This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 7, 2009 8:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was The pungent odor of scam. The next post in this blog is Dear Editor: It's Groundhog Day. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Under the rug

Oregonian reporter Maxine Bernstein is doing a good job tracing the problems with some of the bad apples in the Portland police bureau, but her editors are doing their best to bury her work. It happened again this weekend with an important article that the O ran on Saturday, when circulation is at its absolute lowest.

It's a story of how the son of a Portland police officer was unnecessarily banged around in the course of an arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct. The young man admits he was in the wrong, but didn't appreciate what he says was the gratuitious knee-drop to his neck after he was cuffed, or the two purposeful squad car door slams across his legs.

And when he did as his father suggested and filed a complaint with the bureau over the incident, the family found out what many of us already knew -- that complaints of police brutality in Portland are round-filed. It's been three years, and the "investigation" is still "ongoing." The whole review "system" for police violence is an unfunny joke.

Anyway, if like most folks, you don't read the paper on Saturday -- or ever -- you might want to take a look at Bernstein's account, here.

Comments (16)

Progressive Portland. We spend our money on wild birds, stray cats and promoting bikes. But fix the police? Not us.

I believe---want to believe---that the majority of Portland Police are decent people and doing their job, using the minimum amount of force for the situation. But the leaders, starting with Dan Saltzman and including Rosie Sizer, have not dealt with the problems including people who should not be wearing a badge and the police union too.

(Note: I've worn a badge and know that professionals can resist the tempation (oh the temptation!) to dish out a little street corner justice.)

I think that this simply proves that from the highest levels of government to the basic, as in here,individuals are scum and need to be shown their place. What counts is power. Rights do not count.

I read that article to my wife over breakfast on Saturday (we still get hard copies of the O), and all we could do is shake our heads and frown.

What a crock, from beginning to end.

And here I thought the story was a critique by the ex cop/father and therefore Maxine's annual good cop item.

I spend money on stray cats, but if I could be effective to confront the high level problems I have encountered, I would do it. I have tried to confront these issues, but when one does that, there is push back: she becomes a subject of defamatory gossip that makes her appear to be only her weaknesses on her weakest day. The problems whistleblowers face in Oregon is something that ought to be confronted on a broad scale.

shaking our heads and frowning meant that we agree with 2 subjects of the story, the young man and his ex-cop father.

Note the other part of this story: his dad came and picked him up at the station before he was booked, and he was never charged.

It's nice to the be cops in more ways than one.

I really have to wonder what the retired officer expected. He knows the PPD. Did he really think that anyone would give a crap? In 26 years on the force, I wonder how many times he was partnered with an officer who went too far and got away with it? Probably more times than he can count.

It happened again this weekend with an important article that the O ran on Saturday, when circulation is at its absolute lowest.

This is, in fact, incorrect.

From the Audit Bureau of Circulation:

Average Saturday circ: 251,975
Average M-F circ: 249,163
Average Sun circ: 303,412


Perhaps this should be required viewing for the Portland police. http://www.aetv.com/steven-seagal-lawman/

Max is the real deal. She has the contacts and she works the story.

Now is a good time for police reform as a political issue in Portland. Nationally and in Portland, both property and person-to-person crime is low. If the state and county would properly fund addiction treatment, it could be pushed lower. Police leadership is in transition, critical incidents are driving public opinion toward some degree of skepticism, and the unfunded debt of the police pension fund is a convincing argument to all intelligent persons the time is now.

My guess, though, is that Saturday is a day when many subscribers don't read the paper; that it goes straight from the plastic sleeve to the recycling bin.

In 26 years on the force, I wonder how many times he was partnered with an officer who went too far and got away with it? Probably more times than he can count.

Has it been a problem that long? I thought this was a relatively recent thing. (Last decade or so.)

Maybe he saw a better PPB.

Average Saturday circ: 251,975
Average M-F circ: 249,163

If you believe that, I'll sell you another one.

Saturday is the dead day for newspapers, and blogs. It's been that way forever.

Jon, PPB has a history of corruption that goes back a hundred years.

Read "Portland Confidential" by the Portland Tribune guy. Very good read, and helps you see the thread from past to present.

PPB has never been clean. It's in their DNA to expect no accountability. The only thing keeping them in check is (hopefully) their own professionalism. But if they lose it, no consequences. Same as it ever was.

Re whether more people read the paper on Saturday....On the weekends, a lot of folks have more time to READ the paper. I know if Bernstein's compelling story would have appeared on a weekday, I probably would have rushed through it before heading to work. But on Saturday, I read very word while still in my PJs.

If we could just get rid of the paper altogether, these pesky problems for the police would disappear along with it.

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