day that this incident occured. Any ideas of what to do about this facist tri-met behaviour????
Remember Jose Santos Mejia Poot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!