This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 25, 2008 1:03 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bad day at anger management class. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, January 25, 2008

Reader poll: Will police oversight report lead to change?

Portlanders are a perceptive group, by and large. They have no confidence in the system whereby residents' charges of police misconduct are processed. Why should they? It rarely amounts to a hill of beans. Portland police officers can kill people without justification and they're usually back on the street without any serious consequences. The d.a. here would never indict a cop for anything.

And so now another expert has come in and told us what we already knew about all that. But, irony of ironies:

The same day the critical report was made public, the director of the Independent Police Review Division that manages the police oversight system said she had just accepted an offer to take a job in the Portland Police Bureau. Leslie Stevens will be responsible for monitoring police conduct in a new Office of Professional Standards.
"Independent," and yet interviewing for a job with them at the same time? Ain't that the Portland way.

Anyway, the mayor and the police chief say they're taking the expert's report under advisement. Do you think it will lead to change? Or will it just get round-filed?

Will the new report on Portland police oversight make a difference in how police misconduct charges are handled in the future?
pollcode.com free polls

Comments (9)

Portland: The city That works. ( You over! )

I want the community more engaged. I want them to feel that it's a system they can trust, and whatever steps we need to take to do that, we need to consider," Potter said. "Unless the community is satisfied, I'm not satisfied."
Potter sure has a way with words...hot air to be kind. So the hired hand has the complete authority to say yea or nay to a citizen complaint? How novel and reassuring that the dirty cops will be disciplined..not in a pigs ear.
It's not the cover-up by police that bothers me, it's the arrogance of doing in front of us citizens and getting away with it.
Portland becomes more and more like Chicago everyday. I better find my ward-healer.


Oh yes of course. It will follow the lenghty pattern of previous changes like,,,,,,,well, you know,,,, those other ones.

I'm not a defender of bad cops here. Far from it. But I gotta tell you, in what other profession can incompetent employees get criminally charged and be subject to jail for being incompetent or even making a single bad decision. Yes, for the truly criminal element in blue, and there are a few, they should be subject to criminal prosecution.

But because of the job police perform for us, and because SOMEONE has to have the authority and exercise power to adequately police our communities, there will be times when lack of competence or lapse of judgement leads to tragic consequences.

If you screw up at your job, will there be people demanding that you go to jail? Yeah, I know your screw-ups may not kill or injure people, but like doctors, or EMT's, police happen to have a job that means life or death. And I havent' seen too many Dr's be criminally prosecuted when their patients die.

Again, I'm NOT defending clearly bad cops who purposefully abuse their power. But not every mistake by police means there is a crime to be prosecuted.

> But not every mistake by police means
> there is a crime to be prosecuted.

No one is saying arrest every cop that makes a mistake. But when a mistake is made, who is accountable?

When I "screw up" at my job, my clients would definitely like me to go to jail with them.

There will be no changes as long as nutjobs
like Robert King lead the overly entitled PPA
with it's cadre of rightwingers dominating,
with a Mayor who lived his personal life like
a whitetrashy novel to give King/PPA a big
hammer to hold over him to see things their
way, and a Powder Puff Chief who is little
more than an entrenched bureaucrat that has
long since lost a true sense of "right vs.
wrong" as her prime objective is defending
the "organization" with the citizens of PDX
to be damned in the process. Add to this, a
DA that never saw a "bad cop" or knew such
existed and an "elected" Auditor that does
more to defend the status quo than anyone in
City Hall, and it's cinch no changes are to
be forthcoming. Forget such notions!

I would hate to be a cop in this city. Take the average citizen, put them in a situation where a car is either going to run you over or drag you down the street. Put you in a situation where hostile feelings are running high on both sides (police and person being questioned) and the person puts his hand in his pocket and starts to draw something out (looks like a gun - probably). Yes, even with lots of training your basic instinct is fight-or-flight and you're typically not in a situation where flight is a viable option (in fact it is an option that will get you killed). No, when a cop makes a bad decision then it needs to be looked at, and typically it is. Just because they are not found 'guilty' and thrown in jail when some crack-head out at 2AM tries to run them down with a car and gets killed in the process. There are a few bad apples, the vast majority of cops are great, I would hate to do their job (which is why I don't) and doing it in this city would be even harder.

The body count is too high a price to pay for marginally less crime ridden streets. Why not a truly independent investigative board with subpoena power and transparency - oh yeah, elected (no politico's) by County residents. hmmm. With resulting report, including all evidence made part of the record in all subsequent inquiries by the DA's office. Even better, with independent authority to sanction misconduct.(exempt from union grievance process) Good luck getting that through the Legislature.
Pie in the sky? Probably more realistic and less costly to develop a non-lethal weapon which absolutely immobilizes the suspect. Then ban the use of lethal weapons altogether. C'mon techno geeks, solve this for us.

Clicky Web Analytics