Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 22, 2004 5:59 PM. The previous post in this blog was Words of wisdom. The next post in this blog is The Kerry spam continues. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, April 22, 2004

No bill

The Multnomah County grand jury has decided not to indict Portland police officer Jason Sery, who recently shot and killed an unarmed African-American man in a North Portland traffic stop.

It's not surprising. Grand juries rarely indict police officers.

Observers of the Portland scene have been hoping that the aftermath of this police killing would be different from the many others that have gone on before.

It hasn't been.

So far.

Comments (20)

But this also results in a public inquiry if I remember AG Schrunk's words. Maybe it still will be different.

Maybe. But the inquest's scope, by law, is very limited. As I recall, the last time we had one (the infamous "choke hold" case), the jury went beyond the scope of its duties and declared that the officers were criminally negligent. But next to nothing came of it.

Are we surprised? In short: No.

Like you, Jack, we think the outcome was fairly predictable. Now what?

Some day, regular Portlanders will get mad. And it won't be pretty.

Getting mad will only compound the problem. The grand jury is composed of regular folks with regular fears. Fear hightens both the devaluation of the victim and the discretion allowed for the police.

Early education and employment opportunities is the long-term answer. But I see continuing decline on that front.

The grand jury is run by the DA. Even the most objective DA spends every working day working hand-in-hand with the police. It's hard to picture zealous prosecution of even an outlaw cop.

In an officer-involved shooting, perhaps the grand jury should be run by a special prosecutor.

DA Shrunk?

As a happy member of the NoPo community, I am extremely disappointed with this ruling. My sense, from being a witness in front of a grand jury, is that they are steered procedurally into indictments that the DA is in favor of.

This case is in no way a clear cut justifiable shooting. So I get to wear the skin color of the trigger happy coward who is above the law, and my law abiding African-American neighbors get to wear the skin color of the stupid crack-head.

I hope that this doesn't unduly impact our conversations about lawn care, the weather and such.

Let's not forget the part about reaching into your coat when the police say, "Don't do that."

All the police 'bad situation' video-footage I've seen shows a situation going from bad-to-worse in, literally, the blink of an eye. The police have rights, so do their families. First in that list - the right to live and see their families after work.

Most police fatalities occur during 'routine' traffic stops. When the police pull you over, don't put your hand in your pocket. According to the report, that is what Mr. Perez did. Better yet, if you are a man with cocaine on you - don't drive around at odd hours, and act as though you are going for a gun.

I have a lot of sympathy for the officers involved in this incident. I'm sorry Mr. Perez is dead. According to the report cited here, it seems Mr. Perez had more than his fair share in the cause of this incident.

All of you who are angry that "justice wasn't done" -- would you reach into your right pocket twice, "Trying to pull something out" like Perez did in this situation? And if you would, wouldn't you suspect the consequences of this action wouldn't be good?

I've never heard a Cop say they want to end a person's life. They all, however, want to keep theirs.

I think there's some confusion here. The grand jury only investigates criminal charges; today's decision does not mean in any way, shape, or form that the shooting was justified. It simply means that the grand jury did not think that there was enough evidence to put Officer Sery on trial, presumably for manslaughter. There are mental-state issues that would be very difficult to prove in this situation. There is still the police internal investigation, the federal civil rights investigation, and the inquest. *All parties* (aside from the police union) have a strong motivation to get all the facts out and in front of the public. This counteracts everything the police have been trying to do post-Kroeker, so they have that motivation. Obviously the City and the community groups want to know what happened. If you think this is the sign of a coverup, you're wrong. And things are very different in this case than they have been in the past - the inquest and federal civil rights investigation are evidence of that.

When the police pull you over, don't put your hand in your pocket. According to the report, that is what Mr. Perez did.

And so he deserved to be shot dead?

The question of 'justified' is the relevant question here.

The question of 'criminal charges', unfortunately, isn't relevant here. Yes, some 'civil charges' may be levied in this case. But in all good conscience - there is no criminal case here - let it go.

I feel sorry for the family that their police-assaulting, drug-carrying-relative was shot by police when the said felon put his hand in his pocket during a police stop at an odd hour. But feeling sorry for questionable behavior doesn't justify a civil trial.

I understand that, technically, there will be many other trails for the officer(s) in question. That doesn't mean the officer(s) in question are 'yet-to-be-found guilty'. The deceased made some bad decisions at a very bad time.

More trials won't change the outcome of that.

Jack wrote:
"When the police pull you over, don't put your hand in your pocket. According to the report, that is what Mr. Perez did.
And so he deserved to be shot dead?"

Jack - The question isn't about "Did he deserve it?" (which he didn't).

The question is about 'reasonable expectation'. The laws are enforced by humans who make human decisions with human abilities in real-time.

Watch some videos of cops in situations where things went bad (watch the tv morbid-episodes of the show 'COPS', or ask a police friend). You'll see that the majority of cop-is-dead situations are 'routine traffic stops'. You'll also see that things go from 'routine' to 'deadly-for-the-cop' in very, VERY little time.

The question isn't, "Did the deceased 'deserve' it?". The question is, "Under the circumstances, did the deceased act in a way would quickly kill an officer (as previously demonstrated in training)?"

From what was published (per your link), the answer is (unfortunately) 'yes'.

Sorry, "hand in the pocket" isn't grounds to shoot, no matter how many different ways you word it. Until the officers see the gun, they shouldn't shoot. If they can't handle that, they shouldn't be cops.

BTW, the "odd hour" was 6 p.m. on a Sunday.

6pm - My mistake, I thought it was a different hour.

Reaching into the pocket - I've never done that during a police stop. In fact, I've ALWAYS had my ID/license and registration out before the cops leave their car. By the time the officer reaches my door, the window is open, I have my dome light on (if after dark) and my hands are clearly on the steering wheel.

Also, I'm not trying to hide/swallow cocaine (not proven here, but quite possible). Additionally, the police aren't protecting themselves against a proven police attacker and violent felon. And yes - that does make a difference.

I'm not trying to hide/swallow cocaine.

What does that have to do with shooting the guy? We do not have the death penalty for cocaine possession -- yet. And if we do, the accused will be given a day in court before the execution.

Additionally, the police aren't protecting themselves against a proven police attacker and violent felon.

That makes some sense. But without seeing the guy's i.d., did they even know who he was? They probably knew who owned car he was driving -- that was it.

And even assuming that all of what you're pointing to is true, I still say -- no actual gun sighting, no shooting the guy three times in the torso.

In an ideal world, kids aren't shot for brandishing fake guns, either, but it sometimes happens in the real world (less often, thankfully, now that they have orange tips). It seems by not proposing criminal charges that the grand jury thought the deceased did deserve (in the sense that it was justified, not in the sense that it was the appropriate punishment) to be inflicted with deadly force. That the deadly force actually resulted in a death, in this case, is unfortunate.

I think I've come up with a great idea for a new business! Training citizens how to act when pulled over by the police so they don't get shot! Problem is, prospective clients are being killed.

Seriously, is this the lesson to be learned here? NO! We need better training for our police and that's all there is to it. Wouldn't hurt if some of our cops weren't cowards either.

What I'm saying is if cops were trained to approach apparently dangerous situations with more caution, calling for backup and such, then these killings might stop. Aggressive police tactics used by Sery and Macomber is what caused this incident to unfold the way it did. Our police need the training, not the citizens. I shudder to think how many times I may have placed my life in jeapordy simply reaching for my wallet to produce my drivers license at the request of some cop who has just pulled me over. If the cops who pulled me over had been cowards like Sery, I probably would've been shot, and all the cop would've had to say is he thought I was reaching for a weapon, and he feared for his life. How can we as a society support that? How can we view Sery as anything other than a coward when his aggressive tactics cause him to be quick on the trigger simply at the sight of Perez having his hand in his pocket. Might Perez have been reaching for identification at the request of the officers? (Alluring concept for a trigger-happy cop.....pull over suspect, request drivers license, and when suspect reaches into his pocket for the piece of ID he is shot by a cop who says he feared the suspect was reaching for a weapon)

It's apparent to me Sery and his partner had some reason to believe this was more than a routine traffic stop otherwise they wouldn't have drawn their weapons so fast. These officers should've exercised caution in this situation, not aggression. If Perez had've been armed the actions of these officers could've provoked an outright gun battle where innocent bystanders could've been hurt. They had to have known who they were about to deal with. All the more reason for them to have exercised patience and caution, and call for backup. The suspect is ordered to exit the vehicle with his hands in sight, and officers cautiously approach him, search him, and continue with the traffic stop. Had this incident had gone down this way at least Perez might've comprehended the seriousness of what was taking place. Unfortunately, Perez is the one who mistakenly viewed this as a routine traffic stop.

What I find disturbing now is how alot of people seem to dismiss Perez's life in the form of a "good riddance" attitude. As though his past mistakes are justification for what happened. I'm hearing and seeing it everywhere. If he hadn't have had drugs or been responsible for a past that labeled him to the police as a dangerous person he wouldn't have been shot. His past is not justification for being shot. It is justification for the police to exercise extreme caution when dealing with him. Not aggressive behavior during a traffic stop!

Unfortunatly the grand jury had to acquit Sery. They had to make their decision based on a point of law. That law which gives our cops the right to use deadly force simply on the presumption their life or the life of others is in danger. THIS LAW HAS TO BE CHANGED!!!! Lars Larson says that is the same right afforded to every citizen, and a citizen would be acquited during grand jury proceedings as quickly as a cop. I beg to differ. Not surprising though coming from a guy who is legally licensed to carry a firearm (concealed).

In the past year we have had two people killed by the police because they feared for their lives, and both victims were unarmed. The law must be changed to require our police to see evidence of a weapon before they shoot. In the meantime I can think of two cops who should take their scared asses into another line of work. Save being a cop for brave people who are genuinely willing to put their lives on the line for all of us.

One more it inconceivable that there are some bad cops out there who are shielded from any criminal wrongdoing with a law such as this?

Wait to see the bad guy's weapon? A lot of cops get killed while waiting.

Is the DA going to release the video of the police stop? I assume that the patrol car in question had it's own camera. Am I wrong?

I've never heard of the PPB having videocams in the cars. I doubt that they have them. Maybe if Officer Sery and/or the city are held liable for wrongful death, they'll install them.

Sorry, if the cop doesn't see an actual weapon, or at least something that looks damn like a weapon, he shouldn't be shooting. If they can't handle that risk, they shouldn't be on the force.

Lots of people refuse to take their hands out of their pockets when asked by the police. A scared teenager holding a joint, for instance. That doesn't mean you shoot them.

Don't worry, Scott, the odds of there being serious adverse consequences for this officer dwindle with every passing day. Look for a six-month suspension followed by a nice transfer over to Raleigh Hills.

Couldn't have said it better myself Jack!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics