Think it couldn't happen in America?
Portland, Oregon Police ignore truth and decency in their continued pattern of harassment and discrimination against Motorcyclists
The following is a copy of an article that was recently printed in the Portland Police Bureau Monthly Newsletter, Rapsheet. I'll caution you ahead of time that you will find this article very disturbing. I was shocked to learn that armed Police who are supposed to be working to protect me feel this way about the Public and about their "Customers".
If this mindset scares you, it should. The Portland Police Bureau has certainly been involved in more than it's share of questionable deaths... not the least of which was the implausible "suicide" by a paraplegic Prisoner who was too stupid to get an honest job yet was brilliant enough to figure out how to hang himself even though he was paralyzed. Just 2 weeks ago, a man was shot in the head by 2 Portland Police Officers who could not seem to find any less lethal way of subduing the suspect... who was accused of public urination! There is also the recent case of a fellow who died on the sidewalk after a Police beating. He was handcuffed and in obvious need of CPR. Dozens of Police Officers looked on, doing nothing except refusing to allow bystanders to assist the victim..
It is a fact that a large number of unarmed Citizens have died at the hands of the Portland Police Bureau in recent Months. Even before I read this article, I had grave concerns that the Portland Police Bureau had become corrupt and out of control. We are hearing increasing stories that the Portland Police have been planting "evidence" on suspects, have provided perjured testimony in Court and have become increasingly violent when dealing with the Public. One only needs to read the Oregonian for a few weeks to wonder what in the heck is going on with Portland's Police Bureau.
It is quite certain, I think, that an outside monitoring mechanism is needed and that Officers such as the one who wrote the following article should not be carrying guns in this City. After reading what this Police Thug wrote about people who ride motorcycles, I think that I have every reason to be fearful of becoming a victim of Police violence.
The PPB position on this matter seems to be that Officer Hergert was simply exercising his Constitutional right of free speech and that it is perfectly ok for him to use that "right" to incite an already violent police force to be particularly violent when dealing with Motorcyclists. There was nothing vague about Officer Hergert's message: when dealing with Motorcyclists, shoot first and ask questions later.
It's probably just a matter of time before 60 Minutes features the Portland Police Bureau in a very uncomplimentary light. Hopefully, not too many more Citizens will have to die before someone asks why some Portland Police Officers operate more like a death squad than as the protectors that they were hired to be. The following article illustrates why reforms are needed.
The true colors of motorcycle gangs
You cannot join my club if you are a black person. If you are a black person you will never be allowed into my bar and in fact if the street address is changed to honor a black person, my club will not recognize it and will use the old address to avoid association with black people. You, if you are black, are considered not equal to white people and are lower than a woman.
You cannot join my club if you are a woman. You can become the property of a member of my club, but you must do what he tells you to do, when and where he tells you to do it, and with whom he tells you to do it. If you are in my club's bar, you may, if I allow it, have access to a room called the "turnout room" so that you can take care of the needs of my other members. Just remember that you can never be an equal, only the property or "old lady" of a member.
If you are a member and uphold the above beliefs of racism and sexism, and you are involved in some sort of violent act such as killing a Portland police officer with a shotgun blast to the head, you may become the president of the club. You will then have a lot of status and respect given to you by other members because you got away with it.
If you are an officer in one of these racist, sexist, murdering clubs, you too can be an equal opportunity employee of the city of Portland and become a supervisor at the Maintenance Division. When you get stopped by the police with your other racist, sexist, murdering members, remember to treat them politely and remind them that you are a City of Portland employee.
If you are a member and happen to be doing some type of criminal activity, such as murder, motor vehicle theft, selling or possessing drugs, counterfeiting, extortion for hire, compelling prostitution, weapons violations, assaults, or any other possible crime, remember that if you are caught, you are doing it solely on your own and not for the club. Remember, we are not a gang and we will fight to the finish to be a club.
If you are a member and the holiday season is approaching, you will have to participate in several events with other non-outlaw motorcycle riders for the support of several children's hospitals. This event gives us racist, sexist, murdering outlaw bikers some credibility in the community.
This is a reminder to all of the Portland police officers who come in contact with motorcycle gang members while in the performance of their duties. These people are very dangerous. The items I have referred to are just a reminder of their true colors. Use extreme caution when contacting any gang member, especially the motorcycle gangs.
Incredible. Simply incredible. Reading this article left me speechless. To think that Police Officers who are sworn to serve the Citizens of this City could publish such an article with impunity is very troubling to me. Certainly, Police Chief Moose must have read this article. One can only assume that these out-of-control prejudices must run all the way to the highest levels of Portland Police ranks. This is very, very troubling. You'll want click HERE to read a Portland Police policy statement for determining whether a person who owns a motorcycle is a member of a criminal gang. You can E-mail Mayor Vera Katz to convey your outrage at this conduct by clicking HERE. You can contact the Willamette Week, which covers our toy run every year, by clicking HERE. Click HERE to write a letter to the Editor to the Oregonian newspaper.
Follow up: I spoke to Detective Anderson, a public information officer with the PPB on 1/20/99. To be kind, the conversation was unfulfilling. Det. Anderson stated that he had not read the article but was nevertheless ultra-defensive... combative, actually, and certainly sounded like he had read it. He belittled pretty much everything I had to say and continually commented that "I didn't have all the information". Well, duh... maybe that's why I called the public information office! Det. Anderson trivialized my concerns stating that unfortunately, "many" community toy runs are indeed conducted with the purpose of covering up criminal activity. He also stated that unfortunately, "many" Motorcyclists do belong to criminal gangs and that "many" Motorcyclists are indeed criminals as Mr. Hergert asserted. He stated that since no Motorcyclist has been accidentally killed by the PPB as a result of this article (yet), there is nothing for me to worry about. Mayor Vera Katz will please pardon me if I am not comforted by this claim. Det. Anderson said that being able to print defamatory articles like this one is a free speech issue and that the article is really an Officer safety issue.
Det. Anderson did concede that not all Motorcyclists are criminals.
At a minimum, if Detective Anderson's attitude is indicative of the attitudes of the average Portland Police Officer, as it would appear that it is, Motorcyclists in this City have some real concerns about being treated fairly and with the presumption of innocence. Portland Police Officers have shown a propensity for using extreme violence against "normal", unarmed Citizens in recent years. Imagine what we, as racist, sexist murderers can expect the next time a blue light goes on behind us!
As it turns out, Officer Hergert is a PPB Motor Officer. Detective Anderson gave me his number and I will call him soon. Det. Anderson also said that Rapsheet is published by the Portland Police Union and that the PPB has no control over what is printed in it. Stay tuned.
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