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Gresham city employee under investigation for ‘All Lives Splatter’ sticker

Posted by on June 26th, 2020 at 11:23 am

From The Gresham Outlook.

The latest chapter in our chronicle of vehicular violence and the threat of people intentionally driving their cars into vulnerable road users comes from just across Portland city limits in Gresham. And what’s even more cause for concern this time around is that it involves an employee of the City of Gresham Transportation Division.

According to a story published yesterday in The Gresham Outlook, Gresham TD Field Operations Supervisor Doug Holley is under investigation for having a large sticker in the window of his personal vehicle that read, “All Lives Splatter: Nobody Cares About Your Protest.” The sticker included an image of an SUV running over people.

Here’s more form the Outlook:

According to a city employee, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, Field Operations Supervisor Doug Holley had the window sticker on his personal truck while parked outside a city-owned building near Hogan Butte Nature Park on Friday, June 5.

Three complaints filed to the city stated the bumper sticker was “very violent and racist” and was poorly representing the city of Gresham as Holley was allegedly on the clock while driving the truck.

Allegedly, after complaints about “All Lives Splatter,” the truck Holley was driving had a new sticker in the same location. The second sticker showed an image of President Donald Trump holding up his middle finger with the words “Nobody cares about your protest.”

This reprehensible sentiment is becoming more common due to the month-long protests against systemic racism and policy brutality following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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In early May we shared the story of a man who shot a bicycle rider after chasing him in a large SUV. And in the last month alone we’ve documented seven separate incidents of people driving cars into protestors, including one case of a man driving over participants in the Black Liberation Ride on June 19th.

And this is not a new phenomenon. More than three years ago we began taking a closer look at vehicular violence. In 2018 we learned that two Portland business owners joked online that the way to deal with protestors is to, “drive right thru [sic] killing as many as who will stand in my way” and that, “running over bicyclists and pedestrians is the only way they’ll learn.” Eight days after that story we reported on a man who was arrested for driving his truck through people who were protesting downtown against the shooting of Patrick Kimmons by a Portland Police officer.

The fact that a Gresham city employee would place a sticker like this on his vehicle is even more shocking given that it was just five years ago that Russel Courtier, a man with ties to white supremacist groups, intentionally drove his Jeep into a Black man named Larnell Bruce and killed him. And just last year Courtier was found guilty of a hate crime and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

We hope the City of Gresham takes this very seriously. We asked the City Manager’s office for a response this morning and they confirmed they’re aware of the situation and that, “An investigation is underway and the City is reviewing the matter.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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CaptainKarma
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CaptainKarma

I’ve seen trucks with nooses hanging in the olde town area of Gresham. Sad.

Mark Smith
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Mark Smith

Reprehensible? Yes? Racist? That’s a stretch even for stumptown. Free speech? Also yes.

you know what’s free? Removing valve cores. It’s quite easy. Not vandalism. Leave the valve cores in the valves unscrewed.

Biker#83736
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Biker#83736

Fire the man and revoke his driver’s licenses permanently. He has no place in a public service job.

 
Guest
 

This employee needs to be fired, full stop. No room for this rhetoric in our society.

Thomas Ngo
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Thomas Ngo

Just an hour ago, my friend in SW Portland was walking with her Black husband and baby when someone yelled “MAGA” out his car window and flashed the white power sign at them. Traffic violence is an easy extension of the hate speech that’s bubbling up on social media.

HJ
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HJ

This is a disgusting violent death threat. It in no way falls under protected speech. Given the sheer volume of attacks of this very nature that we’ve seen recently I think it’s quite reasonable to go so far as report it to the police for investigation. This should not be viewed as anything less than a statement of intended violent action.

JR
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JR

I won’t delve into the free speech weeds, but surely the city has some conduct policies that would result in some type of consequences for this person. This person was using a personal vehicle while working for the city and likely receiving reimbursement for use of the vehicle. The city of Gresham has been dealing with a bunch of government shake-ups recently over claims of racism and bias at the highest levels, so it may be that this type of intimidation was tolerated previously. Ironically, a couple of years ago I picked up a bumper sticker at Gresham City Hall that said “Hate is not a Gresham value”. They should probably do a bit more than that at this point.

Hello, Kitty
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Hello, Kitty

This feels like another one of those “someone did something distasteful, better rally the internet” type of conversations that we seem to have periodically. I appreciate y’all letting me inside the bubble.

Suburban
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Suburban

This investigation, article and indignant comments are precisely the reaction that was intended, they are the irresponsible completion of a cycle started by an impotent provocateur who hoped other lazy thinkers would come on down to their have a laugh or get offended. Did it work because of where this person is employed? Did it work because of recent protests? Dorks with 1%er slogans on stickers are nothing new. It’ not just feeding a troll, it’s delivering home cooked meals all month long.

Mark Smith
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Mark Smith

A lot of anti speech folks here who want to economically penalize someone who says horrible things. That will only fire up the alt right and therefore just ruin the message. There are other more effective ways.

af
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af

“This reprehensible sentiment is becoming more common due to the month-long protests against systemic racism and policy brutality following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”
Wrong. This sentiment is due to entrenched racism.

Joseph E
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Joseph E

The problem is that this person is employed by the Gresham Transportation Division, which “designs, operates and maintains a system of more than 898 lane miles of streets, including sidewalks, bike lanes, streetlights, traffic signals, road signs and bike and pedestrian paths.” https://greshamoregon.gov/Transportation-Division/
A person who believes that vehicular assault is justifiable should not be responsible for designing, operating or maintaining public streets and roads.
Could a PBOT staffer ride a bicycle with a sign that advocated potentially fatal violence against drivers? I hope this would also be cause for dismissal.

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

A lot of this is the sad fact that “these words” [and images] about weaponizing motor vehicles – have become real physical actions all too often now and in too many places. Kinda like how talking/ writing about shooting people used to be more “silently sanctioned / ignored”…back before the school / workplace ‘shooting massacre of the month’ event became just that…all too often and too real for too many people.

Sad things that kids live with now…versus just watching silly movies about it ;-(

As for this car owner’s future public employment or unemployment…that is something the city’s HR department will be evaluating…