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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Portland cop fined $35 for sushi parking violation

Of course, the union will pay it -- maybe even give him a prize -- and now the bright, shiny lawyer who filed the complaint can enjoy the rest of his life as a marked man.

A reader notes: "The real stunner? The fact that more than twenty PPB uniformed officers were present for the 1½ hour trial, including: a precinct commander, at least two lieutenants, four sergeants, and at least a dozen officers. Our PPB has real priorities!"

Comments (32)

The real stunner is dragging a cop into court over a parking dispute.

Police Officers endure too much stress -- and work too hard -- to be lectured by a greenhorn attorney about whether they are legally parked.

The depolicing of Portland has begun. Karma is a bitch.

I don't go downtown because my wife is disabled and I usually can't find a place on the street to park. Given this decision does this now mean I can park wherever I wish now?


BTW Mr. Tee I used to work in a similar job and it ain't that stressful.


If only we had designated parking spaces for the mobility impaired, then you could come downtown more often.

Maybe it's time for a few more "City Employee parking only" spaces around the City Center, just like the north side of City Hall is reserved for parking enforcement vehicles.

Similar job, TLG? Firefighters and meter maids aren't cops.

meter maids aren't cops

They're called parking enforcement officers, not "meter maids" and though yelled at and often threatened, they carry no weapons.

I'd say that can be pretty stressful.

Technically, the cop was wrong. It would have been nice to see him apologize to the attorney up front, and just admit he was trying to cut corners. However, of the two I might still pick the cop to be my neighbor over the nit-picky attorney.

There are several folks who may have held jobs "similar" to policing, but frankly I think most of them know little about the stress real city cops have. It is the ability for cops to remain law biding and not above the law while enduring that stress that makes them exceptional.

Technically, the cop was hungry, and parked his police car as close to his chosen restaurant as was possible.

It's no different than a moving van double parked on any NW Portland street while people move their furniture in/out of an apartment. It's no different than feeding a parking meter while shopping. It's no different than parking in the "customer's only" lot to use the ATM, and then getting take out next door.

The police officer shouldn't have to park farther away when a safe -- albeit non-public -- alternative can get him in/out of the restaurant more quickly.

"Also after the hearing, Sgt. Brian Schmautz said the bureau has read a lot of comments from people who disagree with Stensgaard's actions that night.

"I was amazed by the level of vitriol from some people," Schmautz said."

He shouldn't be surprised, given the level of contempt with which the police tend to treat the taxpaying public.

As for who would make the better neighbor, I'll take the attorney any day. I had a cop for a neighbor once, and he was a real jerk who flouted neighborhood rules and became belligerent when confronted.

"The police officer shouldn't have to park farther away when a safe -- albeit non-public -- alternative can get him in/out of the restaurant more quickly."


I prefer equal protection under the law for everyone, law enforcement included.

If I can't legally park there, neither can he unless it's an emergency situation. Getting sushi is NOT and emergency situation.

Law enforcement should lead by example, instead of "do as I say, not as I do."

Can we be that far away from bicycles only for the PPB? But then they'll be faced with citizen arrests for not stopping at stop signs while peddling to the scene of a crime...

Figuratively speaking, Eric stuck his head out of a fox hole. It was unwise, probably more fitting for middle school behavior and you're right Jack.

I think this blog has already shown that police make bad neighbors. Noise at the Neighbor's (

If this officer had been working, this would have been a non-issue. Instead, its an (another) example of Portland officials flouting the rules for their own benefit. Admittedly cliched, Spiderman was right: "With great power comes great responsibility."

It's not clear in this case how he was parked, but police have a habit of parking across crosswalks in NW. It may not sound like much of a violation but on NW 21st and 23rd it's a safety hazard for pedestrians (not to mention rude).

No doubt all those cops present at the trial were on the clock.

What the hell is wrong with you people. This cop would put himself in harms way to save your sorry a***s. Had a problem arose while he was waiting for his food I'm sure he would have responded immediately. I'm also sure this jerk attorney would wet his pants if he ever does a ride along with a cop.

I would give the policeman some slack if he had parked in (say) a truck loading zone, or a 15-minute zone -- i.e., a spot designated for parking of some kind. The no-parking zones are designated as no-parking zones because cars that park there create safety hazards for other cars or for pedestrians. (See the comment of NorthwestT above.) A police officer shouldn't create a safety hazard unless he or she is responding to a bigger safety hazard.

"What the hell is wrong with you people. This cop would put himself in harms way to save your sorry a***s. Had a problem arose while he was waiting for his food I'm sure he would have responded immediately. I'm also sure this jerk attorney would wet his pants if he ever does a ride along with a cop."

So, because he chose a career in law enforcement, the law no longer applies? Which laws don't apply any more, just parking code, or laws about beating people with flashlights and nightsticks? Extortion? Racketeering? Shooting people? Selective enforcement for societal classes?

Equal protection under the law means EQUAL FOR EVERYONE. Everyone seems to be down on politicians when they use the power vested in their position for personal gain, but OHH MY GOODNESS this is a police officer, so I guess it's okay for him to be corrupt - because it's only a *little* corrupt.

For those who reflexively wish to make apologies for the cops--"gee, look how hard their job is, they deserve extra-legal breaks," etc., where would your excuses end because they might (but don't then) have important work to do? Can they run red lights with sirens on in case they might get a call? Can they bust an old man's chops who's slowing them down on the sidewalk? Can they get free coffee and steal from convenience stores because paying might slow them down if they actually might get a call?

Anyone who thinks the PPB are in any hurry to help anyone hasn't actually called them. It's more important for them to show up in court to intimidate judges about parking tickets than to show up for burglaries, car thefts and assaults--the things you might call about. The criminal will be on vacation by the time they might show up for you.

What was that in court? Ten uniformed officers? Doesn't that tell you anything? Wake up, if you really think it' about you. It's your unquestioned support for them under all circumstances that allows them to abuse their power--which is why citizens are increasingly fed up with antics like this officer's.

Cop lazily cut corner, committed minor traffic offense, and should have known better.

Bryant was not performing some altruistic civic duty. He was acting annoying, arrogant, fresh-out-of-law-school attorney with far too much time and his hands/far too little perspective.

This story is not about cops versus the public or cops versus lawyers. It's about two individuals.

Attorneys like that make all the rest of us bed-wetting jerks look bad.

Unfortunately, Mr. Bryant's actions will only reinforce the negative stereotypes that so many people associate with attorneys. He should be ashamed of himself.

People don't respect cops enough. I've been on ride-alongs, I've seen the very tip of what they have to deal with. It's pretty ridiculous for a cop to have to waste his or her time trying to find a parking spot. They don't get lunch and dinner breaks, they're lucky if they get 20 minutes to eat and if they get a call in the middle (or beginning) of eating, they just have to pay for their food and leave. If a cop has to spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot they might as well not try to eat.

There's nothing really the judge could do but this lawyer is a pest. This is just giving a worse name to lawyers and sniveling taddle-tails that seem to flourish in liberal cities like this one.

I was in this place and they had all kinds of stuff in it. Fruit, bread, meat, tofu, juice, soda. Then in this other part they had things called LUNCH bags, and cold packs.

Now I think that people make these things they call "lunches" and pack them in those carry things or a Nancy's yogurt container if you're a sustainable sort.

10 officers, seriously? attorney paid for by the union? Is it the worst thing that ever happened? nope. Would a simple "mea culpa" to the strident young attorney have saved the CoP a grip of cash? probably.

What a waste of everyone's time. I'd rather the police be allowed to stay close to their cars in order to be in the best position to respond to an emergency call. It also sounds like the attorney was doing a superiority dance for the law students with him. But you know what- only in Portland! Keep it weird baby!


Last time I checked, our average response times to emergency calls are less than five minutes, so I'd be interested in hearing your experience. I've parked in front of that restaurant in the past to pick up my food also. I'd try to run in and run out, but I'd say 50-75% of the time, I'd get a call and have to come back to pick up my food later. I did not park in front because I was a selfish jerk, I parked in front so I could get to the almost guaranteed next call without delay. Parking in that area is horrible, and surprisingly enough, there are not a ton of restaurants where cops feel comfortable going on-duty.

On another note, I've lived lots of places, and I'm starting to realize that I've never lived anywhere with so much latent anger in its residents. We claim to be such a happy, harmonious city, but be it bikes, cars, lawyers, cops, whatever, so many people here can't wait to explode on someone else. Maybe everyone can take a breather? This is really a wonderful place to be.

Do we really want sushi eating cops?

Bark Munster wins this round!

As I was formulating all the time I've spent on ride alongs, parking an emergency vehicle, and all the other arguments that would make it appear I can bear scratch the highest tree, Bark puts it into perspective!

Officer, pack a lunch.

so Cameron laments that here in Portland the "People don't respect cops enough" and gives forth the usual talking points meant to rally the troops, but fails to say a word about such deeds as PPB's Officer's Nice and Humphreys stomping to death James Chasse, or Officer McCollister killing Kendra James and on and on the list goes.

Thank God that a great many people in Portland have fully functioning brains that can and do remember the misdeeds of the PPB and are not about to let such silly talking points deter them from demanding more accountability from the PPB and that they conduct themselves like decent human-beings as opposed to acting like thugs.

So, you darn right a lot of people here in Portland don't respect the police and there is damned good reasons why too! Maybe some of you need to improve your memory skills rather than writing such self-serving pablum that only furthers the culture of non-accountability that the rest of us totally detest in the PPB.

He must have been real hungry for sushi at that time! Go vegan! hah hah

The real stunner is dragging a cop into court over a parking dispute.

God forbid the freakin' cops should be required to obey the law! Apparently, that's something only Librul wussies do anymore.

I can't even count the number of times I've seem cops break traffic laws. A favorite of theirs is, when stopped at a red light, to turn on their siren and lights, breeze through the intersection, shut off the siren and lights, and continue on their merry way to Starbucks.

Some time back, cops stopped responding to most property crimes because they were inundated with violent crimes. Now that violent crime rates have dropped dramatically, are they responding to property crimes again? I somehow doubt it...


Just so you know, we do that light at the intersection thing on the way to calls that we have every right to use our lights and sirens on, but we are trying to avoid the traffic chaos that ensues when we do. I often wait to turn on my lights when I get to an intersection because people going the other direction usually aren't paying attention, slam on their brakes, and about crash. I've never used my lights to go to Starbucks, and I've never seen anyone else do it, but I guess it made your story seem cute to you, so why not just throw it in there! Good job, Mike.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
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Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
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Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
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Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
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Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
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G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
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Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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