Cultural Inertia

Sin Parablas

Sin Parablas

Reading the review given by the dogged police reform advocate Dan Handelman, of Portland Copwatch, of the most recent time-wasting public meeting supposedly devoted to citizen oversight of the Portland police, the enormity of the change necessary to effect real reform occurs in a striking passage. After a few paragraphs making it crystal clear that nothing of note happened the COAB’s discussion of the COCL’s Quarterly Report, there comes the reflection:

To me the most significant thing about the meeting was something I’m sure I was the only one to notice: of the six uniformed officers who sat in to observe (the Bureau ‘advisory members’ come in plain clothes), three had killed people, at least two of whom were in mental health crisis.

So. Nothing happened at the meeting to reform the Portland police habit of killing people in custody. Half of the police observers attending in uniform, were homicidal.

Lt. Jeffrey Kaer, who killed Dennis Young in 2006, announced he had suggested the other cops attend. Kaer shot Young through the side of the driver’s side door of a car after he (Kaer) left his post to investigate why Young was parked across the street from Kaer’s sister’s house.

In 2005, Sgt. Leo Besner shot and killed Raymond Gwerder with a sniper rifle as Gwerder, who was suicidal, was talking to a negotiator on the phone about his mischievous dog.

And everyone knows Bret Burton, the former Multnomah [County Sheriff’s] Deputy turned [Portland Police Bureau] officer, who was one of the three people who beat James Chasse to death in 2006.

As Jo Ann Hardesty says, at 6:26 of this video, “If we have such a well-trained police force, how come so many members of our community in the hands of the police end up dead?”

The Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party of Oregon has a straightforward approach: any cop who kills a suspect in custody loses his job. That would actually work to reduce the citizens blown away by heavily-armed occupiers of low-income neighborhoods in our country.

We — the Cascadia Chapter of the Green Party of Oregon — point out that professional organizations, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers, all undertake to rid their professions of unqualified practitioners. But the police, and their enablers in our pre-fascist state, renounce that responsibility. If a teacher has a student who states the teacher sexually abused him or her, that teacher’s career, basically, is over.

So it ought to be with police officers who kill citizens.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Cameron Whitten, Dan Handelman, Fascism, Local government, Pacific Green Party, Police, U.S. Constitution. Bookmark the permalink.

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