Copwatch - a project of Peace and Justice Works


Site Navigation

About us
People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Cool links
Other Information
Contact info

  Cop Ejected from Red and Black Makes Headlines
"Gang" Shootings and Gay Bashing: Looking at Police Responses
Steroids-to-Cops Ring Busted

Cop Ejected from Red and Black Makes Headlines

On May 18, Portland Police Officer James Crooker (#49709) went to the collectively-run Red and Black Cafe, ordered a coffee to go, and was stopped by a customer--local blogger Cornelia Seigneur--to exchange a few words. Officer Crooker was approached by Red and Black collective member John Langley and was politely asked to leave. Crooker left without incident.

Langley is quoted in the Oregonian (June 3) as saying "If it happened again, I wouldn't serve him." In a statement on the Red and Black website (posted June 20), the event is given more context: "John's decision to ask Crooker to leave was not personal. On rare occasions, we ask individuals to leave because they are carrying weapons, wearing hateful or oPPRessive insignia, or making our space uncomfortable for survivors of abuse or violence. " The authors of that statement explain that "A police uniform (complete with Taser and a gun) is a powerful symbol of state repression, injustice, and violence."

Seigneur made conversation with Crooker, and posted about the event on her blog. Later, she wrote a piece for the Oregonian (June 15) which helped bring the story to national attention. In her May 22 post, Seigneur says she caught up with Crooker outside to tell him she "was sad to see what happened to him." She says also that she "live[s] in the suburbs where police are very much respected in the community."

Crooker offered Seigneur a ride-along, an offer she got "from police officers from various cities" as well, which she "intend[s] to take them up on," according to her editorial. Too bad there's no ride-along to understand the experience of the working class, of racial and gender minorities, of people in mental crisis, or of people experiencing homelessness and how the police effect their lives.

The Police "union" paper, the Rap Sheet, jokes in its July issue that winners of a contest will win a gift card to the Red and Black.

"Gang" Shootings and Gay Bashing: Looking at Police Responses

After two teens were shot and a 40-year-old man was found dead in late June, Portland Police outlined their plans for what is perceived to be a spike in violence. Mayor Adams is quoted as saying "Law enforcement data shows an increase in gang activity" (Oregonian, June 22). In response, the Bureau plans a "high-visibility" presence, as well as partnering with gang- outreach organizations, the city's office of youth-violence prevention and Multnomah County's Department of Community Justice to "engage in enforcement as well as positive communication" in select areas, including McCoy, Peninsula and Holladay parks, all TriMet MAX train platforms, the North Killingsworth and 122nd Ave corridors, and the downtown entertainment district. Police also parked a mobile command center in McCoy Park, near one of the shootings.

After many allegations of gay-bashing downtown (Portland Mercury, June 1), some activists in the queer community working through the Q Center decided to team up with Portland Police to begin a weekly foot patrol. The Q Center describes the "Q Patrol" in this way: "The patrols consist of no fewer than five people, who check in with a liaison police officer at the beginning and end of each shift and are also given a direct line to the police should they see any red flags."

However, the Mercury reported (July 15) that "the Q Center's decision to work hand-in- hand with police on the patrols has upset some queer activists." A non-PPB-affiliated patrol has not emerged, but the Mercury identified a few activists who refuse to participate because of police involvement.

Perhaps the difference in approaches-- working with the queer community to patrol "their" neighborhood, vs. a militarized presence in the black community-- has to do with the police perpetuating the old chestnut of "black on black violence," whereas the gay bashing is likely from outside the community. The contrast, therefore, raises the question of institutional racism.

Steroids-to-Cops Ring Busted

Articles in the Oregonian (including May 3) reveal that William Traverso of Canby admitted to selling steroids to law enforcement agents, including "officers in the Portland area." Traverso admitted to helping former Canby police officer Jason Deason "acquire steroids and human growth hormone." As evidence, he shared a 2002 letter from Deason "on Canby Police stationery, placing a steroid order."

The federal investigation has so far led to the resignation of a Washington County dog handler, a West Linn officer, and Canby Chief Greg Kroeplin, as well as the questioning of Portland Police Sergeant Charles Brown (#11925), who lives in Canby.


September, 2010
Also in PPR #51

Portland Shootings on the Rise
Oregon Shootings Double
Chasse Lawsuit Settled
Sit/Lie 4.0 update
New Chief Reese
Police Oversight System Changes
Civilian Review Board Update
No Change In Profiling Data
Copwatching On May Day 2010
Quick Flashes #51
Pervocops Certifier is Perv
Legal Briefs 51
Rapping Back 51

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 #51 Table of Contents
Back to Portland Copwatch home page
Peace and Justice Works home page
Back to top