Punk Police

Just for fun, I Twitter searched “portland police” yesterday afternoon. People were buzzing over the police surrounding a man locked in a bathroom who allegedly had a gun. Mayor Sam Adams was even praising the Portland Police Department for their great service.

When I looked up the story later in the night, it turned out the man had dropped a pellet gun and didn’t say anything, much less make a threat, during the incident. Typical.

With budget cuts hitting the Portland PD, there’s been no shortage of officers trying to make names for themselves. Whether it’s highway robbery, tagging people’s records and reputations, or shootings, times are getting desperate for the department.

Just like with any other gang, the tense times have hurt the people in the community the most.

The highways are filled with officers hiding behind bushes, trying not to lose their jobs to traffic light cameras. These “Jason Units” will pounce on anyone to bring in revenue.

It’s gotten to the point where I feel safer standing on any corner in New Columbia with a red jumpsuit on after 2 a.m. than I do when I see a car with sirens behind me.

That I’m black doesn’t help my case.

According to the Portland Mercury, blacks account for 14.6 percent of traffic stops while making up only six percent of the Portland population.

However, that’s just the police being nice.

You can catch officers practicing feces graffiti through the press every week. I used to find it strange that every incidence of violence involving black people was “possibly gang related”. Then I noticed that sometime around the fourth printing of a “possibly gang related” story there would be a correction saying gangs actually had nothing to do with it.

After all, how much damage can you do by claiming someone is a gang banger on every news channel and paper for a few straight days?

Not as much as you can with gun.

Portland police shooting black people is nothing new but the murder of Aaron Campbell, an unarmed black man, accentuated a new trend in targets: people with mental illnesses.

According to The Oregonian, The U.S. Justice Department had to launch an investigation into the Portland PD in June because the rise in police shootings over the past 18 months involved a majority of people with mental illness.

It’s as if the people chosen to protect and serve us are nothing more than high school bullies with guns. This is evidenced by their sometimes breathtaking incompetence.

In June, the police accidentally shot a man with live ammo. Not accidentally shot him as in the officer had a happy trigger finger. Actually the officer loaded the wrong (real) bullets into his beanbag shotgun and fired.

We already have police cameras on every traffic light post in places like Beaverton. With cops like these it might be safer to start patrolling the streets with drones.

I’m not saying all Portland police officers are evil, vindictive people. In fact, I’m sure most cops have their hearts in the right place.

There are plenty of nice people that burglarize homes and rob banks too. That’s usually why you see their neighbors on the news saying, “I never would’ve expected him to do something like that.”

Whether it was Prohibition, McCarthyism or the War on Drugs, police weren’t exactly making the public feel comfortable even during their best economic times.

Whenever a group of people with guns and little accountability are desperate for money, watch out.

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