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Rent-a-cop not charged for assault on skateboarder
Cop Who Hooked Up On Duty Gets Back Pay
Activists raided for "terror ties"

Renegade Rent-A-Cop Skates By Without A License

rentacop hitting skateboarder During a November, 2009 incident, rent-a-cops and skateboarders engaged in a fight at Pioneer Courthouse Square. A video shows one rent-a-cop, Nicholas Jones, swinging a skateboard at and knocking over a skateboarder. Only after the video and an article appeared in media (including the Portland Mercury) did the full story emerge. In late December 2009, Portland Police Officer David Abrahamson finally filed a report revealing he told Jones' supervisor he wasn't required to write a report and if he did "it would most likely not be in a favorable light" for Pacific Patrol Services (PPS). The supervisor indicated she would appreciate it if a report was not written. Therefore, neither the police nor the District Attorney investigated. It was later determined that Jones was not certified at the time, which is unlawful and could result in fines for him or PPS. Jones applied for certification in late January, 2010 (Mercury, August 12).

According to the September 9 Mercury, a grand jury declined to levy criminal assault charges against Jones or the other two involved rent-a-cops. A deputy district attorney said the jury "decided the case could not be proven." Wendy Chung, an attorney representing the skateboarder who was assaulted, expressed disappointment but filed a complaint regarding Jones' lack of credentials with DPSST (Department of Public Safety Standards and Training) and is considering a civil lawsuit.

This incident emphasizes our ongoing concern about the lack of oversight and accountability for rent-a-cops who are loose on our streets.

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The Bridges of Multnomah County:
Cop Who Hooked Up On Duty Gets Back Pay

While it is more common to read about officers from the Portland Police Bureau being under bridges to harass and "sweep" out homeless people sleeping there, two officers were under a bridge for entirely different purposes. According to the November 5 Oregonian, Officer Scherise Hobbs (#30864) and former Sgt. Eric Torgerson would meet under the Morrison Bridge for intimate trysts while at least one of them was on duty, using Bureau communication equipment to set up the meetings. Although these hook-ups were conducted in 2002 and 2005, the issue of Officer Hobbs' discipline was only recently resolved. She had been suspended for 7-1/2 weeks without pay for the 2002 incident and was facing the same discipline for meeting with Torgerson in 2005. Hobbs "narrowly escaped being fired for this second offense, thanks to the intercession of her commanding officer (Mike Crebs) and her record of commendations."

The Portland Police Association filed a grievance alleging the second suspension was too severe and stated the Hobbs/Torgerson relationship had ended in 2005. The next year, Torgerson was fired after two 2005 arrests for domestic violence related to a restraining order his wife had put on him. This November, Portland City Council unanimously voted to pay Officer Hobbs approximately $2,000 and restored more than 100 hours of vacation pay as part of the negotiated settlement.

In the past, we've documented many acts of sexual misconduct by male officers in Portland, and this a rare instance in which a female officer was involved. However, it is refreshing to note that she did not use her uniform and gun as a means of power to force intimacy with a civilian, as the male officers have done.

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Activists Raided by FBI for "Terrorist Ties"

On September 24, the FBI raided the offices and homes of several anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Democracy Now reports that "The federal law cited in the search warrants prohibits 'providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations.'" Jess Sundin, whose home was among those raided, said "I've protested the government's policies and spoken out and tried to educate people in my community...That is the extent of what I've done" (NY Times, September 24). The activists were subpoenaed to testify at grand juries. The subpoenas were originally withdrawn after the activists indicated they would refuse to cooperate, but reinstated in November (Associated Press, November 17).


January, 2011
Also in PPR #52

Cop who shot Aaron Campbell fired
Two new Portland police shootings
Lawyers: cover-up killed Chasse
Rights Commission blasts Sit/Lie
Pressure to re-join Terror Task Force
Reese's Pieces: Rogue of the Week
Taser audit misses dangers
More changes to oversight system?
Review board: training, no hearings
Profiling discussed by Psychologist
Copwatching crackdown USA
PPR Updates #52
  • Portland responds to "gangs"
  • Alcohol impact zones: update
  • Nazi Cop discredits Bureau
PPR Quick Flashes #52
  • Rent-a-cop not charged for assault
  • Cop-on-cop hook up gets back pay
  • Activists raided for "terror ties"
Rapping Back 52

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 #52 Table of Contents
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