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Police Matters

Pete Springer/OPB

Northwest police officers have been in the news a fair amount recently, but not the kind of news they want.

In Portland, the case of a 12-year-old girl who was shot with a beanbag gun while resisting arrest received international attention. And the James Chasse case, now more than three years old, still reverberates with disciplinary recommendations. (You can listen to a previous show we did about Chasse’s death here.)

Meanwhile, there have been a few high-profile attacks on officers in the region. On Sunday, four police officers from Lakewood, south of Tacoma, were killed in a coffee shop. Last month, a Seattle officer was shot to death and four police cars were fire-bombed by a “lone domestic terrorist.”

The Oregonian‘s columnist Anna Griffin wrote last week (about Portland) that

[t]here is an innate disconnection between the police and the people they protect, particularly in a city as liberal as this one.

If you’ve felt this disconnect — from either side — how has the last month’s news affected you? Were you swayed by the Portland Police Association’s recent march in support of Chris Humphreys, who was put on leave following the beanbag incident? What lessons do you take from the disparate threads of these stories: allegations of police abuse on the one hand and seemingly execution-style police targeting on the other?


  • Kristian Foden-Vencil: Reporter for OPB News
  • Harry Jackson: Retired Portland Police lieutenant currently working as a public safety officer
  • Anna Griffin: Columnist for The Oregonian
  • Bishop C.T. Wells: Senior pastor of Emmanuel Temple Church in Portland
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