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I totally understand the rationale for this editorial. As a sixty year old Black male resident of the City of Portland. I am aware of a number of questionable shootings that have occurred in Portland since I was in high school. For years the Portland Police Department has been allowed to kill members of our community at will. Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Asians, Mentally Challenged Individuals don't stand a chance when all the officer needs to say is "I was frightened for my life," and receive carte blanc permission to kill our citizens. Paying millions of dollars to surviving family members has become routine. The Multnomah District Attorney's office is always eager to conduct an inquest that always sides with the police no matter what procedural errors they have made or how recklessly they act in crisis situations. We the citizens are always wrong. The police are supposed to have a group of officers specifically trained to deal with crisis, suicidal type calls. Unfortunately they never seem to be able to respond to incidents that could benefit from their participation, or Command Staff is contacted too late thereby leaving poorly trained officers and supervisors to make life and death decisions in our behalf. We need to focus on how the Portland Police deal with with our community as a whole. I do not hate the Portland Police Department. I have attended grade school, high school and college with some excellent police officers. As an original Youth Gang Outreach Worker with the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods in 1988. I have seen the community and police department make progress in the area of community relations. We need to come to up with a positive solution to help improve the distrust that exists on both sides. We need both Community and City Hall participation to rectify the mistrust that currently exists.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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