Message — whatever it is — Not Received, Portland Copwatch

Portland’s progressive community presses for meaningful police accountability, not necessarily aided by reports from Portland Copwatch.

The fact is, if the prose in a Portland Copwatch report cannot be deciphered as to its meaning, no one is any better off, neither brutal police nor lazy bureaucratic ass-coverers, nor members of the public.

This is a sample.  We are informed at the top of the report, issued today, that some obscure police report issued by an office with a forgettable acronymn, was “disturbing” in some way.

Well, here’s what the journo wanna-bees call the “money quote”:

One of the most disturbing sets of data reveals how often certain types of force are used against armed vs. unarmed persons. While “beanbag” (lead-pellet bag) shotguns are used 90% of the time against armed suspects, Tasers are used against armed suspects only 24% of the time, K-9 dogs are unleashed on armed suspects just 42% of the time, and guns are pointed at armed people only 29% of the time. The COCL also says that “hobbles” (when hands and feet are bound and bound together, a practice quietly discontinued by the Bureau last year) being used 92% of the time against unarmed suspects, “suggests some other resistance,” but PCW says this information suggests brutality (pp. 51-52).

What’s disturbing, to be precise?  Hmm.  We want to look at certain types of force being used against armed (presumably suspects, of some sort) versus unarmed. Lead-pellet bags are fired against armed suspects ninety percent.  Um, is this good? bad? Indifferent?

I have no idea.  Whether it is good, bad, or indifferent whether little bags filled with lead pellets are being shot at armed inhabitants of Bump City is opaque to me.

But let us go on.

Tasers — that is, getting jolted by lots of high-voltge, low-frequency electricity, with the hope that the right frequency has been chosen so that you don’t die of a heart attack — are used against armed suspects “only” on one-quarter of the apprehensions of, or let us say incidents of use of force against, armed inhabitants.

Does Mister Handelman find this number to be alarming?  He does not say.  Is there a reason why Mr Handelman, absent an explicit statement, might consider this number alarming?  None is offered.

I would guess, as a matter of record, that Mr Handelman can well imagine that apprehension of the poor benighted deprived underprivileged soul who seems to be avoiding apprehension by the forces of law and order, and who happens to be armed, might take place at a greater distance from the twerp in question than were the bugger to be unarmed.

Thus, tasers don’t work well in situations where someone is shooting at you.

Let’s skip the utter bullshit that guns are pointed at armed suspects only 29% of the time.  It’s false, and were it true it wouldn’t be alarming (unless Mr Handelman would like perhaps to suggest in some way what reason it would have, to be alarming); let us rather move on, to the business about a means of preventing flight, a means of preventing flight which (clears throat) has been discontinued by the Portland Police.

Mr Handleman finds the fact that a hobble is placed overwhelmingly on unarmed miscreants problematic.  Um, whaddya do wif an armed bad guy once ya gottim?  Handcuffs.  Yeah, handcuffs.  No tother will do, even if he complains ’bout hert wrists ‘n’ stuff.  Hancuffs.  Thass the tikket.

So let’s see what we got here.  PCW cries “brutality” because they use — no, let’s um, start again; PCW cries “brutality” because before the local constabulary dropped a means of immobilizing apprehended criminals, they used it against unarmed suspects.  But . . .

It is “brutal” to do anything except handcuff everybody?  Ever been handcuffed, Mr Handelman?


Case rested.

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, Free Speech, Local government, Police, Scott Green, Seth Woolley, U.S. Constitution. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Message — whatever it is — Not Received, Portland Copwatch

  1. Pingback: The Whole Truth | The Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party

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