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Rapping Back #91:
Portland Copwatch member Dan Handelman analyzes Police "Union" social
media (formerly the"Rap Sheet" newsletter) for the People's Police Report

Dwindling Diatribes Don't Deter Diligent Deconstruction

[PPA rap sheet]Wanted: information on where the Portland Police Association (PPA) now shares its political opinions with its community collaborators. While even the most casual social media users often post information once a week, the PPA's output on its Facebook page has plummeted from about 30 posts every four months to 25 (PPR #90) to just 16 from August to December. Their Instagram page's second-to-last missive appears to be from May 2023. Even with some people testifying in person or in writing telling City Council that instituting the new oversight system will somehow deter people from wanting to be police and result in more crime (see oversight article), the PPA did not even post anything about the August 31 proposal from the Police Accountability Commission until December 12. Instead, many of the Facebook posts are links to mainstream news stories quoting PPA President Aaron Schmautz (three out of six news stories, which make up 38% of the posts). Seven are five Police Bureau news releases about crime, one on their charity, and one about the first Charles Moose award for Community Service (Moose was Chief in Portland in the 1990s and touted "community policing"). That's another 44%. The last three were from the PPA, the one on the PAC, one about remembering 9/11, one on Chief Lovell stepping down (see chief article).

Subjects of the news stories included two on drug laws, one on staffing issues, one on shots fired, two on car thefts, and one about the officer who found PoniaX Calles before other cops killed the young black man (see shootings article). So, eight articles on crime (50%), four "officer friendly" (25%), and one each on police shootings, oversight, staffing, and the PPB itself. Even with the low amount of data for us to review, PCW has dedicated this column to pushing back on police propaganda for 30 years and we're not stopping now.

Poll Proves Police Pretend to Welcome Oversight

[editorial cartoon on PPA poll]The good news about the response to the PAC oversight proposal on December 12: Schmautz states that "We need not sacrifice public safety for accountability. We can have both." The bad news is that his ultimate goal is to send the Charter amendment creating the new oversight system back to the voters, claiming that, in essence, too much oversight is making people not want to join the Police Bureau, which leads to more crime, and more civilians moving out of town. It's amazing how he can grasp that there's no contradiction in wanting both but not that he's linking the two issues himself. The bulk of the post is about the PPA's cynical push poll, which asked questions about whether people support an accountability system that includes... well, many things that are not even in either the PAC's proposal or what the City put forth in its amended version.

Human Shot Spotters, Crime and Staffing

One of the PPB news releases was about officers who were writing reports while sitting in their cars in a parking lot (September 2). They heard gunfire and then claimed that they "interrupted" a shooting (nobody had been hit by bullets), recovered a gun and conducted an investigation. Notably, their proximity to the sound made it almost possible for them to show up on the scene instantly, which would not have been possible if the City had gone ahead to buy the "ShotSpotter" gunshot detection technology that was debated for months (PPR #89).

The other two news releases were about special "missions," one of which said they arrested people for "human trafficking" (September 19). But really these suspects were people who solicited sex for money from police undercover decoys, so there was nobody being trafficked in these cases. Language matters, folks. The other was focused on retail shoplifting (Sept. 29).

The two news stories about drug crimes included one from KOIN-TV6 on November 6 regarding the state "drug crisis." Schmautz is quoted saying that the legislature needs to "decide what police should be doing and then they need to be given the tools and proper places to take people in crisis" saying it would reduce police use of force. Schmautz told one legislator that not acting now will have ripple effects for 40-50 years. The other, from KPTV-12 in November 14, was a report back from an Oregon delegation to Portugal, where the government warned that their non- punitive approach to drug addiction probably won't work in the USA. It's not clear why the head of the police "union" would be selected to go on such a trip, but Schmautz was and opined that their meth is less potent than ours and that they don't have fentanyl.

The story which bemoaned how Portland supposedly needs more police officers was from KGW- TV8 and was posted on the PPA Facebook page August 17 (after our last issue was ready to print). In that story, Schmautz responded to the City approving double-time for police overtime (rather than the usual 1.5x) by saying they need incentives to make up for them allegedly being short by four officers on every shift. By the way, the City's generosity only went so far-- the PPB had to pony up the $1 million to cover the pay, Council's role was just to approve the temporary change to collective bargaining agreements.

  [People's Police Report]

September, 2023
Also in PPR #91

Community Oversight Plan Dismantled by City
DOJ Agreement 1/2 Terminated, Court Monitor OKd
Police Violence Costs the City Another $371,000+
 • "Union" Pays Former Commissioner $680K for False Claims
PPB Kills Third Person in 2023
 • Man in Mental Health Crisis Dies in Milwaukie Cops' Custody
State Police Deadly Force Down from 42 to 30+
 • More News: D.Clark, DEA/Qualified Immunity, CW Graphic
Review Committee Loses Five Members, Gains One
IPR Annual Report Adds Some Detail, Omits Others
Criminalization of Homelessness on Hold
Medford Police Continue Spying on Activists
 • Mohammed Mohamud Loses Appeal Bid
Chief Lovell Steps Down, Bob Day Takes Over
Deputies Indicted: Jail Deaths, Off-Duty Fight
Profiling Data Discussed at Two Public Meetings
Training Council Delays Force Data Presentations
Car Crashes Spotlit in Comments on Police Policies
State Discipline Rules Updated at Iffy Meetings
Still No Deadly Force in Review Board Report
Updates PPR #91:
 • Council Approves Body Cameras as Pilot Ends Without Data
 • Drone Use Slowly Creeping Up Month by Month

Rapping Back #91

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.

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