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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Marked man still making his mark

Remember that daring young Portland lawyer who took a police officer to court for a parking violation -- by the cop?

That rebel is at it again.

He's even sent us an e-mail message quoting from police regulations on the subject:

POLICY (315.00) Members are required to conform to, and abide by, the rules and regulations of the Bureau, ordinances of the City and County, Federal laws and of the laws of all states. Members shall not commit any act, or fail to perform any act, that constitutes a violation of any of the rules, regulations, instruction, directives, or orders of the Bureau, whether stated in these directives or elsewhere.

Void Request of Parking Citations (Police Vehicles) (860.40) A request that the court dismiss a parking tag issued to a police vehicle by another party must be made by letter rather than the Void Request Form. a. It is the policy of the Bureau that members will be subject to parking regulations the same as any citizen. However, the emergency nature of law enforcement will occasionally require that Bureau vehicles will be parked in violation. If a parking citation results, it may be turned in with a letter addressed to the Court Administrator requesting dismissal. b. Requests for dismissal of these parking citations must be on letterhead stationery, have an adequate explanation of the official business being conducted, and be approved by the individual's RU manager.

PROCEDURE (1230.20) For purposes of this directive, all Bureau owned, marked, unmarked, staff or utility vehicle are considered E-plated and subject to the parking ordinance. Members will not park Bureau vehicles adjacent to the Elk Fountain on SW Main, 3rd to 4th. Violators will be towed. The Police Only parking zones adjacent to the Multnomah County Courthouse are for marked patrol units only. Drivers of marked and unmarked units assigned to the Justice Center are to use assigned parking spaces when attending court and when conducting business at City Hall, the Portland Building and the Justice Center. Vehicles with assigned spaces at the SW 1st and Jefferson garage will not use on-street parking around the courthouse nor on SW 2nd, Jefferson to Madison. The marked spaces in the basement of 1st and Jefferson are for police vehicles only. Any private cars parked in these spaces will be towed. As a last resort, marked units can be parked on the parking lot on SW 2nd, Main to Madison, and validation obtained through Fiscal Services Division or the member can receive reimbursement through his/her RU.

Employees driving a vehicle that receives a citation as a result of a violation of the No Government Vehicle zones are responsible for paying those citations and may be subject to disciplinary action.

Wow. Sometimes you have to tilt at windmills, but these windmills are armed.

Comments (25)

The Oregonian's comments section is filled with people saying he's a fool to question the actions of members of the Portland Police Bureau.

I say he is absolutely correct to pursue these asshats who think the law does not apply to them and I wish him luck in pursuing the charges. (He won't need luck, though, because he has the law on his side.)

I think it is HI-larious that one of the cops he cited is the same tool that he busted parking in a handicapped spot over the summer. This will be fun to watch!

I think it is HI-larious that one of the cops he cited is the same tool that he busted parking in a handicapped spot over the summer.

Or maybe it was a no-parking zone. I can't recall at the moment.

"Sometimes you have to tilt at windmills, but these windmills are armed."
Jack, the pen is still mightier than the sword. Just as you lead by the example of your respect for the law, so does this guy. He teaches them that they are not above the law. If only the police training division would follow both of your examples, we would be safer and more civil. The law is for our benefit, and deserves enforcement.
On the other hand, I AM familiar with police retaliation and don't have this guy's ambition anymore.

It's a great story. I wonder who broke it...yesterday?

I trust the federales more than the ex-military wack jobs who infest the pdx police force.

"On the other hand, I AM familiar with police retaliation"

What a baby.

Jack, are you implying that the police will retaliate with deadly force or unauthorized sanctions just because they are caught not adhering to the law? What a sad state of affairs that a private citizen has to hold them accountable instead of their supervisors.

Joe: It's a joke.

It's a great story. I wonder who broke it...yesterday?

No publication that I read.

BTW, is this the kind of story that "breaks"? To me it seems more like it "oozed."

Dumb. Just plain ol' fashioned dumb.

Just admit you read this on Blogtown yesterday Jack, and move on.

From the viewpoint of CoP police administration, rank-and-file, and unions alike, this is one that they can't afford to lose. They'll come at it hard.

It matters not that this time it's over a parking violation. Next time it may be over, say, beating a mentally ill homeless man to death. And what scares them the most is that if they lose this one, it may start a precedent of accountability to the public that could ultimately result in life as they know it coming to a sudden end.

This bears repeating...I grew up in Texas, and these Portland cops scare the hell out of me. Come to find out, over the time that I've lived here, about their long, infamous and even proud track record of corruption and brutality.

Yeah, this is one brave, brave soul, to take on the PPB. They openly kill people all the time on the flimsiest of pretexts.

For example, look at what happened to the loudmouthed fellow from Montage restaurant...that happened around the time I came here.

Or James Chasse Jr.

Or J. Perez. Or K. James.

Or there was the old woman I drove to the nursing home some months back. She told me about the death of her husband...I guess he was a sweet, sweet man, but then he became senile and mean, and she finally had to call the PPB. Boy, did she regret that. She begged them and begged them not to taser him, as he was still recuperating from heart surgery.

Guess What ?

He died from a heart attack shortly after they sadistically tasered him, for a good long while. A frail, senile old man, recuperating from heart surgery.

Yeah, Luck to You, Mr. Attorney.

Wonder what David P. Thompson would think of this particular regulation?

Just admit you read this on Blogtown yesterday Jack, and move on.

Matt, honestly, I don't read "Blogtown" unless one of my regular reads links to something there. Most of it doesn't interest me.

Frankly I think this lawyer should get a real life. It's easy to target the police with public wrath. But I bet everyone on this comment list would call them in an emergency, and expect them to appear yesterday.

DB: OK, so if having to follow the law and call police in an emergency rather than sorting it out ourselves disqualifies us from noticing when the police have abused their power, what do you propose we should do in emergencies?

Because if that's the terms of the deal -- if we have to overlook grossly abusive behavior if we want to use the 911 service to call the public servants we pay for -- then the deal should end now.

I hear you Jack, but perhaps you should log on and check the "news" posts on a daily basis. You know, just so you're one step ahead of the game here in town.

It's the decent thing to do, out of respect for your readers.

George Anonymuncule: I guess I don't consider a police officer parking in a government parking zone while on duty to be "grossly abusive behavior". If it is, we should we all step up to the plate and start ticketing each other for parking on expired meters or in no parking zones while we run in for our pizzas. There are far more important issues to scrutinize the police about, as Jack's blog does quite well.

DB: you're the one who introduced the "in an emergency" issue, not me. I never suggested that this was an emergency or even important. But your comment suggested that people shouldn't even think about noticing when the police act wrongfully because you'll want a cop in an emergency.

The story annoys me because lawyers who try to take on serious abuses of power in Oregon can be effectively tortured out of practice and run out of town on what one colleague called a narrow-gauge rail. I just heard about a case like that where the PLF (Professional Liability Fund for anyone who doesn't already know)deprived someone cheated out of Worker's Comp and Product Liabilty claims of a malpractice claim, then proceeded to intiate a smear campaign against the lawyer who dared to question its actions.

You may remember the Oregonian's story about the Pranger(Sp?) settlement a few years back where a litigant was deprived of his claim when a lawyer created a straw corporation to buy old debt and use it against him.

Eventually the story died, with lawyers assuring reporters that this was an isolated incident. It isn't. I am aware of more than one situation where the PLF was directly involved in setting up scams to deprive legal malpractice litigants of legitimate claims-and of PLF attacks on lawyers who are on to them. I believe the Pranger story likely came out because the lawyer who discovered it was prominent: Eldon Rosenthal if memory serves.
I hope John Kroger will look into this problem and that people who realize a gang of thugs runs the PLF will do what they can to be heard. People having their careers and good names attacked because they are trying to help those deprived of justice are on the side of right and should get together so that there will not be so much (understandable) fear of speaking out.

perhaps you should log on and check the "news" posts on a daily basis

Do they have an RSS feed?

Sometimes, I park in spots that are not available to the general public. Sometimes, I drive in a way that is not legal for the general public. I do these things with due regard and respect for the public, and not for my own benefit, even though an observer that does not know what I'm doing might feel differently. I also understand the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, and am given discretion to apply the law in a way that I feel is fair. If I attempted to apply to law the way this lawyer does, I would have be run out of the police bureau on a rail during training for having no judgement.

JP -

Judgement is good, but when a sign clearly says NO GOVERNMENT VEHICLES, that probably means that there shouldn't be any government vehicles there, unless it's an emergency.

As a citizen who pays an inordinate amount of taxes, I wish to have equal protection under the law, meaning equal enforcement of the law upon all entities covered by the law; including the enforcers themselves.

Further, the good police of this city should hold themselves to a higher standard, in order to be better examples to the citizenry. How can you write citations for laws that you don't abide by yourself? Much of what is written about on this blog goes to this same principle - we take organizations to task for doing different than what they say they are going to do, or what they should be doing.

The Portland Police Bureau exists to enforce the law, and I'm sure somewhere in their charter it spells out that they are to enforce the law within the means granted them under the law.

All we ask is that everyone, including the uniformed officers, are treated equally, without prejudice or presumption.

"Do they have an RSS feed?"

I'm just going to start emailing you links.

Speaking of Chasse...

If I see a police officer parking illegally, am I allowed to question him or her? If they start to walk away, ignoring me, think I can tackle them? I mean, honestly, this is just as serious as public urination. Maybe with a little luck I could fracture some of their ribs. What do ya think the chances are I wouldn't end up in jail.

JP -

Next time I get pulled over by the police I'll let them know I'm following the spirit of the law, not the letter. I'll refer them to you if they have any questions.


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