Federal trial lined up for police who Tasered Hillsboro man after bike infraction

Posted by on October 14th, 2015 at 10:39 am

A Hillsboro police photo from the aftermath.

Two police officers and the City of Hillsboro are on course to defend themselves in a jury trial over their choice to Taser a man who they’d stopped for biking illegally beside Tualatin Valley Highway.

The man who was tackled and Tasered in the 2012 incident, Jermaine Robinson, had been riding after dark without a front light on his bike, and the officer who stopped him says Robinson had been crossing the Southeast 13th Avenue crosswalk against a “don’t walk” light.

After the officer, William Blood, pulled his car over to confront Robinson, Robinson refused to give his name and (according to Blood, but not Robinson) seemed to be preparing to pedal away. Blood’s colleague Brian Wilber then shot him with a Taser twice.

From traffic stop to full submission, the incident lasted about three minutes. It took place about one mile from Robinson’s house.

We reported about the incident in detail in April. Willamette Week reported this week that a federal judge had advanced the case to trial.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart ruled Oct. 7 that the case should not be dismissed without trial because it would be possible for a reasonable person to conclude that Blood and Wilber used excessive force during the stop.

“By any stretch of the imagination, these are minor, nonviolent offenses,” Stewart wrote of Robinson’s choices. “The record reveals no obvious need for haste in taking Robinson into custody. Instead, the police dispatch log reveals that Wilber was on the scene by 22:18:22 p.m., within one minute after Blood stopped Robinson. … Given that Robinson’s method of resistance was simply to refuse to answer questions and resist being pulled off his bicycle, Blood and Wilber could easily have awaited the arrival of additional officers to assist.”

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The judge’s ruling (posted by Willamette Week) includes a significant detail that we missed: Robinson, who is black, had a cousin who was Tasered and killed in a police encounter.

Jermaine Robinson, left, in a photo provided by his
lawyer, Edie Rogoway. Also pictured is his wife Vivian.
Rogoway said the couple received matching bicycles
as wedding gifts from her sister’s family.

Stewart also concluded that because Blood and Wilber may have failed to receive training on appropriate uses of force, the City of Hillsboro must also stand judgment over claims of assault and battery.

The 2012 incident is heading toward trial amid a conversation in the national street-safety movement about the possibility that calls for increased traffic-law enforcement as part of Vision Zero could result in excessive policing over traffic infractions, especially of poor people and people of color. Former League of American Bicyclists Equity Program Manager Adonia Lugo wrote last month that while at the League she had been “alarmed that a pillar of Vision Zero was increased police enforcement of traffic violations.”

Locally, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Oregon Walks have included notes of caution about racial profiling in their advocacy for more enforcement of Oregon traffic laws. The need to avoid excessive or racially unjust policing, though, wasn’t discussed in their June whitepaper about Vision Zero, except as part of the argument for using automated safety cameras to nab people speeding.

This Hillsboro case also has some elements of a 2008 case in Portland that saw Phil Sano tackled and Tasered by Portland police officers after he failed to follow their orders to stop. Sano, too, had been biking without lights.

The process of setting a trial date will begin after any objections from the ruling are resolved. The two-week objection period closes Oct. 25.

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90 Comments
  • Avatar
    Charles Ross October 14, 2015 at 10:55 am

    A police officer never, ever has a reason to lose a fight. He’s armed, he has a taser, pepper spray, a baton, body armor, a radio to call for help.
    In addition, his gang is always going to be bigger than my gang.
    Why argue? Why fight? If he asks you to stand still, stand still. If he asks you to identify yourself, do so.
    Do you have a problem with how an officer is conducting himself. File a compliant.
    Did this individual attempt to walk/ride away? If he did so, why would the officers get into a physical confrontation with him and risk injury to themselves? If I was carrying all that weaponry on my person, I wouldn’t risk letting someone get in close to me. Would you?

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      ethan October 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Sure sounds like you’re blaming the victim.

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        Charles Ross October 14, 2015 at 9:04 pm

        It hasn’t been established by a court that Jermaine Robinson WAS, indeed, a ‘”victim” , or did I miss something? When you are pulled over/stopped by the police you are required to identify yourself. Robinson, according to the article, does not dispute that he refused to identify himself. He appears to be the party that escalated the incident initially by NOT identifying himself to lawful authority. What is the point/goal of doing this? Does he reasonably think that refusing to provide his name is going to result in the police saying in essence, ‘oh, ok, if you don’t want to give me your name, it’s ok, you can go’.
        If anyone, African-American, Hispanic or Anglo have any complaint about the conduct of a police officer there are several forums to make that complaint.
        Isn’t that what Jermaine is doing now with his lawsuit?
        I do know that if I was a cop, the last thing I would want is to be wrestling with someone on the ground while wearing all that gear. What if Jermaine came up with the pepper spray in my face and then was able to unstrap my weapon and use it?
        I’m on my bike all the time and cruise through stop signs all the time, but I’ll tell you what, if there is a cop sitting there I follow the letter of the law because i don’t ride looking for trouble. Can Jermaine Robinson say the same?

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        BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 9:06 am

        If the “victim” failed to follow instructions and behaved in a way that a reasonable person would suspect he is trying to flee, well, why not blame the “victim”?

        I am sure that if this” victim” had fled and had committed a crime that you’d br among the first to comolain about lack of poloce enforcement.

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      Paul Atkinson October 14, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Lots of people believe, from their experience, that if polite they’ll receive fair and just treatment. It follows that those who receive brutal treatment must have done something to deserve it.

      Those with that experience are largely white.

      It’s dangerous to assume your experience generalizes to the population as a whole.

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        Charles Ross October 14, 2015 at 9:44 pm

        Well, Paul, you managed to make several generalizations within a few sentences. I can’t find a single one in what I wrote. Maybe you could point them out.

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        BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 9:10 am

        Oh boy, another check your privilege post. One can use common sense and logically conclude that if you comply with an officer’s instructuons then you will be treated fairly.

        On the other hand, if you believe that an officer’s primary motivation is racism then you could conclude that if you follow the officer’s instructions that you’ll be treated with excessive force. But that is not common sense.

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          9watts October 15, 2015 at 9:12 am

          “One can use common sense and logically conclude that if you comply with an officer’s instructuons then you will be treated fairly.”

          You are saying this with a straight face, I presume?

          Where have you been these last few years (centuries)?

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            BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 10:04 am

            Yes, I posted that with a straight face. Perhaps you’d like to post data that supports your suggestion that my proposition is false? I’ll wait patiently because there is very little data available.

            In the meantime, while the new media sensationalizes evrry “claim” of police brutaility or excessive force and the racially-motivated Obama DoJ loves to find patterns and discriminatory intent (whilst not finding actual incidences if either – see Ferguson), we should stop short of asserting that such brutality and excessive force is common let alone statistically significant.

            What you might feel to be the case likely does not reflect real life.

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              9watts October 15, 2015 at 10:15 am

              “Perhaps you’d like to post data that supports your suggestion that my proposition is false? I’ll wait patiently because there is very little data available.”

              This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg – and since you mentioned Ferguson it seemed like as good a place as any to start:
              http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/opinion/racial-history-behind-the-ferguson-protests.html?_r=0

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                BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 10:50 am

                A NYT editorial opinion piece is the tip of your data iceberg? Lol. You’ll have to try, again.

                You could start at bjs.gov Use of Force data. It’s dated, 2008,but it’s real data and not the collective opinion of the NYT editorial board. You could then look at academic studies, like the 2008 study by Hickman, Piquero, and Garner. You could also look at data and reports at the National Institute of Justice like a July 2010 multi method evaluation of police use of force outcomes by Smith, Kaminski, Alpert, Fridell, McDonald, and Kubu.

                See, data is important. NYT editorials are not important. When you survey actual data, it’s clear that data related to excessive force and use of force is unreliable, inconsistent, and difficult to monitor. That is because much of the data is voluntarily reported by local and state law enforcement agencies.

                So, please do not attempt to contradict my comments with ad hominem attacks, with isolated examoles of x or y, or by pretending something to be true when it is not.

                Seriously, you brought a NYT editorial opinion piece as an example of data?

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                BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 11:12 am

                Look, left wing racial grievance mongers perpetuate the myth that bigoted white cops lie in wait around every corner, waiting to blast a black man into his grave. It’s this myth that underscores many of the comments related to this article above.

                There are bad cops, just as there are bad priests and bad teachers. However, the overwhelming number of cops are not and the overwhelming majority of police stops do not involve unjustified use of force.

                In fact, the danger to black men in the US is not a white cops. The danger to a black child, woman, and man is…another black. DoJs own UCRs demonstrate this fact. In 2013, 90% of black murder victims were killed by other blacks. Only 8% were slain by whites. Hence, less than 8% were killed by white cops. This should give pause to those who want to believe that white cops are just lying in wait to pummel a black man or to kill him. But it doesn’t. Some people simply need to believe that we cannot improve the racial conditions in this country.

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      Spiffy October 14, 2015 at 11:58 am

      “Why argue? Why fight? If he asks you to stand still, stand still. If he asks you to identify yourself, do so.”

      and if he asks you to remove your pants?

      you ‘re not required to obey every command from a police officer… they cannot order a law-abiding citizen around unless there is imminent danger, and those orders are limited…

      safely cycling slowly on the sidewalk/crosswalk would not seem like a reason to be pulled over to most reasonable people… and being a black person pulled over by white police for no apparent reason will put you on the offensive very fast…

      I usually don’t push beg-buttons, so if I don’t get a Walk signal I’ll assume the light is broken and I proceed across… if I was pulled over directly afterwards I would have no idea why…

      my reasoning is this: if a cop goes to a bar fight and a two guys run away, one fast guy with a gun and one slow guy with a knife, you chase after the one with the gun, not the slow easy less dangerous target… pulling over a bike when there’s no danger is negligence on the part of police to keep the public safe… I would not hesitate to file a lawsuit…

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      daisy October 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      A black person can do everything a police officer asks and still end up tasered, beaten, or murdered at the hands of cops. Would this man been stopped if he were white? I doubt it.

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        Dead Salmon October 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm

        I’ve had many a ticket while driving and I’m white – and I deserved every one of them. Been lucky so far on the bike.

        In this case, he broke a minor law, was stopped, and the cops claim he did not cooperate. His bad if that is true.

        Interesting video on being stopped:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDJrQBwJpqk

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        BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 9:14 am

        Wow, such bad faith expressed here. Without knowing anything other than the officer’s race, you conclude that he not only is racist but acted on that racism to stop this black guy.

        This is why civil discourse is nearly impossible these days… Too many people believe that they know the facts, understand the situation, and have command of an unknown person’s motivations and feelings in that situation when they actually inow very little at all.

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          9watts October 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

          It is pretty clear from your comments here that you are not familiar with how (institutional) racism works, you just can’t conceive that someone else’s experience might different (fundamentally) from yours.

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            BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 10:13 am

            Wow, so uncharitable and simply because you disagree with me.

            I understand how institutional racism can work. What you and I do not know is whether such racism exists in Hillsboro and whether it was apolicable to this situation.

            Further, understanding how such racism works and that it can exist is hardly a basis upon which to conclude that it generally exists throughout some, most, or all police departments.

            Lastly,your disagreement with me is not evidence that I am capable or incapable of recognizing that other people have different experiences. But ignore that for a moment… Why did you engage in such an ad hominem attack? Perhaps because you lack the logic or reason with which you should have addressed my comment?

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            Dead Salmon October 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

            Many people have different experiences because they have different behavior. Get caught breaking the law (bad behavior) and you will have a different experience – skin color doesn’t matter. Ask the thousand of white folks sitting in jails and prisons.

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              BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm

              The problem really is that some people have a need to believe and perpetuate the myth that white cops just lying in wait to harass, abuse, and kill blacks. I don’t understand why it exists, but you can see it in many of the comments here today.

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                9watts October 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm

                It is nothing like that, BeavertonRider. But your hyperbolic approach obscures what is actually going on, shows that you are not the least bit interested in learning how racism in our institutions actually works.

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                BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm

                9watts, “shows that you are not the least bit interested in learning how racism in our institutions actually works.”

                Well, first, you have to actually prove that it exists in the Hillsboro Police Department before we can make the intellectual leap to the assertion that such racism was at work in this instance. No?

                It seems to me that you simply accept without question that institutional racism exists in all law enforcement organizations. I don’t agree. Maybe under a perverted definition of “institutional racism” all law enforcement organizations would be designated as such.

                I’m quige tired of the institutional racism and white privilege lens through which incidents like these are constantly viewed and evaluated to the complete ignorance of the actual facts on the ground. It’s like the invocation of these models of thought excuses the invoker from any responsibility to assess actual facts and permits an easy path to simply conclude that all events like this one center onna bigoted, racist cop…again,despite the facts in the ground.

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                9watts October 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

                If your cousin had been killed by cops with a taser do you think you would still have the same nonchalant attitude about interactions with cops *always* following standard protocol as long as you comply?

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          Dead Salmon October 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm

          BR,
          You nailed it. From the story NO ONE denies that he broke the law so the traffic stop was justified. These traffic stops are how cops find people who have committed other, more serious crimes. They ask for ID, run it to see if they are wanted, etc. They are doing their jobs, but are called racists by people who have no clue what is going on – I guess those people think if you are a non-white you should be able to commit crimes with no consequences. Hypothetically, say this dude had just killed someone, and a traffic surveillance camera had recorded the cops watching him go illegally thru the intersection and they did nothing. Then the media got the video of the cops doing nothing to a person who was a suspect (for reasons that had occurred before the cops saw him) – then the cops would be excoriated by the media and public opinion for not doing their jobs. In this hypothetical scenario I can see the story now: “The suspect got away because the doughnut eaters did not investigate him even though they watched him commit a traffic crime – according to witnesses the same man was seen leaving the dead persons apartment, 1 block away, after screams were heard. No one knows his identity.”

          As it is, they’ll be lucky if they don’t get a lawsuit or hate-crime filed against them. They can’t win.

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        Dead Salmon October 15, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        daisy,

        Ask James Chaffee how his white skin protected him after they thought they saw him pee in the bushes. I’m sure you can come up with many thousands of other white people who had similar experiences. Commit a crime or infraction while the cops are watching and you will have some interaction with them. Most advise cooperating and if you think you were treated unfairly then complain later.

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      Dead Salmon October 14, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      He looks pretty tough in the photo. As far as the cop knows he could have:

      a) just finished working out at the golden gloves gym, or
      b) been riding without a light so he would not be seen because he committed a crime, or
      c) had some kind of weapon on him, or
      d) had his light stolen just before he got on his bike, or
      e) who knows?

      However, it does sound a bit extreme. Hopefully they will have a video/audio of the incident from their dash cam.

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    Tom Hardy October 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Hillsboro police should know better than this. The particular intersection does not trigger with bicycles. The late hour gives a quick cycle to cross traffic with a 3 second window. The traffic is also very light at the time the cyclist crossed.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

      I’m sure you’re right about these details, but in case it’s not clear, Robinson was biking east on TV Highway’s north sidewalk, so he could have waited out the signal if indeed he had a red. (Sidewalk biking is legal, of course, and in this case was the only way for him to avoid biking the wrong way in the bike lane, which isn’t legal, without crossing the huge street a second time.)

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      BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

      They should know better? Maybe you have facts we don’t, but why are you blaming the police based on such incomplete information?

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    9watts October 14, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Very interesting…
    I am reminded of the conversation PoPo and I had back in April here about the refuse to give name/escalation question.

    PoPo: “My experience with people who refuse to identify themselves is that the vast majority of them are attempting to hide their identity because they have done something else that is worse.”

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      Anna G October 14, 2015 at 11:56 am

      except if they refuse to believe your ID which was pinned to my reflective vest during my bike/traffic stop . I commented on the original post regarding this experience. It would also help to have commentors to this post identify what their own experience with police has been, what mode ie car/bike/ped. and if white or not. For the record I am brown and was on a bike. One has no idea how nasty a cop on a power trip can really be unless you’ve been there, and they lie in court too, on the stand.

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        wsbob October 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        “except if they refuse to believe your ID which was pinned to my reflective vest during my bike/traffic stop . …” Anna G

        What did you have for ID? I think Oregon DMV offers an ID without license to drive. If it’s a legit ID, and its yours, and the police still refused to believe the information on the ID added up, could be it was simply because it didn’t check out when they ran your name through the computer. At least you had ID of some sort, and were willing to offer it to identify yourself to police officers when they asked you for it.

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      wsbob October 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      “…PoPo: “My experience with people who refuse to identify themselves is that the vast majority of them are attempting to hide their identity because they have done something else that is worse.” ” watts

      That’s it in a nutshell. Robinson didn’t get tazed for not having a light and crossing against the crosswalk signal. He got tazed for, by his uncooperative behavior, giving the police reason to believe he may have had far more serious issues he was trying to hide, whether he actually did or not.

      By his behavior, he made himself a suspicious person. When he wouldn’t cooperate the police had to wonder…what’s he up to? At that point, it probably would not have been too smart of them to just let him go.

      Robinson could have just got off the bike when asked to do so, waited while the police ran his name, and issued him his citations, and he’d most likely have been on his way home, not tazed, not forcefully detained.

      U.S. District Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart’s words, quoted in this story, are interesting in that she does not mention Robinson having not cooperated with the police officers. Maybe her thinking is that had the first two officers waited until additional officers arrived, at that show of force, Robinson would possibly have decided to begin to comply without use of the taser.

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        9watts October 15, 2015 at 9:34 am

        “By his behavior, he made himself a suspicious person.”

        You are conveniently skipping over the many comments here from people who have either experienced biased treatment by the police, or have read the papers and learned of this practice second hand. So credulous.

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          BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

          Oh? So we should ignore the facts of the instant case and rely, instead, on how commenters feel or what they think? Well, then, this officer is obviously guilty because sime people here had some experience with some other officer in a set of different circumstances. Cool?

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          wsbob October 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

          I’ve not skipped over a single comment to this discussion section. Robinson was stopped because the officer observed two possible violations: 1) absence of required equipment. 2) Failure to obey a traffic control device (the crosswalk signal.

          Did the officer stop Robinson additionally, because he was a person of color? Let the judge and jury decide, but first and foremost, he was stopped because he violated the law, prompting the officer to stop him and learn about the reasons why.

          Would the officer have just drove on by if the person he’d seen riding and committing those violations would not have been a person of color? Possibly, depending on the circumstances, such as a higher priority call, but that most likely would apply in cases involving people of color as well.

          If the defense believes racial bias and profiling had to do with how this traffic stop came to be and transpired, it’s going to have to come up with something solid to prove it besides the color of Robinson’s skin; such as the officer’s, or the department’s history. So, far, nothing of that kind appears to have been brought forward.

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            BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm

            But, but, but, facts be damned. 9watts kniws people who have written or told him something and from that we must understand that in this case, it was absolutely the man’s skin color that not only triggered the stop, but also led to the use of force.

            Now, I know that’s bring unfair to 9watts, but maybe he now understands how it feels to be misrepresented or caricatured.

            What’s interesting here is how many commenters are deducing that race played a role in the stop but ignore that there were at least two legitimate bases for the stop.

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              9watts October 15, 2015 at 3:57 pm

              “there were at least two legitimate bases for the stop.”

              And thousands of us white folk who have not been stopped for doing exactly what Robinson was stopped for. Did you miss that part?

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                wsbob October 15, 2015 at 4:57 pm

                “…And thousands of us white folk who have not been stopped for doing exactly what Robinson was stopped for. …” watts

                Are you concluding, without looking into or knowing the circumstances upon which all those “…thousands of us white folk who have not been stopped for doing exactly what Robinson was stopped for. …”, that white skin color was the reason your hypothetical thousands of white folks were not stopped?

                Take some deep breaths and wait for this case to get to trial so people that have actually done some investigation and found information beyond which has been reported in the media to date, can present that in court and possibly find out if race discrimination figured negatively into how the officers treated Robinson after stopped, and as to his being stopped in the first place.

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    maxD October 14, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Are you required to have lights on your bike if you are on the sidewalk? I know you need front and back lights for the street, and you are supposed to modify your speed to walking speed when on the sidewalk, but I did not think vehicle regulations applies when operating in a pedestrian environment.

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      Spiffy October 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

      the lighting requirements have no sidewalk exception…

      you’re not required to bike at a walking pace on the sidewalk…

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        John Lascurettes October 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

        … except when crossing a driveway or entering a crosswalk, in which case you have to slow to a walking speed.

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        • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
          Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

          Only if you want to have the same right of way as someone walking. Entering a crosswalk faster is legal, it’s just not legally protected.

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            John Lascurettes October 14, 2015 at 2:14 pm

            I don’t think you’re correct on that. To quote the ORS §814.410:

            A person commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:

            Operates the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp. This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles at places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic.

            So it’s not that it’s “not legally protected”, it’s an actual offense of the statute (i.e., ticket-able infraction), no?

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            • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
              Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 14, 2015 at 3:06 pm

              You’re right and I’m wrong! Thanks, John.

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                John Lascurettes October 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

                Do note that the speed limitation only applies if a motor vehicle is approaching the conflict zone – personally I take that to mean if any motor vehicles are present in the area, but it’s certainly a grayer area of that paragraph (as is exactly what a “walking speed” is).

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        Eric Leifsdad October 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        No, you don’t need lights on a sidewalk, you need lights when operating on a highway (ORS 815.280), but “a bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.” (ORS 814.410 (2)) sounds to me like it wouldn’t apply.

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          Eric Leifsdad October 25, 2015 at 7:56 pm

          I find it very troubling that the citations were not dismissed and that the judge’s ruling assumes that he was in violation of equipment requirements while using the crosswalk.

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            wsbob October 26, 2015 at 12:57 am

            I think the judge was not ruling on any citations issued to Robinson, but simply whether his case against the Hillsboro PD and the two officers had sufficient merit to proceed to trial. Link to the judges, ruling, also included in this story:

            https://s3.amazonaws.com/wapopartners.com/wweek-wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/12141215/Ruling.pdf

            Read page 13, second paragraph regarding questions you’re having about the judge’s view as to whether Robinson was in violation of equipment requirements.

            I just browsed through the entirety of the judge’s ruling. It’s a lot to chew on having read it just once over, but very informative. Whether the level of force used, was excessive under the circumstances, is what will have to be figured out. In the ruling, the judge goes over some examples of the range of force that different situations call for. The case going to court, will have the city and the officers presenting their view on whether the level of force used was justified, and why.

            In terms of level of force, whether use of the taser was justified, is the big question in the ruling, that stood out for me.

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      davemess October 14, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      You actually don’t have to have a rear light, just a reflector.

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    Beeblebrox October 14, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Vision Zero should only be used to justify increase enforcement of those traffic violations that actually cause fatalities and serious injuries. A true Vision Zero approach would direct police to “Focus on the Five” violations that are proven to cause fatalities and serious injuries: Motor vehicle running a red light; Motor vehicle running stop sign; motor vehicle violating pedestrian right-of-way; motor vehicle turning violation; and motor vehicle speeding.

    Notice a trend? They are all motor vehicle infractions, which makes sense since they cause the vast majority of fatals and serious injuries. So a blanket enforcement of all traffic laws, including those that don’t really cause dangerous crashes, is not taking a Vision Zero approach at all. As the article suggests, it becomes an excuse for profiling and targeting people walking and bicycling. Even with a “Focus on the Five” approach, we should be careful to avoid bias and profiling, which is why automated enforcement is such a great way to go.

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      9watts October 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Hard to argue with that!

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      Anna G October 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

      yes ! wouldn’t it be nice nice to see this implemented on the SE Clinton greenway, I was shocked to see how many of the near misses involved parents with small children (this from the “nearlykilledme ” stats.) So how about some real enforcement PPB, vs just targeting bikes on Ladd etc.

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      B. Carfree October 14, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      While I would love to see meaningful traffic law enforcement that trains motorists to be less deadly, in another thread tonight it was mentioned that the constant theft of items off of bikes is having a negative impact on bike modal share. If we actually got total traffic law enforcement, including for cyclists, I suspect that most legitimate people on bikes would quickly adapt (saw this in the ’80s in Davis), but the bike thieves would gather citations by the bushel. Perhaps it would encourage some of them to move on to another town.

      A decrease in annoying theft could increase cycling, hopefully by more than the nuisance of enforcement decreases it, which would add some safety in numbers.

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    Patrick Barber October 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

    You said “Stewart also concluded that because Blood and Robinson may have failed to receive training…” but you meant “Blood and Wilber…”

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    davemess October 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Is it illegal to cross (on foot) with a don’t walk light, even if you have a green light?
    I know many crosswalk signals don’t change unless you hit the button. You still should have the right of way though.

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      Steve B October 14, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      While I agree with you, I do believe that is a legal failure to obey a traffic control device to cross against the red hand.

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    Todd Boulanger October 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Vision Zero as practiced in Northern Europe also attempts to educate cyclists about the need for bike headlamps / tail lights too. (BikePortland has covered this along time ago re: Amsterdam policies and impressions). Google “Licht op je fiets” or “Licht ann” etc.

    An additional missing link is the USA is how adult bikes historically have been treated as a consumer product since the early 1970s by the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) etc. in viewing bikes as toys and NOT vehicles and thus can be sold without state mandated safety equipment (lights, horns, etc.).

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      paikiala October 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Sounds like one area of Vision Zero – the need for better laws.

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    PomPilot October 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    A key point is not clear in the original post. Is this federal jury trial a civil case, or a criminal case? The comment about “the City of Hillsboro must also stand judgment over claims of assault and battery” suggests the possibility of a criminal one.

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    Dead Salmon October 14, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Pedal Power!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNMGHN0jnmI

    🙂

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    Dead Salmon October 14, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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    Mark October 15, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Reading through some of the comments, its clear that some do not understand that there are cops that view riding while black worse than driving while black. To be tazed twice because one refuses to answer questions is ridiculous and would rarely happen to a white rider. Robinson was questioning the heavy handed tactics of the police..so…they tazed home. How dare he question them….says the tazer wielding offers.

    Robinson will winn this case I believe and rightly so. Which….is a win for people who bike.

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      BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Wow, lets examine this comment:

      First, it is staggering how unkind and uncharitable your reaction is the your fellow posters here. Your disagreement with their comments hardly warrants admonishing them as misunderstanding something thatbis nothing more than a figment of your imagination.

      Second, riding while black is worse than driving while black to some cops. Maybe, maybe not, but your assertion that some, unidentified cops thunk this way is totally unsubstantiated. What evidence do you have that this thinking is prevalent enough to warrant suggesting that this applies in this situation?

      Lastly, you hardly know any of the facts, yet, feel comfortable not only accusing the officer of being a racist, but admonishing others here as toi dumb to see what really happened here. What chutzpah…

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      wsbob October 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      “…Robinson was questioning the heavy handed tactics of the police..so…they tazed home. …” Mark

      What I gathered from past bikeportland stories about this incident, is that Robinson was tased because he allowed his behavior on the bike to appear to the officers to be an attempt to possibly ride away on his bike. Robinson claimed he wasn’t going to ride off.

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        BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm

        But, notice that we cannot let facts get in the way of the preferred narrative in situations like these – the black man did absolutely nothing to warrant the stio and could not have possibly behaved in a way that officers could intrrpret as an effort to flee.

        It’s quite interesting to watch as these incidents evolve and observe as prople declare instantaneously that the “victim” was simply picked on by a racist cop to n a power trip and then watch them gasp and bumble as the actual facts come out.

        Why do so many people have to believe this is yet anothet racist cop who was just lying in wait to beat up a black dude?

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          Dead Salmon October 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm

          Every day in cities of the US, black males are killing black males at a fairly high rate. This is ignored. Everyone knows it is routine behavior. But if a light-skinned person kills a black person, all hell breaks loose, Obama, Jesse, Al, Holder, and all the rest of the liberal racists comes unglued. Obama even said “If I had a son he’d look just like that guy”. People march and protest, then loot and burn down the city in the name of peace and justice. Anyone who points out the actual facts is called a racist or worse. This is how it transpires every time. People are getting tired of the hypocrisy.
          .
          Some FBI stats for 2013:
          189 white people killed a black person. 2,245 blacks killed a black person. 409 blacks killed whites. BUT it’s those racist, bigoted, whites that are the problem – any liberal knows whites are evil racists. Source:
          .
          https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2013.xls

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          • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
            Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm

            Among people who had a problem with the shootings you’re referring to, I think most people’s problem wasn’t that the shooters were white (they weren’t always) but that they were (in most cases) police.

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              BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 10:58 pm

              There are very few, relatively speaking, police shootings involving white officers and black men. In fact, less than 8% of black men killed were killed by white cops. I posted the data above.

              If the problem people are having is that cops are killing black men, then where are all the protests aimed at black men? Blacks are far more in danger from other blacks than they are from the police, yet, we only see outrage expressed toward the very few incidents involving the police. Curious, no?

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              • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
                Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

                Why the heck would someone protest “black men” because a tiny subset of black men kill other black men?? As far as I can tell, the main thing that pisses people off about people who kill people is that they killed a person, not that they killed a person with black skin.

                You are claiming that there is no public outrage about murders when the murderer is black? That strikes me as an inaccurate claim.

                The public has an interest in stopping people from being killed for no good reason. Therefore we employ lots of homicide detectives and DAs to spend their time apprehending and convicting people who kill people for no good reason.

                Sometimes, the people who kill people for no good reason are police officers. When people feel that the justice system is failing to apprehend and convict police officers who kill people for no good reason, people get pissed off and sometimes protest.

                I’m afraid we’re not going to come to common ground here, so feel free to take the last word if you’d like.

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                Dead Salmon October 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm

                There is little outrage expressed when a cop kills a white person. People don’t lie about what they saw to get the cop in trouble. BUT if a cop kills a black person then all hell breaks loose, Obama, Holder, Jesse, and Al come out preaching about the horrors of racism, etc. BUT if a cop kills a white person all you hear is
                .
                nothing.
                .
                No burning and looting, no “If I had a son he’d look just like that guy”, etc.
                .
                When was the last burning and looting riot because a cop killed a white person? Exactly.
                .
                http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/21/police-kill-more-whites-than-blacks-but-minority-d/?page=all

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                lop October 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm

                >People don’t lie about what they saw to get the cop in trouble

                Sometimes people aren’t lying. Only half see something, you fill in the blanks without realizing it.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/nyregion/witness-accounts-in-midtown-hammer-attack-show-the-power-of-false-memory.html

                >“It’s pretty normal,” said Deryn Strange, an associate psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “That’s the hard thing to get our heads around. It’s frightening how easy it is to build in a false memory.”

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                wsbob October 19, 2015 at 10:38 am

                “…BUT if a cop kills a white person all you hear is
                .
                nothing.
                .
                No burning and looting, no “If I had a son he’d look just like that guy”, etc.
                .
                When was the last burning and looting riot because a cop killed a white person? Exactly. …” dead salmon

                Short of ‘looting and burning’, over the years here in the Portland area, there has been plenty of public distress expressed over shootings of white people by police. Questions over police procedure associated with excessive use of deadly violence have been big issues. Still are, maybe to a lesser degree compared to some years back. Maybe.

                But whether excessive violence was used by Hillsboro police towards Robinson, seems to be one of the fundamental questions raised by that incident. Not so much about whether he was stopped because he was black, because the cop had legitimate reasons to stop Robertson.

                I believe a look at history will show that looting and burning stuff arises from whatcha call…dis-empowered people with little other effective recourse.

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            Dead Salmon October 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm

            Quote from my above post: “189 white people killed a black person. 2,245 blacks killed a black person. 409 blacks killed whites.”

            Not sure if I wrote that incorrectly or if it was changed by the moderators, but here’s the correct version:
            “189 black people killed a white person. 2,245 blacks killed a black person. 409 whites killed blacks.”

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    BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    9watts
    If your cousin had been killed by cops with a taser do you think you would still have the same nonchalant attitude about interactions with cops *always* following standard protocol as long as you comply?Recommended 0

    I dont believe I’ve displayed a nonchalant attitude. I’ve expressed that if you comply with instructions, the stop will most likely go without incident.

    Again, we can pretend that all white cops are bigoted racists just lying in wait to hurt or kill blacks or we can deal with actual facts.

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      9watts October 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      “we can pretend that all white cops are bigoted racists just lying in wait to hurt or kill blacks or we can deal with actual facts.”

      You seem unwilling to allow that actual facts are all over the place, and sometimes (far too often in my opinion) end in an unarmed individuals (sometimes black, sometimes white) dying at the hands of the police.

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        BeavertonRider October 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm

        What facts? You have presented absolutely zero. You attempted to pass of a NYT editorial as proof of something, as the tip of the proverbial data iceberg (lol).

        Meanwhile, I have cited actual sources of data and study for you to review, including DoJs UCRs. Yet, you insist on asserting that that white cops are just lying in wait to harm or kill blacks.

        Check that, I see you’ve now changed your position to one of arguing that sometimes someone is hurt during a stop. Well, of course, sometimes this happens. So what? What really matters is the incidence. I cited a study specifically addressing that above – the July 2010 multi method evaluation of police use of force outcomes by Smith, Kaminski, Alpert, Fridell, McDonald, and Kubu.

        My goodness, that something happens sometimes is neither important or significant. That’s not even an argument. At least you’ve backed away from the white cop just wants to kill black people nonsense. I appreciate that.

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    Tim October 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    As a 14 year old child I had a sheriffs deputy used their police curser to run me off the road, smashing my bike and leaving me bruised in the ditch. I was following all of the laws and rules of safe cycling, but the officer proceeded to lecture me on how dangerous it was for me to be out riding my bike.

    Maybe it is not a race thing after all. Just a bike thing. Wonder when was the last time these officers tasered a driver over driving in the bike lane. Interesting question in trial – So we see that the paint is warn off the bike lane – how many tickets have you issues for driving in the bike lane?

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    Dead Salmon October 16, 2015 at 3:30 am

    For all those who think the cops are out to get us, you will like this article. For those with children, it is food for thought. The comments offer some solutions to the question:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-15/how-do-you-prepare-child-life-american-police-state

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    Tessa December 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    BeavertonRider
    Look, left wing racial grievance mongers perpetuate the myth that bigoted white cops lie in wait around every corner, waiting to blast a black man into his grave. It’s this myth that underscores many of the comments related to this article above.There are bad cops, just as there are bad priests and bad teachers. However, the overwhelming number of cops are not and the overwhelming majority of police stops do not involve unjustified use of force.In fact, the danger to black men in the US is not a white cops. The danger to a black child, woman, and man is…another black. DoJs own UCRs demonstrate this fact. In 2013, 90% of black murder victims were killed by other blacks. Only 8% were slain by whites. Hence, less than 8% were killed by white cops. This should give pause to those who want to believe that white cops are just lying in wait to pummel a black man or to kill him. But it doesn’t. Some people simply need to believe that we cannot improve the racial conditions in this country.Recommended 4

    Yes there are bad teachers, priest etc. But they are not armed and allowed to get away with murder, rape, brutality and torture.
    So big difference.
    We cannot accept that there are good cops because if there where they would be standing shoulder to shoulder demanding the same justice we are. They would want to see these so called ” bad cops” in prison the same as we do. They would arrest and even shoot to kill if need be these bad cops caught in illegal and aggressive dangerous acts.
    So no there are not good cops. Just as there would not be good priest if they where in knowledge or molestation and yet did nothing or a good teacher if they saw a child come in bruise and battered and did nothing or knew that a teacher was molesting children and did nothing.
    So your point is mute.
    In addition your false statement of the danger to blacks are other blacks. What you just swallow Trumps cum? Do some research its been refuted that this is not any different than whites or Latinos or Asian. The fact is that apx 85 percent of white murdered are murdered by whites. People in general are killed by people they know or associate with meaning that almost every race will see the majority of murders perpetrated by the same ethnic group.
    Now lets address the systematic racism in the police. To deny this with all the evidence available is to choose to be an ignorant fuck.
    Yes cops love to beat men and women of color, to oppress them and than to tweet and facebook this fact.
    Police where created to control the slaves. They are an illegal and unconstitutional entity as for they are not a voted position as is a sheriff. They are, have been and will be corrupt and dangerous.
    Yes we can improve the racial conditions in this country. But not by denying facts. Not by apologizing for the maniacs with a badge and not by falsifying evidence. We need to not support our police. We need to demand they are disbanded and only Sheriffs and deputies to patrol and investigate as for these are positions in which if they fail they can be impeached and replaced.

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      wsbob December 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Obviously, you’re upset and outraged about a lot of things. I think that unfortunately, the gratuitously offensive way you express it, won’t invite efforts at rational discussion from many people. I’d like to think you could have done much better, and wish you had, because that could have been a far more powerful statement than what you’ve left readers here with.

      I couldn’t be certain one way or another about the validity of the statistics that BeavertonRider cited. But then, I generally consider it wise to use caution when relying on statistics about anything. My personal opinion, is that there are plenty of good cops that want to do well for their community, despite their having to wrassle with limitations put on them by the ‘blue wall’.

      Law enforcement is an indispensable community service. Cops do a lot of good. Lots of bad things happen too, associated with cops and members of the community. Efforts constantly have to be made to reduce that happening.

      If Jermaine Robinson’s case against the officers and Hillsboro is still moving forward, I’m hoping to catch any future news there is about it.

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      El Biciclero December 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      “We cannot accept that there are good cops because if there where they would be standing shoulder to shoulder demanding the same justice we are. They would want to see these so called ” bad cops” in prison the same as we do. They would arrest and even shoot to kill if need be these bad cops caught in illegal and aggressive dangerous acts.
      So no there are not good cops.”

      That’s a little bit sweeping, I think. Not all cops work in the same department, and I don’t think, for example, a Vancouver officer should be expected to fly to Kansas City to arrest a KC officer for some alleged misconduct they saw on Facebook. You just can’t logically say that since some cops commit crimes, and some other cops might know about those crimes and do nothing, that ALL cops are therefore bad.

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    Tessa December 10, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    No we can assume they are primarily bad. Thats a stretch using the analogy of them flying across country. There are things they could demand where ever they are. They can demand a civilian revue board for all complaints and I don’t mean like in CA where the board is comprised of ex cops and prosecutors. They can demand the end of the corrupt union. They can demand that all cops charged with abuse or murder are tried to the best of the prosecutors ability ( unlike the prosecutors playing defense attorney to a corrupt Grand Jury) They can demand that cops charged with misconduct of any sort are fired, all law suits also pertain to their personal property instead of tax payer funds. That any cop charged with brutality or misconduct cannot EVER be hired in a position of authority, maybe registered like sex offenders since they are more dangerous in general. Not allowed to own firearms ever in the future. etc..
    They can write congress to demand that laws are enforced agains’t them. But in general if a cop is watching another cop beating or murdering someone they will back them up.
    There is proof that the majority of police have a mentality that is narcissistic and sociopathic. They will lie to your face, a Judge a jury. They are not good people.
    I know also this first hand. My daughter was PD in Phx for over 14 yrs. She spent years in misery due to the corruption of the powers that be. They system is screwed and she had 6 yrs left for double pension and left. She backs my feelings all the way.

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      Alan 1.0 December 10, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Interesting ideas (in a good way), Tessa. I trust you include appropriate due processes toward a just and fair decision along with simply “charged with…”

      Possibly of current interest:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/10/new-style-of-police-training-aims-to-produce-guardians-not-warriors/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_coptraining-205pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

      For the past three years, every police recruit in the state has undergone this style of training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, where officials are determined to produce “guardians of democracy” who serve and protect instead of “warriors” who conquer and control.

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        9watts December 10, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        Amazing article. Thanks for the link, Alan 1.0.
        This is exactly the conversation about escalation I was having with PoPo in the earlier article about this case. Who knew that there was a completely different police training culture out there, competing with the testosterone, macho, violent one?

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    Tessa December 10, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Of course as long as justice is served. The problem is the justice system is incestuous. It is unable to hold itself accountable. So there lies a big problem. Until it holds itself accountable I don’t care how it gets resolved. It may take a bit of war to stir the pot.. get it scared enough it realizes who it works for and its place in society.. They have played judge, jury and executioner way too long.. what goes around eventually comes around..
    As for WA and its still one of the most corrupt and violent institutions in the USA.. They have to stop overseeing themselves. Cops have always been a corrupt institution. They where started to control the slaves. The only difference is we have technology which they would love to stiffen.

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    9watts December 25, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Did we ever learn how this trial ended?
    If so, I missed it.

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