please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

My Photo
Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Anatomy of A Meager Amount of Swag

It was brought to my attention that I had won something in the form of an email:

Hey you won in our letters section this week. Send a physical address over to our office manager Brad and we'll get your prizes sent out. Thanks for keeping the comments coming.

Hm. I 'won.' I appreciated that, so I wrote back and said,

I appreciate it. I even sent my address to this...This "Brad".

But I gotta tell you; looking back through my comments of the last several days, I don't see a single one that would qualify as a best of anything if you ask me. I can't think of which one it would be. Anyway, thanks.

It was pointed out to me that this letter would be appearing in the print edition. But it was something I'd said on their site. Matter o' fact, here it is:

A point I'd like to throw out there is that I don't think so much that Campbell was killed specifically because he was black. It strikes me as more like the officers involved behaved stupidly, communicated poorly (a sniper with no radio contact?) and ultimately fucked up about as badly as a police officer can - and knew that they *could get away with it* because Campbell was black. So far, they're right.

What are we gonna do? The grand juries always side with the armed people, and there is no effective police oversight in this town. The cops themselves have proven themselves entirely unwilling to hear even the slightest criticism, but also factor in that Saltzman's attempt to discipline Humphreys was too little, too late, and arguably for the wrong offense.

So far, I'd say that Saltzman ought to step down, I'd like to see Westerman removed from his post (not that you and I have anything to say about that), and Rosie Sizer needs to rein in her rogue cops because she has lots of them. Then we can begin this conversation.

Alright? Because as it currently stands, you can kill someone in this town as a city employee and publicly call it persecution when the worst thing that happens to you is paid leave.

And what did I get? For all my trouble and pain? The equivalent of sixteen dollars cash.

That would be two tickets to a movie at the Laurelhurst theater (which would cost six dollars), and a ten dollar coupon to No Fish? Go Fish! , a restaurant I have never wanted to go to, and yes that's because of its name.

As to the Dramatis Personae in the letter:

"Campbell" is the late Aaron Campbell, shot in the back by the cops.
"Saltzman" is Dan Saltzman, city councilman with what certainly seems to be oversight vis a vis the police bureau.
"Humphreys" is Officer Chris Humphreys, who shot a girl in the leg with one of those bags of lead shot that is euphemistically referred to as a 'bean bag'. He also was one of the cops who killed James Chasse, by crushing him, basically. He received a (short lived) reprimand for the bean bag thing, until...
Scott Westerman, head of the Portland Policeman's Association, (until just the other day when he stepped down) held a protest march of uniformed cops that staked itself out front of city hall and made it clear that they wouldn't be intimidated by those who pay their salaries. Or supervised by their supervisors...
Like Rosie Sizer, who is Chief of the Portland Police Bureau.

So anyway...Fame! Uh, it's odd to note that just in the time since I first started writing this one (Fourteenth of March), there's been at least one more story about a cop who started firing at someone who had no possibility of killing him, rendering the suspect dead.
Or the fact that the particular controversy being discussed in my award-winning letter could have been written at any point in the last twenty years in Portland. I'm told, however, that San Francisco cops are worse.


Post a Comment

<< Home