Justice PDX: Tracking Police and Justice Issues in Portland, Oregon

Let's not forget exactly who is in charge in this city.

Mental Health Association of Portland » Oregon State Hospital’s Roy Orr explains the death of Moises Perez

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Mental Health Association of Portland » Blog Archive » Oregon State Hospital’s Roy Orr explains to death of Moises Perez.

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Written by justicepdx

March 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm

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Police are the problem.

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Written by justicepdx

February 26, 2010 at 10:59 pm

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I AM JAMES CHASSE

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I AM BEANBAG GIRL. I AM AARON CAMPBELL. I AM KENDRA JAMES. I AM DAMON LOWERY. I AM RAYMOND GWERDER. I AM DICKIE DOW. I AM BRUCE BROWNE. I AM DANIEL THOMAS. I AM MARIA-JANETH RODRIQUES-SANCHEZ. I AM BARBARA WEICH. I AM EUDICE CROWDER. I AM CHAZ MILLER. I AM JAMES CHASSE. I AM GERALD GRATTON. I AM IVORY SPANN. I AM DUANE ANTHONY SHAW. I AM JOHNNY SENTENO. I AM JANICE AICHELE. I AM DALEBERT ACELAR. I AM MERRICK BONNEAU. I AM PAVEL GUZENKO. I AM JAMES LADD. I AM JOHN KIMMEL. I AM DAVID TRACY. I AM RON ROHMAN. I AM DONTAE MARKS. I AM MICHAEL MITCHELL. I AM JUSTICE IN THE CITY OF PORTLAND.

Written by justicepdx

February 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

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Beanbag Girl

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Many times police officers in Oregon who use excessive force charge their victims with a crime (and encourage the DA to prosecute) to avoid civil liabilities.  So Portland transit cop Dauchy,  who arrested a 12 year old girl, assaulted her,  and got mad when she defended herself, had to take her to trial on assault of a “peace” officer to short circuit the inevitable civil lawsuit.  Luckily for the police because she is a juvenile, they do not have to prove the case to a jury,  just a judge.

Naturally the  former (is that guy on permanent disability or what?) Portland ‘peace’ officer Chris Humpheys was involved in this case. (Who would think it was a good idea to give this guy a shotgun and send him onto a MAX platform? )

The Portland Mercury is of course hot on the trail of the subpoena dodging Humphreys and snapped a photo of the elusive Humphreys whose disability may have cleared up for the day.  Oddly, no mention is made of any of his t-shirt wearing cronies actually showing up.

Who is going to print the “I Am Beanbag Girl” t-shirts?

Written by justicepdx

February 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm

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Defense Attorneys Speak

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The parade of criminal defense attorneys continues in the Oregonian. Most recently writing is Bronson James, appellate attorney, suggesting that people should be allowed to record encounters with police instead of such recordng being a crime.

Last time it was Harry Carson talking about the abuse of stop powers by polcie officers in the Delease Cater case.

Prior to that attorney Ryan Scott pointed out some of the absurd results that the current mandatory sentencing scheme produces.

Written by justicepdx

February 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

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Race Race Race Race

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Race in Portland is always an issue when examining policing and the court system. The most racially diverse place in Portland on a weekday morning is the Justice Center or courthouse.  

The police seem willing to go after many people in vulnerable communities, whether because of economic status, age, or mental health. However, the common factor of the incidents involving James Perez, Kendra James, The Beanbag girl, Aaron Campbell, the Clay/Booth/Hammick incident and others who have landed on the front page is that the people assaulted or killed by the police are people of color.  And then there are the hundreds of incidents you never hear about because the person lacked the resources to pursue the case, didn’t trust the system enough to complain or who couldn’t find a lawyer to take the case (which is harded than you think , and fodder for a later post). 

People of color should be worried. A traffic stop will get you killed. And the officers will suffer no discipline.

This type of racial disparity  is of course nothing new in Portland.  Back in 20060 Portland Copwatch noted that:

According to the data, though African Americans make up only 6% of Portland’s adult population, they represented 13% of the stops; following the stops, 27% were searched; Latinos make up 6% of the population but were the subject of 9% of all stops and 26% were searched. By comparison, whites, (who now make up 79% of the population) accounted for an average 69.5% of stops and only 12.5% were searched. Most telling: The searches of whites yielded contraband 6% of the time, while searches of African Americans and Latinos only turned up illegal goods 4% of the time. This means that people of color were overall five times more likely to be searched, but those searched were found carrying illegal items 33% less often than whites.

It should also be noted that along with the activists at Copwatch,  the Portland Police Bureau admits that there is something afoot on the streets of Portland when it comes to traffic stops:

… the Portland Police Bureau’s 2007 data bears out the finding that minority drivers who are searched tend to possess contraband at lower rates than White drivers.

So what was the City of Portland’s response to this information? Have a committee. Pay a consultant to run it.  Do nothing.  And here we are.

Given that we know that you are more likely to be stopped in traffic if you are a person of color and then less likely to have contraband, I propose that the city further research whether you are more likely to be injured or killed in an encounter if you are a person of color.

Written by justicepdx

February 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm

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Police use expert testimony to sway grand juries, civil attorney says | Portland News – – OregonLive.com

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Normally, when the DA takes a case to the grand jury,
“the grand jury may find an indictment when all the evidence before it, taken together, is such as in its judgment would, if unexplained or uncontradicted, warrant a conviction by the trial jury” (See ORS 132.390). The DA does not have a duty to present a defense for the accused. So it is a little disturbing to think that the DA presenting the Aaron Campbell shooting to the Grand Jury brought in defense experts to sway the grand jury. I suspect they don’t do that for many other cases.

Written by justicepdx

February 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm

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