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Can You Trust Law Enforcement?

OPB | Feb. 18, 2010 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:15 p.m.

Last week we discussed the shooting death of Aaron Campbell at the hands of the Portland police. But the Skanner newspaper has taken the discussion to a new level — one that we want to pick up on, with thanks to them. Here’s an excerpt from their recent editorial:

The fact is, we at The Skanner News simply have to warn our readers away from calling the police when they are in a crisis situation. We cannot have faith that innocents won’t get caught in the firing line when trigger-finger officers arrive in force. We need to start solving our own problems.

There is a sense in the community of desperation at this situation never seems to change because there are no consequences to the officers who do the shooting. We should be more like our Asian brothers and sisters and solve our own problems. We as adults need to talk to these young men to de-escalate the situation ourselves.

… if you are in crisis in Portland, think twice before you bring in law enforcement. James Chasse, Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, Jose Santos Victor Mejia Poot, Damon Lowery, Duane Anthony Shaw, Byron Hammick, Deonte Keller. What do all these people have in common? All were killed at the hands of the police. Think twice. What do you think?

We’re turning the Skanner’s question to you: what do you think? What’s your experience with the police? Do you trust them to handle your community’s problems? Or do you think it is time to take care of them yourself? If so, what does that look like — and how would it work?

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