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Cop Killings and Reasons

I was just watching the "news." I know, I know...

But am I the only one who recognizes the logic here?
A story about a man who gunned down 4 police officers in Tacoma, with hand-wringing pundits wondering "why?" is immediately followed by news and associated video of officer Chris Humphreys, who has apparently just been REINSTATED. They tell us this over the top of footage of this huge "tough guy" bullying and out of control, beating and shooting a 12 year old girl. And then they show us footage of hundreds of cops marching around demanding that city officials NOT hold Humphreys accountable for that crime.

Now, I'm not advocating the killing of any police officers. I don't condone what happened to those four officers in Tacoma. I'm sure they all had families who are missing them, and it's sad that this happened. But I've got to say, I think I understand it. And I'm not so sure I could hold the person who shot them accountable for the killing. If I were on the jury, I think I would be very hard pressed to do anything but acquit him. Why? Is that really a question?

The police are clearly out of control. We have officers beating and maiming and killing people. And then, as here in Portland, we have hundreds of them acting clueless and stupid, demanding no accountability for each other and their crimes. And, as here in Portland, way too often, they wind up totally off the hook. If city officials are not going to hold them accountable, then what on earth do they expect??? These aren't a few bad apples here. This is a systemic problem, and it keeps rearing its head in the form of harm and death for innocent citizens, even children. Little girls, for God sake.

If the "authorities" are not going to help us, are not going to hold them accountable and stop them from threatening, harassing, intimidating, hurting, and killing people, then perhaps it is time for us to hold them accountable. I'm sure that's probably what the man who shot those cops in Tacoma thought.

Do they not get this? Do they really not understand how angry people are? Do they not see how tired we are of them running around intimidating people, beating people, pepper spraying people, SHOOTING CHILDREN, lying, arresting people and making up reasons for it, and all of the other things they do? Do they really think they will keep on getting away with it? Well, perhaps those four dead cops in Tacoma can be a wake up call to them. Again, I'm not condoning the killing, but neither am I going to stand in judgment of a man who finally had enough of it, and took some of them out. Maybe they should be thinking about that.

Maybe Mr. Humphreys should be very, seriously, thinking about that. Hmmmmmm.

Somebody is doing their homework 30.Nov.2009 17:33

Relating and Frustration

A+ for political theory
and extra credit for "putting into words" what many people are feeling

The eloquently way you tied this all together has been in my head but I couldnt frame it in the right words
I too agree that the lives taken is a terrible tragedy
I too agree with your perspective of the folks around here, getting fed up with this type of police 'acceptable behavior'

You summarize this up very well
It is well worth re-reading too

More conversations on this topic couldn't hurt anyone
And maybe might help "save our city" in the long run

Where To Start 30.Nov.2009 18:57

Den Mark, Vancouver

Where to start!!!

1) You use "we" a lot, as in "we are tired of ... " My observation of Portland from north of the Mighty Columbia, after having lived in your lovely city, is that most Portlanders do NOT care, at all. Not a bit. No better here where i live, i quickly add. But Portland has this odd self-image that it's progressive. No, it's not. Most Portlanders do not care, at all. Not a bit.

2) It is NEVER okay to say that all cops are bad. They are not. Some are called to that profession for the right reasons. Some are called for the wrong reasons. And the political system has NO desire to separate the two categories. Instead of giving cops orders, your city council takes orders. There are bad people "out there". There really are. You would NOT want them to take over your 'hood. Police are needed. Only a fool would say otherwise. But those in charge, including Sam, have no guts to say to the police union, "Shape the hell up, or take off your badges!"

3) The "alleged" killer in this present case is NOT some kind of thoughtful revolutionary who decided to take action. To say that he is is a sick insult to genuinely intelligent and self-sacrificing revolutionaries. The killer in this case is from a swamp. His rap sheet is gigantic. He's a sociopath. He should have remained in that Arkansas prison, but was sprung by another kind of sociopath, in the form of vile Mike Huckabee, republiscum if there ever was such.

4) If one of those cops in Lakewood [not "Tacoma", btw] had been your brother or sister, you'd not be so "understanding" of the "whole picture". I find your take on the whole picture to be warped. The four deaths were vicious senseless despicable murders, by a swamp-bred cowardly sociopath. You do not know those four human beings. Maybe they were saints. You don't know them. If a cop is bad, like those on the list we all know from Portland & Clackamas County, then rise up & demand justice & demand accountability & demand consequences, including firing.

5) There is NO rationalizing the murders of four human beings who happen to be cops, as if they themselves have no right to indictment & trial. Nobody of sound mind is going to conclude anything sane from this tragedy, because it is insane from the start.

6) It is very very very true that police cannot police themselves. Actually they could, but they don't. They could & they should, but they don't. Behavior of significant number of cops warrants anger from the community they supposedly serve. Surely cop-work is made harder by the negative view that many of us have of unbalanced immature & flat-out stupid cops we've encountered, especially those of us who've faced their idiotic behavior at protests. Cops owe it to themselves, & to us, to get bad cops out from behind their badges. But ultimately it is responsibility of citizens to demand high standards.

7) Portland does not care. This deserves repeating. After almost every incident of murder by cop in Portland & Clackamas County, i was there, to protest, from north of the Columbia! I remember one protest, i forget after which case, a vigil outside Multnomah County Courthouse to await Schrunk's "grand" jury's verdict. There were about five of us there, as i recall - - - FIVE! - - - to hear once again that "police acted appropriately" or however the bullshit was phrased. Why was Portland not there, or at other protests, except for the few reliable good folks who in their tiny number must act as conscience for a major "progressive" city.

8) There's more. Much more.

But i just got back from anti-WTO protests in Seattle. I'm tired. And i am mourning.

Apparently, one of the Lakewood cops was not fatally shot at first. He could have played dead. But he was a cop. And it was his job to stop the killer. So despite being wounded, he bravely fought the killer, who shot the cop again, killing him. That cop could've played dead. But he didn't.

Den Mark, Vancouver

Better not to have started, DM 30.Nov.2009 20:03

give me a break.

I've lived in Portland for a long time. I'm a mother of a teenager. And if Mr. Humphreys had chosen to taser my child the way he beat and tasered that little girl, I would have killed him myself. I would have hunted him down where he lives, and KILLED him. And don't think I couldn't have. I work for the city, and I can find out where any one of them lives. And I WOULD have. So don't tell me we "don't care." We do. We most certainly do. Den Mark, you usually make sense, but in this case, you're just completely off base. You don't even live in this city. How would you know? We are sick and tired of these jerks getting away with this. We are sick and tired of city officials giving them a free pass, thinking their bully tactics are more important than what is right. And we are sick and tired of all the white washing that goes on after something like this.

I am incensed that this man is back on the job.

That jerk beat up a TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL!!! He BEAT UP A TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL! And hundreds of his cronies marched around stamping their feet and telling us we can't hold him (or, by extension, ANY of them) accountable. What does that make them, but a gang?

And you want to tell me that there are "good cops"? Would those be the HUNDREDS of cops who bullied their way to city hall last week to yell about how mean it would be to actually PUNISH this jerk for beating up a TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL? Are those your decent cops, your good apples? Wow.

Don't you DARE tell me how "there are bad people out there," and "we NEED the cops." Don't you even dare. Do you presume to tell me, someone who has lived in this city for many years, how much "safer" we all are because the police are out there prowling around the streets, murdering people of color, murdering mentally ill innocents, murdering dogs, pepper spraying babies, beating up demonstrators, knocking down little old ladies, tipping over handicapped peoples' wheelchairs, arresting innocent people on trumped up charges, and BEATING UP TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRLS??? Don't you even DARE.

You don't know the man who shot those cops in Tacoma. You don't know anything about it at all. All you know is what you heard in the news, same as everyone else. Are you telling me for one moment, that you think we should believe what we hear on the news just because the police say it's so? Have you not been listening at all??? What, are you sleep deprived? Drunk? On something? What on earth is wrong with you tonight?

I don't care if that man was "revolutionary" or not. I don't think that is the point here. I believe the point is this: We are all fed up to HERE with the police ganging up on the rest of us, beating up our neighbors, our friends, our CHILDREN, and thinking they can continue to get away with it. They cannot. There are people out there willing and able to hold them accountable. Maybe it's some crazy guy for now, maybe he's tapped into some frustration that is smoldering our here that he is sensitive to. But maybe not. Maybe he's just an ordinary guy who has had more than enough. You don't know. There's no way you can deny that this has some relevance here either. There is a real and pressing sense that we are expected to be powerless in the face of their bullying badges and weapons, their "authority." Bullshit. Some of us have had enough. And I, too, were I on that jury, would be "hard pressed to find him guilty."

And if Chris Humphreys is ever sitting in a shop with a bullet stuck in his head? I don't think I will shed any tears. No, in fact, I will celebrate. And shame on you, Den Mark, for not thinking for yourself for once, and letting the television do your thinking (and your judgmental outrage) for you.

?! 30.Nov.2009 20:23

the issue is police violence

"The killer in this case is from a swamp."

Listen to YOU.

"We" ??? 30.Nov.2009 21:14

Den Mark

"We"???!!! You have NO right to use that word. You speak only for yourself. There is NO "we". Portland does not care. I lived there. I LIVED THERE. And i still live near, & i can read & i can see. And i have been to protests about cop violence in your lovely city, when almost nobody else was there. Portland does not care. If it did care, this stuff would have stopped LONG ago. PORTLAND DOES NOT CARE! Point out for me the many many citizens marching toward city hall demanding that killings & brutality stop. Where are those thousands & thousands of citizens in your lovely "progressive" city. Where are they. Prove me wrong. Prove to me that Portland cares. I want Portland to care. Maybe tomorrow it will, but yesterday & today it didn't.

Um 01.Dec.2009 07:20

another portlander

I'mnot sure who you are, but yes, we do care. We care very much. And if you don't live here, then you don't know. And yes, your rant Den Mark was really kind of stupid. Stop jumping on the bandwagon to execute the "cop killer." Every time someone kills a cop, even in self defense, it's blood lust from the media and people like you. But every time a cop kills another innocent person, it's a belated panel or report, and no consequences. "Just doing his job," "followed policies and procedures," and all of that. Bullshit.

We, yes "we" are getting tired of that. So we, yes "we," aren't really getting all worked up about some guy taking out four cops. And we, yes "we" are more than disturbed by Humphreys the killer, bully, child abuser, and sadist being reinstated thanks to the police union, a violent gang if ever there was one. We, yes "we," are really sick and tired of people like you Den Mark telling us how we need cops because without them, hey, there might be violence. Are you not paying attention? I can guarantee you that James Chasse would still be alive if there were no cops in Portland. And I can guarantee you that little twelve year old girl would not have been beaten and tasered. And by the way, she was fighting back in self defense against a gang of known killers. And yet, they used that as justification for beating her more severely and tasering her. What is wrong with you to defend that and pretend we don't care?

Cop KIller Was Railroaded at Sixteen 01.Dec.2009 17:11

rAT

Clemmons was only 16 when he was arrested for robbing an empty house of a cell phone and some electric gadgets. He had no gun. He did a year and got probation, but later stole a purse (w/three other friends)) from another teenager(no weapon or violence) The Arkansas judge gave him SIXTY YEARS. 30 Years on each charge to run concurrently. He wouldn't get out until 2046! He had 11 years in prison to meditate on his unbelievably harsh sentence and I'm sure he had a deep hatred for the system. Wouldn't YOU? The system MADE this guy. Blame Huckabee if you want, but this kid was thrown under the bus at 16 for swiping a goddamned cellphone.
statement of his crimes (from Parole Board files)
statement of his crimes (from Parole Board files)
Huckabee's cavalier response to a doubtful D.A.
Huckabee's cavalier response to a doubtful D.A.
State Parole Office told Huckabee it wasn't buying his decision
State Parole Office told Huckabee it wasn't buying his decision

consecutively 01.Dec.2009 17:28

rAT

I meant to say 'consecutively", not 'concurrently'. Plus he didn't do time on the first arrest. Just probabtion. SIXTY YEARS MAN

Lack of Logic 05.Dec.2009 09:02

Anonymous

You lack the general sense of logic needed to put yourself in the positions of other people. You also incorrectly categorize restraint tactics used by police to apprehend unruly people. I do not know where to begin assessing your sick world view and the way you legitimize certain actions, but all I can say is please try to slow down your thought process and try to view situations FROM the police officers perspective. You may be surprised how your views change.

*I know that this will accomplish nothing, but your article troubled me because you actually try to connect the actions of the Tacoma shooter to your own political views, trying to say why you could "understand" his motives.

to anonymous cop 05.Dec.2009 17:56

anonymous victim of police violence

"all I can say is please try to slow down your thought process and try to view situations FROM the police officers perspective. You may be surprised how your views change."

And, all I can say, is please try to rev up your thought processes and try to view situations FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PEOPLE YOU AND YOUR BUDDIES HARASS AND VICTIMIZE. You may be surprised how your views change.

Your ignorance disturbs me, because you can't get how the two crimes are related. Police violence begets people so pissed off at the police, so powerless to get any accountability from them in a legal manner, that they are willing to kill cops. You don't get that??? I do. Perfectly. As a person who has been victimized by random (or not random) police violence, I understand very well why a man who was once roughed up by thug cops and given a 60 year prison sentence, when he was only 16 years old, for stealing a fucking telephone, would wind up so bitter and angry after awhile that he might want to take a few of you assholes out. I think that's scaring you: the fact that a LOT of us are understanding how that guy could want to do that. A lot of us are not perplexed or angry with him at all. A lot of us feel that sense of anger and rage and indignation and thirst for retribution that he must have felt to do that. And maybe, just maybe, you DO understand why. Maybe that's what really has you bothered. Maybe you don't really want to stop the police from abusing their power, harassing and beating and killing people for no reason without ever being held accountable. Maybe you are one of those thugs who marched around in support of the murdering child abusing ass who shot the little girl. Maybe you want to keep acting like that, but you also recognize we might just get angry enough to want to do something about it some time. Is that what's bothering you? If not, I think it should.