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Quick Flashes PPR #18

Two Portland Officers Fired for Lying

The June 30 Willamette Week named two Portland Police bureau officers "Rogues of the Week." Kenneth Ellison, who allegedly ran his police car into a solid object but blamed a hit-and- run driver, was fired June 16. Donald Warren, fired on May 11, allegedly called in sick one day when he apparently wasn't. In an unsurprising move, the Portland Police Association has filed grievances for both cops.
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City Continues to Ignore Youth Self-determination

Police and Mayor Vera Katz revamped their strategy to cut down on youth presence in downtown in the form of tougher anti-cruising ordinances. The police are currently putting up roadblocks along Southwest Broadway after 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

While police claim that the "majority of the people who have been involved in the issue are extremely pleased" they seemed to have ignored those most affected by these ordinances. During the spring break weekends alone youth received 368 tickets for cruising.

But there are always exceptions­police have generally been letting drivers through that are planning to spend money in restaurants or have other "legitimate travel needs." (Oregonian, May 5). The effect of these ordinances are to treat youth like invisible persons. They are not wanted in downtown if they do not have money to spend. Their input always seems to be ignored in considering such discriminatory ordinances.
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Supreme Court Rules Search & Seizure of Passengers OK

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold the right of cops to search a passenger's belongings "whenever there is reason to believe that there is contraband or evidence of criminal wrongdoing hidden in the car."

The National Association of Police Officers (NAPO) executive director Robert Scully praises the Supreme Court for "giving officers the tools they need to do their jobs" (Rap Sheet, June 1999).

The ruling overturned a Wyoming court's decision which would have allowed police to search only "containers" in the car belonging to the vehicle's driver.
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Police Snitch Program Draws Heat from Community

In January, the Portland Police launched a program encouraging students to turn in their peers suspected of drug or weapons possession. The "Crime Stoppers" program, enthusiastically backed by Mayor Vera Katz, pays junior snitches up to $1000 to anonymously inform on classmates if their information leads to an arrest or conviction. Critics, including Copwatch, point out that providing monetary incentives to anonymous informers is a highly dangerous and irresponsible way to enforce laws. Although we can all recall that high schools are notorious for adolescent backbiting, elitism and often violent harrassment, the police assure the public that they can "tell in a matter of minutes if someone reporting a crime is not truthful" (Oregonian, April 1) .

Johann Mathiesen, a member of the Southeast Portland "Brooklyn Action Corps" neighborhood organization, claims that his son, a middle-school student, was falsely accussed of marijuana possession by an anonymous student. Mathiesen and the Brooklyn Action Corps are considering a vote to ask the school board to cancel the program.
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Tardy Cop Breaks Law

In late June, Portland officer Douglas L. Oliver was cited by the Oregon State Police for reckless driving, unlawful operation of an emergency vehicle, and fleeing and attempting to elude officers. Oliver illegally used his police cruiser's emergency lights and sirens as he sped on Interstate 5 from Portland to Lane County, where he was late for a court appearance. State Police officers tried to pull Oliver over, but he would not comply. He has been transferred to a desk job and an Internal Affairs investigation is pending (Oregonian, June 21).
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Police Cheat on Overtime

Testing the mettle of Acting Chief Lynnae Berg, an internal investigation of police involved in "Operation North Star," turned up 30 officers who "pocketed $165,000 in federal grant money since June 1997" (Oregonian, August 6). North Star was the undercover drug sweep that the Portland Police Bureau set up using a Bureau of justice Assistance grant.

Commander Robert Kauffman of Central precinct was demoted to Captain (of Tri-Met security), and Sgts. Richard Barton and Bradford Bailey were suspended without pay.

The August 10 Oregonian reports that the Department of Justice is considering civil and criminal charges against the officers, though ones who have cooperated with authorities might be spared. The article also notes that the amount of the original grant was $300,000 -meaning the fraud involved over half of the funds.
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Acting Chief Berg was the Lieutenant in charge at a "knock and talk" at which officers reached over a fence to gather information about a drug bust (see PPR # 14). Berg was allowed to sign off on the officers' conduct despite the fact that she was present at the time and may have needed investigation herself.

Iraq Protesters Set Free; Police "Lawful Dispersal" Rules Challenged

Eleven of the protestors arrested in December at a protest against the U.S. bombing of Iraq (see PPR #16) were given a big boost of support by Judge Michael Marcus. Marcus ruled that the charges of "failure to disperse," which depended on a "lawful order" to leave the demonstration, were not legitimate because the law allows officers to order people to disperse even if they are not breaking any particular law. The police deciding that the protest itself was unlawful violates the Oregon Constitution.

The August 6th ruling, which does not necessarily affect the eleven or more protesters who were charged with other offenses, could change the way police do business in the future and further uphold our rights to demonstrate.
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  [People's Police Report]

August, 1999
Also in PPR #18

Chief Moose Cuts Loose, Leaves Mixed Legacy
 • Mayor Asks "What Do You Want in a Chief?"
PPB Shoots at 4; Dow's Killers Awarded
  • Police Lament "Hero" Killer Cops Treated Badly
Eugene Cops Turn Rally into Melee
Oregon Looks at "Driving While Black"
Salem Gets Organized
Review Board Loses Staff Person, Stalls
Two Copwatchers Undergo Mediation w/Police
Deputy Fun Facts (Clackamas, Washington)
Pepper Spray: "Safety," Pain, Death & Lawsuits
Quick Flashes PPR #18:
 • Two Portland Officers Fired for Lying
 • City Ignoring Youth Self-determination
 • Supreme Court OKs Search and Seizure of Passengers
 • Police Snitch Program Draws Heat
 • Tardy Cop Breaks Law
 • Police Cheat on Overtime
 • Iraq Protestors Free, Challenge "Lawful Dispersal" Rule

Updates PPR #18:
 • Gambling West Linn Chief Pleads Guilty
 • Gold Hill Chief Convicted
 • Bend Family Sues
 • Shooter Ex-Cop Strikes Again
 • Police Volunteer Indicted
 • "Grow Light" Store Busted After Filing Suit
 • NYPD Cops Indicted in Diallo Shooting
 • NYPD Officer Admits Sodomizing Louima
 • Millions March for Mumia
 • Copwatch and CUSPR: Organizing for Accountability

Rapping Back #18

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #18 Table of Contents
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