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Monday, November 30, 2009

Saltzman heads back to his hidey-hole

Portland commissioner Dan Saltzman never ceases to provide amusement. Today he "brokers" a "deal" with the police union: He'll drop the suspension of one of the city's most gratuitously violent police officers, Christopher Humphreys, "in exchange for" the union not releasing the results of their no-confidence vote in Saltzman and the police chief. As if there was any doubt what those results would be. And as if Portlanders cared.

Since when do we let a politician's public relations problem determine the proper level of police discipline?

At least Humphreys is still off the streets, in a desk job, at least for the moment. Let's hope he stays there. Maybe after the city is held liable this spring for millions on account of his killing of James Chasse, he'll take the disability pension and get a gig somewhere else.

Comments (30)

Is it ok to call him a limp wristed weasel on this blog?

That's a slur on weasels. The guy simply doesn't exist, except to make the West Hills fat cats fatter. He's "for the children," but not when they are being shot over a Tri-Met exclusion.

BREAKING NEWS: Nick Fish just released a statement saying that he supports Dan, the police officers, the police union, Humphreys' desk job, Humphreys' desk, the stapler on Humphreys' desk, and the troops.

Christopher Humphreys for Mayor/Police Commissioner and Bill Sizemore for Tax Czar. Why not elect the inmates to run our asylum? Nominations for Water Bureau/Twitter czar anyone?

That children’s initiative is a total boondoggle for some of the most inefficient non profits in Portland. I used to work for one of the beneficiaries of this goofy money. The CEO lied to the board, fudged the books, the CFO left, the COO left and they are still doing business as normal. One of the ways these non profits fudge on their financial statements is that they charge off a lot of supervisory labor as direct labor to keep their overhead burden less than 15% which is the upper end of the norm for non-profit administration expenses. A lot of these so called charities are totally inefficient and deliver social services at a higher price. The only people that make out are the CEO’s and executive staff. You can find their tax returns on the internet, except for religious organizations like Volunteers of America that don’t have to file publicly.

How about a non confidence vote on the union management.

More sniffing, licking and circling. Hackles are raised and teeth are bared.

But as usual, both dogs roll over and pee on themselves in deference to the others political well being.

In turn, we get bit in the ass.

As if Portlander's cared? Surprisingly enough, an upper-middle class lawyer living in an essentially crime free neighborhood does not really speak for the majority of the city.

Is there anything remotely like a real "leader" in Portland? Serious question. Ted Wheeler maybe.

The level of craveness in City Hall never ceases to amaze me. Face it, "leaders" can be limp-wristed in Portland, because Portland is limp-wristed.

Face it, "leaders" can be limp-wristed in Portland, because Portland is limp-wristed.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

As if Portlander's cared?

That's right. Portlanders really don't care what the police union thinks any more. They're bullies, and most people are quite tired of their blather.

I don't purport to speak for the majority. It spoke for itself, quite clearly, here:

Did Humphreys agree to withdraw his disability claim as part of the bargain?

Are you kidding? Working a desk job on steroids is really going to amp up his stress problem. I pity the paper clips.

Jack, please don't become like the typical pol in this city using very unscientific polls like your citation to further a cause. Don't be like Sam and others using polls to avoid a vote, or having a "town hall" packed with attendees after requests of Sam's office to attend, to form the public's position.

494 votes from a certain perspective blog doesn't give a true picture. You should advocate a real public vote to see if the 585,000 citizens of Portland (less the 18 under age) follows your thinking about the PPD.

advocate a real public vote

If there was any way to do that, I would.

BTW, the real outcome was 80-20 until the ballot box got stuffed by police union fans the afternoon of their goon rally.

I'm astonished and dismayed at how quickly some are to jump at a conclusion of culpability. All Saltzman did was to say that he intended to reserve judgment until after an investigation was conducted. Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

And why the lather over the police union? It insisted on due process, something that was clearly being denied. Isn't that what a union is supposed to do, and isn't due process something we all want (and should expect) in our jobs?

Until this dialogue moves from the "thugs bullying City Hall" level, it will convince no one to alter their position one iota, and will polarize the situation even more. You can't engage someone by repeatedly and relentlessly demeaning them.

You can't engage someone by repeatedly and relentlessly demeaning them.

Or by senselessly stomping them to death and lying about it.

The Portland police union will never allow itself to be "engaged." It's there to defend bad cops, like Humphreys, with whatever tactics it deems appropriate.

Wait 'til the city's too broke to pay their pensions. They'll get precious little sympathy. Nor do they deserve any.

"Soul corruption....from the bottom, to the top, from the top, to the bottom. Right down deep....we're gonna chase those crazy baldheads outta this town." -- G.P. (w/tribs to B.M.)

"He's "for the children,""

Don't forget the tall children - the NLS nutz. They think he is a god for rolling over for Randy.

Since Humphrey's the PPA version of Sizemore, where are they going to put him so no one baits this bear?

I'm guessing the fact that the Chasse incident was reviewed by the DA's office won't prove convincing, even though the DA's office doesn't hesitate to prosecute cops (one was sentenced today). I'm also guessing that the Police Bureau's internal review process, which involves civilian participation, won't sway either. Ditto for the City's civilian review board.

How about simple practicality? Let's assume that Portland's cops want to veer from their record of having just about the lowest rate of deadly force of any major city in this country. So they decide to "stomp someone to death" in front of 100 cell-phone-camera-armed diners at Blue Hour? Really?

Invective like this doesn't persuade. Of course, I'm new here, and I don't know if persuasion is the object.

I'm astonished and dismayed at how quickly some are to jump at a conclusion of culpability.

I know, right? it took what--about 11 seconds until he shot her with the beanbag round? And that whole Chasse thing? C'mon, folks--it's only been three years! Simmer down.

And why the lather over the police union? It insisted on due process, something that was clearly being denied.

I know, right? it took what--about 11 seconds until he shot her with the beanbag round?

You can't engage someone by repeatedly and relentlessly demeaning them.

I know, right? Because if you do, you'll get shot, or drop-kicked, or beaten and left to die handcuffed on the sidewalk.

All Saltzman did was to say that he intended to reserve judgment until after an investigation was conducted.

No, that's not all he did. Or do you actually believe that things suddenly changed because Saltzman decided to "reserve judgement"? C'mon.

Are you off-duty, Officer?

Schrunk and internal review of police brutality are a complete and utter whitewash.

Unfortunately, no cell phone camera caught Humphreys brutalizing Chasse. But eyewitnesses did, and Humphreys has effectively admitted lying about what happened. Soon the jury will speak, and the city will likely pay, many millions.

The Portland police force as a whole may not be unnecessarily violent. But "thumpers" like Humphreys shouldn't be on the streets. And when "good" cops like "Kaer Bear" go nuts and shoot some kid in the back, the bureau needs to stop concealing the truth and own up to its mistakes. Until then, you look like goons.

How about a non confidence vote on the union management.

How about one for the police?

Well, thank God for small miracles. Sizer and Saltzman have pledged "more conversation" which hopefully will lead to "greater understanding".

Yay, it's a f*cking Christmas miracle!

Sorry for the cynicism, but it's all so very very frustrating. I would love to see a Commissioner take a stand on something. *ahem* allow me to qualify that - on something other than duct tape, spray paint, or ridiculous votes on overseas wars. For Pete's sake, even the leaf depot decision was reversed (thankfully, but still).

I would love to see a Commissioner take a stand on something. *ahem* allow me to qualify that - on something other than duct tape, spray paint, or ridiculous votes on overseas wars.

You seem to have missed their courageous vote in favor of a public option in the proposed health care reform legislation.

Dan: Rosie, you're a genius! Your plant in the union actually got them to buy your t-shirt suggestion! Now we have all those goons' mugs recorded for posterity with T-shirts saying "I am Chris Humphreys"!!! Just WAIT until that gets recycled after the federal civil rights judgment bankrupts us! We're both going to look GREAT, like we were really trying to do something about ejecting the human animals that inhabit the police force! Noone will even REMEMBER we back-tracked, when that footage gets run!

Rosie: Dan, don't get so excited. The electorate is still sipping Koolaid. The whole thing might just go over their heads. Remember, this is Portland, where people don't like to believe that bad things happen to vulnerable people, children, or teenagers.

I think you're being too tough on the Humphreys. It's his bad luck that he was on duty that night, at that place. Look at the video again, you can not tell that the girl is 12 yrs old. She's a big kid, as big as a grown woman. She can hit and kick just as hard as a grown woman too. Do you think he knew that she was 12? I think he looked at her as the size of a grown adult when he tried to arrest her and treated her the same. What's wrong with using a shotgun beanbag? He shot her in the thigh, where there can not be permanent damage, unlike in the head or torso. The cops are given these beanbag guns for exactly this reason and he did the right thing. Look at the video. It worked. She was subdued with out any serious harm.

Look at the video. It worked. She was subdued with out any serious harm.

To put an end to this kind of speculation, I think we should have a citizen volunteer take a hit in the hip at close range from one of these weapons. Who's ready to volunteer? Come on, let's see those hands go up.

Sigh. None. OK, Joe, it looks like it will have to be you. I'll be your witness and report what I see back to this blog.

Rettig -

Citizen volunteer, hell.

Line up Westerman.

He's so damn sure it was OK, he ought to be willing to take one for the team.

Joe, my argument in this whole thing is that I believe they KNEW her to be 12. They already have stated that they knew exactly who she was, by sight, and that she was excluded from riding the MAX, due to earlier issues...

So if they KNEW who she was, then certainly they knew she was 12. And even in the event they didn't know her exact age, they certainly knew her to be a minor.

And I firmly believe that our officers have the training necessary for 2 or 3 of them to successly subdue ANY minor female, without resorting to firing a weapon at close range within 15 seconds of contact.

Again, I am dumbstruck that we can even debate this point!


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