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Person thrown to the ground and arrested while biking on SW 4th Avenue

Posted by on July 16th, 2020 at 10:21 am

A disturbing video shot by a KATU news reporter this morning shows a Portland Police officer throwing a person off their bike. The incident happened on the southwest corner of Southwest 4th and Main.

In the video the bicycle riders rolls north on SW 4th. The context of what happened prior to the violent tackling of the bicycle rider is unclear; but it does not appear that the person was being aggressive or otherwise threatening to the officers. It’s also hard to tell if the rider was given any clear, audible warning before the violent attack by the officers. Regardless, this behavior from Portland Police is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated by anyone.

Here’s what we do know about the context…

This morning at 5:02 am the PPB announced via Twitter that Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square are no longer open to the public (carrying out a decision made by Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau). “Everyone must vacate to the north beyond the sidewalk or be subject to arrest for trespassing and subject to use of force. This order includes journalists. The park is closed. Everyone has 10 minutes to leave,” the PPB wrote.

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The video of officers tackling the bicycle rider were posted one hour later.

Both of the park blocks across the street from the Justice Center have been the site of protests against racism and police brutality for many weeks since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In recent days the encampment has grown to include a free food vendor.

This morning the PPB began erecting a fence around the parks, declared the adjacent public street closed, and threatened forceful arrest for anyone who didn’t comply. This comes a day after armed federal troops were filmed driving around the same area in unmarked minivans and snatching people off the street without explaining why (more on this from Oregon Public Broadcasting). The PPB — with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s full support and now aided by heavily-armed federal troops sent by the Trump Administration to “quell” nightly protests — have become increasing violent in recent weeks.

We’re unsure of the rider’s condition or status and will update this post when we know more.

The behavior of many Portland Police officers is extremely troubling. Portlanders have the right to assemble in public spaces and to express themselves. There’s no time limit on this constitutional right. These violent actions in our public right-of-way raise many serious red flags and call into question our local leaders’ ability to protect and serve.

UPDATE, 7/17 at 6:21 am: New video and reporting from that same KATU reporter shows more of what happened before the rider — who has been identified as Brandon Thomas — was tackled. In the video he’s shown riding on SW 4th before this and there looks to be a verbal interaction with police. Thomas was tackled after riding back down the street after it appears police told him to disperse. KATU says he was arrested for interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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97 thoughts on “Person thrown to the ground and arrested while biking on SW 4th Avenue”

  1. Avatar CaptainKarma says:

    Your response, Mayor Wheeler?

    1. Avatar jered l bogli says:

      I believe Ted’s response is tear gas them. That always seems to be his response…

      1. Avatar dan says:

        self-removed for my own excessive snark

      2. Avatar Alan 1.0 says:

        His response is clearly not to order his brutal blue line to protect his citizenry from federal goons.

    2. Avatar Middle of the Road Guy says:

      His wrists will become even limper.

  2. Avatar David Hampsten says:

    The bicyclist looked like he/she was fully aware that they were violating that order in much the same way as a pedestrian protester or car driver protester might have been in the same location.

    While the police officers gently but firmly shoved him/her to the ground (throw is not the verb I’d use)

    I mean, how do you gently force a resisting protesting bicyclist to obey a police directive to dismount? What would it look like?

    ***PLEASE NOTE, 7/16 at 1:33pm: Due to a mistake while trying to reply to David’s comment, I accidentally deleted several lines. I’ll try to recover them if I can and re-post right away. Sorry for this!

    1. Avatar SD says:

      That took a lot of assumptions to get to the point of justifying an unnecessarily violent police action.

    2. Avatar rain panther says:

      I dunno, that looked pretty painful to me. Looks like the rider was looking over their right shoulder and basically got blindsided and went down hard with their left shoulder landing on or near the curb. That’s a recipe for a broken collarbone.

      In answer to the question in your last paragraph, if a rider is coasting along at less than 5 mph I’d imagine you could pretty much just stand there and grab them, as opposed to knocking them down.

      1. Avatar David Hampsten says:

        How do you grab someone who’s still on their pedals and not standing with both feet on the ground? I’m just trying to understand the physics of what you are writing.

        1. Avatar rain panther says:

          Are we even talking about the same video? The cop could have attempted to impede forward progress without deliberately knocking the rider down. Or, as mentioned in that buggy reply/edit above, he could have simply chosen to forego the show of dominance for the moment. Were the stakes really so high that the rider had to be knocked to the ground and arrested immediately?

        2. Avatar PdxPhoneix says:

          Simple, you DO NOT DO THAT. as for the physics…high probability of injury = not good; so, again, DON’T.

        3. Avatar buildwithjoe says:

          David, When you say that cyclist was resisting you sound a lot like a cop, or someone who supports their actions. J Maus said he make an error. He has hundreds of thousands of comments. So just post again but I can predict what you want to say.

          1. Avatar David Hampsten says:

            Buildwithjoe, I’m just curious, why do you not use your full name on this blog? Are you worried about retaliation at work?

            I’d prefer to think that Brandon Thomas (who JM just named) has demonstrated his or her courage to be a martyr, to deliberately be taken down by the police in front of the press, rather than be some random cyclist in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is what JM implied in his report. It’s a very brave, and yet very tricky, thing to do, to be seen as a martyr, fighting for a just cause. I know I don’t have that sort of courage and I very much doubt that most other people responding to this blog have such courage to follow their convictions to the point of injury or death. Do you have that courage?

            Being called an “engineer” in the Portland Tribune about 10 years ago was the greatest public insult I ever received. You calling me a cop is way down the list on insults. I’ve had a long and all too successful career in being a professional trouble-maker, working with my community to get over $200 million in sidewalk, bike, and transit infrastructure funded in East Portland and a bit of SW (2009-15), plus some smaller projects here in Greensboro NC. Such advocacy has arguably cost me my career as a city planner in the public sector (I’ve been unemployed for over 12 years now), but it’s definitely been worth it.

            I do in fact work with my police department on organizing community events and on joint advocacy. I have yet to meet any “bad cops”, but I’m equally aware they do exist, both in Portland and here in Greensboro NC – the officers I work with freely admit that such police do exist and are a problem for them as well. And I do have a certain sympathy for all public employees.

            However, I have a far greater respect for people who are willing to lay down their lives, livelihoods, and integrity to fight for what they believe in, even if I might disagree with their cause or their methods. We all have a roles to play. It’s all part of our so-called democracy.

            1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

              Everyone should be worried about misguided retaliation at work and in other realms of their life.

              https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/

              1. Avatar Jon says:

                Yes. Open minded rational discussion is impossible these days. Difficult topics require difficult conversations but if you disagree with someone these days you are a TERF, snowflake, liberal apologist, right wing whacko, fascist, lib-tard, etc. Either you are 100% in agreement or you are the devil. Nuanced reasoning is dead.

        4. Avatar CaptainKarma says:

          That was a classic NYC brute takedown of an unsuspecting citizen.

    3. Avatar David Hampsten says:

      Interesting that someone would delete and edit what I wrote without either A: asking my permission, or B: just deleting the post altogether. Presumably is was Jonathan. Why was the other stuff I wrote deleted?

      So much for free speech and common human decency.

      1. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

        This is a privately owned blog. Jonathan doesn’t need your permission to delete things.

      2. Interesting that someone would delete and edit what I wrote without either A: asking my permission, or B: just deleting the post altogether. Presumably is was Jonathan. Why was the other stuff I wrote deleted?

        David,

        I value your participation here and take very seriously any feedback about how I moderate comments.

        In this case I have no idea what you’re referring to. I haven’t edited or deleted anything from you in this thread. If you explain a bit further I’m happy to look into your concerns.

        1. Avatar rain panther says:

          Hey Jonathan, it looks like someone was able to (inadvertently?) edit David’s comment. Maybe they were trying to quote him and then add their own comments?

          1. Avatar David Hampsten says:

            Jonathan, I’ve sent you a separate email of what I saw happen on my comments, with a screen-shot. It looks like someone other than myself or yourself edited my comments, and was able to do so. Is this a bug?

            1. So sorry David. I know what happened now. That was me. It’s my fault. I was trying to respond to your comment and hit the wrong “edit” button and ended up typing IN YOUR COMMENT instead of in a separate one. I’ll try to clean everything up right now. Sorry.

              1. Avatar David Hampsten says:

                No biggie, errors happen. Thanks Jonathan!

        2. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

          Jonathan, I think you do an excellent job with the moderation. You use a light touch, and when you feel you need to step in, you are always clear that you have done so, and why, and you leave as much of the comment intact as you can.

          You have some fairly consistent lines about what you deem acceptable, and disagreeing with your viewpoint is not one of them.

          If only everyone did it this well…

          1. Avatar rain panther says:

            It actually strikes me as funny that my last comment, the one where I was basically trying to explain a technical glitch to Jonathan, got downvoted.

            1. Avatar mh says:

              Many of us still think there is something odd happening with the downvotes.

          2. Avatar Middle of the Road Guy says:

            Now you have that Carly Simon song going through my head…”Nobody Does it Better”…

      3. Avatar Chris I says:

        Confirmed persecution complex.

    4. Avatar David Hampsten says:

      By the way, we are the government, all of us. It’s a very white middle-class thing to deny responsibility and blame others for our own police violence and racism – it’s always someone else’s fault, not the people who pay taxes, who report on city happenings, who advocate, and who get frustrated when things inevitably don’t go they way we want them to.

      1. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

        You’re right. Let’s abolish the police.

        1. Avatar PS says:

          Yeah, lets, because a few hundred people in a city of 650,000 think we should.

          1. Avatar dan says:

            I look forward to voting on whether buying military LARPing gear and paying settlements for thuggish behavior is the highest and best use of our tax dollars. I feel very confident that more than “a few hundred people” feel we could find better ways to spend that money.

            1. Avatar PS says:

              As do I, but what you describe is not abolishing the police.

            2. Avatar Dan says:

              Actually that military gear is donated by the military under the LESO program. Outdated military equipment is given to police departments. The other option would be to destroy outdated military equipment or sell it to another country. Then the police actually would have to spend money on the equipment, or go without military equipment and end up outgunned by criminals in body armor, à la the North Hollywood Shootout.

              1. Avatar drs says:

                If police are using SWAT tactics against heavily armed assailants, that’s one thing. But the PPB and other police forces have used the military weapons that they acquired for that task to target non-violent protesters. That is a serious problem. A hammer sees all problems as nails. If cops show up to demonstrations wearing skull cracking gear, they are going to be cracking skulls, even if those tactics aren’t warranted.

          2. Avatar was carless says:

            You are right, the police really need MRAP vehicles and tanks. Maybe some M1A2 Abrams with mineplows and TUSK urban armor add-on kits. Can’t be too careful with protecting the police from those darn terrorist cyclists.
            But at least the guy who got knocked off his bike wasn’t shot or abducted by Trump’s secret police.

        2. Avatar PdxPhoneix says:

          Sure, I’m sure everyone would just love the absolute chaos/anarchy that would ensue.
          I know there are those who just love the idea of anarchy, primary because they must believe that it would be all milk & honey (I can think of no other reason at to why they would support such an ideology)?
          I’m an optimist, but I can clearly see anarchy as just thugs and warlords in charge, brutally, talk about a dystopian future; I’m far more concerned about the dystopian present.

          1. Avatar Jackson S says:

            Are the safest neighborhoods right now ones with the most police presence? Or are they the ones with the most resources for the citizens (childcare, healthcare, good schools, no poverty, etc). To be honest, wealthier people almost don’t have a police force, save for in extreme and rare circumstances. That’s what the protestors want for black and brown neighborhoods. Instead of policing them to death, why not take that money and invest it in the people. And almost no one is advocating for true police abolition. It’s just a significant reduction in the number of weapon toting officers prowling poor neighborhoods – just like white neighborhoods experience.

            1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

              I am 100% in favor of “investing in people” much more than we do. But I also have to acknowledge that that is a long term strategy, and that it will be years or decades before we see the benefits in terms of less crime and lower poverty. What do we do with policing in the meantime?

              Also, we’ll need way more resources to make this work than we can extract from the police force. That means higher taxes, perhaps significantly so. That’s going to take some real political will and leadership, and convincing of a population that is generally skeptical of taxation and the power of government to make good use of the money it collects.

              “Defund” is a poor slogan because it doesn’t really describe what needs to happen. Perhaps “Invest” would be better.

          2. Avatar was carless says:

            1. Police do not prevent crime
            2. Police release virtually all property crime criminals the same day allowing them to repeat offend

            1. Avatar Dan says:

              1. So it is just a coincidence that Portland saw the most murders in one month this July since the 1980’s.

              2. Oh how I wish that was true. A woman in a car nearly ran me over while riding my bike. When I caught up to her at a red light I knocked on her window and told her she should be more careful. She proceeded to flip me the bird. I got very upset and kicked the side mirror of her car clean off. I was charged with criminal mischief and menacing and served 7 days jail time and 2 years probation, along with over a grand in fines and fees.

    5. “The bicyclist looked like he/she was fully aware that they were violating that order in much the same way as a pedestrian protester or car driver protester might have been in the same location.”

      I strongly caution against making any assumptions abt what happened if you were not there.

      “While the police officers gently but firmly shoved him/her to the ground (throw is not the verb I’d use)”

      I disagree. Regardless of word choice or physical method used, the person was indeed thrown from their bike and could have/did have? serious injuries.

      “I mean, how do you gently force a resisting protesting bicyclist to obey a police directive to dismount? What would it look like?”

      Why not just let the person go if thy are unable to detain them peacefully without violence? Police do that all the time in many situations… Like when they routinely call off car chases due to concerns about public safety.

      This is also about vulnerability of the bike rider. What would officers have done if this was a person in a car or on a motorcycle? They would have let them pass. I guarantee it.

      Step back for a second and consider that you are working very hard to justify government-sanctioned violence against an unarmed, clearly peaceful protestor who might only be guilty of violating a very squishy, confusing, haphazard and potentially not even legal “no trespass” order on a public street.

      1. Avatar qqq says:

        “What would officers have done if this was a person in a car or on a motorcycle? They would have let them pass. I guarantee it.”

        I agree. But it could have been worse. He could have been in a wheelchair.

    6. Avatar buildwithjoe says:

      David… Please read… The cops make illegal orders to disperse. An illegal order does not hold up in court. There is no legal basis in Oregon law for cops to declare an “illegal assembly” and there is a ton of case law from prior court cases. One example is State v Ausmus. Please read them ok? And see my comment below about State V Raiford . Cops and DA offices knowingly ignore the laws and constitutions.

      Today police said the cyclist violated Disorderly Conduct, but if you READ what the lawmakers said in 1971 when that law was written you see the truth

      if cops beat you up and cite you with Disorderly…

      “judges should require due process specificity, allow convictions only for conduct which really disturbs and amounts to a breach of the peace, and guard against backing up the personal feelings of the police or giving vent to their own notions of what is offensive and disquieting.”

    7. Avatar drs says:

      I biked through that same area a couple of hours later while commuting. Luckily, the cops (who were still assembled in massive force) didn’t see fit to tackle me and arrest me. But I had no idea that the streets had been closed off. Don’t assume that the bicyclist was intentionally participating in an act of civil disobedience. They could very well have just been riding through on their way elsewhere. 5 AM is the start of the commute for many people.

  3. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

    Police brutality, plain and simple. Complete abolition is the only option.

    1. Avatar   says:

      I actually agree with you that the police should be abolished. But an attitude of “we won’t accept anything less than full abolition” — as implied by your “only option” comment — is an easy recipe for destroying any momentum and inhibiting the necessary change.

      1. Avatar Middle of the Road Guy says:

        It’s also the mindset of a person who thinks only in black and white.

        1. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

          yawn

      2. Avatar David Hampsten says:

        Actually, what the city really ought to do is declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy (for municipalities only), dissolve all previous contracts, and start over with the police, fire, PBOT, etc. Chapter 9 allows for reorganizations like this, and avoid the need to deal with insolvency. They could also void previous pension promises and debts.

        1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

          No need — PPB contract either has or is about to expire. There is no PBOT contract that I’m aware of. And is fire a problem?

          1. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

            The contracts will be renewed. City council is weak.

      3. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

        So we should accept bandaids? Typical anonymous blog commenter attitude.

        1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

          We should accept well thought out proposals that deal honestly with the complexity of the issues involved. I have yet to hear much more than slogans. If you have ideas to offer, I’d love to hear them.

        2. Avatar   says:

          I never said that. Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m saying that we shouldn’t stop asking for more change, but we should also be accepting of any positive change we do get. They’re not conflicting positions to hold.

    2. Avatar Tom says:

      It’s doable since we can bear arms in this country. We will need to have strong “stand your ground” laws to protect those who wish to protect themselves though.

  4. Avatar RudiV says:

    It’s interesting that both cops seemed to have reacted immediately and independently to whatever this person said. Given the verbal abuse that they typically passively accept during most of these riots, they both clearly thought they had something actionable.

    I have no idea where the line is for what you can say to a cop, but I’m guessing some kind of imminent criminal threat like “I’m going to kill you.” is over that line.

    Either something along those lines, or she simply refused his lawful order and was going to violate their perimeter. I think they have valid tactical safety concerns in preventing that.

    1. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

      ***Comment deleted. Please don’t insult other commenters.***

      1. Avatar   says:

        Name-calling has never helped anyone with anything. See here.

        And I have no idea what the person said to the cops, so I’m not going to make any assumptions either way. I believe in “innocent until proven guilty” for all parties involved.

  5. Avatar Bicycling Al says:

    There is a longer clip of this on that twitter feed along with videos of police snatching people outside of the perimeter they established. It’s not clear that this street was closed. In fact, it appears that police vehicles along the street could have blocked intersections to this street but didn’t.

    I can’t stress this enough, this falls on the mayor. The accountability of the police rests with the mayor. Mayors have been unwilling to to make police accountable to their communities so far.

    1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

      It takes a majority of city council to approve the contract which creates the lack of accountability. The PPB contract is up for renewal — let’s hope our current council negotiates a better contract and doesn’t punt for another year.

    2. Avatar Ted says:

      According to PPB’s press release, the streets were still open to traffic: https://www.flashalert.net/news.html?id=3056#news136128

    3. Avatar El Biciclero says:

      According to an update by Dan McCarthy:

      Police say they arrested him for “Interfering with a Police Officer and Disorderly Conduct.”

      The bicyclist was knocked from their bike literally at the “border” of the closed zone, as they were leaving it (this video was shot at 4th & Salmon, the bicyclist was headed north). The longer version of the video made it look an awfully lot like the bicyclist had entered the closed zone, been lunged at by an officer, and then turned around to go back and leave the closed zone. They were then tackled feet away from being out of the closed zone.

      This does make one wonder whether the bicyclist was given orders to stop and failed to comply, was attempting to comply with orders to leave the zone, had committed some other type of “interference” prior to the entire incident, or was merely an unprotected target of retribution. As was already mentioned, it also makes one wonder what would have been done had this person been on a motorcycle or in a car. Likely they would not have been “nudged” off the road and made to crash; they probably would have been allowed to go ahead and leave the zone, as this bicyclist apparently was attempting to do.

    4. Avatar drs says:

      I biked through that area a couple hours after this incident was filmed on unrelated business. The cops were still massed around there and there was no indication that the streets had been closed at any point.

      I don’t think there is any evidence that has been shown that demonstrates that the guy wasn’t just a commuter passing through who got brutally targeted by police officers that were acting indiscriminately and out of control. I will change my opinion if contrary evidence is presented, but this seems like a huge and unwarranted over reaction by the cops.

  6. Avatar Jon says:

    Let’s stop calling this a protest against racism and police brutality. Those protests ended weeks ago. This is anarchy. As a taxpayer of Portland I’m sick of it. It is time for the authorities to bring some order to the city. Burning the Elk statue? Really?

    1. Avatar   says:

      From what I’ve seen, I’d agree with you that the protests have ceased to be about racism and police brutality and instead have devolved into needless destruction. However, the authorities have also shown that they’re completely incapable of bringing order to the city in a competent manner. Only the peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors have come out of this with any sort of positive impression.

      As for what the solution is, I believe that it involves a radical change in the way we police, while simultaneously (and importantly peacefully, without violence) arresting those who are just causing mayhem — who exist both in far-right and far-left varieties.

      1. Avatar Middle of the Road Guy says:

        The ANTIFA types are hiding behind a seemingly benign movement to do their “down with Capitalism” stuff. They have hijacked BLM for their own devices.

        To paraphrase Trump, there are bad people on both sides.

        1. Avatar Lukas says:

          Why do you assume they are ANTIFA? The only confirmed violent groups joining in BLM protests and escalating violence has been right wing white supremacy and the Proud Boys.

        2. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

          So you’re a fascist? Because if you aren’t anti fascist you are literally…..fascist.

        3. Avatar Jay Dedd says:

          Paraphrasing Trump is radical right, not “Middle of the Road.” Your handle, like the Trump brand, is an abject fraud. No surprise, then, that the two of you look to antifa as a scapegoat.

    2. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

      I’m so sorry that the elk statue meant so much to you.

    3. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

      People love throwing out “anarchy” as a distraction. It brings up emotions. Those people are just trying to stir the pot. They are reactionaries.

  7. Avatar Granpa says:

    We don’t know what the cyclist did prior to being knocked down, but it appears that he (she) was specifically targeted and that it was not random on the part of the police. There is arson, violence, property damage (crime) associated with these gatherings and if the desired outcome of the protests is for the police to use non lethal means in apprehending criminals, then their wish is fulfilled

    1. Avatar buildwithjoe says:

      What happened before the police attack on a cyclist? Watch the video. Jonathan linked to Dan, and Dan has a media feed. Watch it, the bike was peaceful and just on a stroll.

      Order of events
      1) there was a protest
      2) Police observed illegal behavior
      3) Rather than cite or detain people, cops make illegal group orders to “disperse”
      4) People disperse, and go back to peaceful assembly
      5) Cops brutally attack individuals who have many protected rights to stand in a street and even, yes, block traffic, cause alarm and inconvenience. read state law.

      This was the exact same case in State v Asmus, State v Rowe (me) and State v Raiford..

      https://bikeportland.org/2006/12/20/standing-next-to-your-bike-is-not-a-crime-2729#comment-193531

      In Raifrod the ACLU won and argued that you can block traffic because it is protected by the constitution of both Oregon and the United States, colonizers that we are, on stolen land..

      1. Avatar Dan says:

        Blocking traffic during a protest is civil disobedience, unless the protest organizers have gotten the proper permits to block the road.

  8. Avatar dwk says:

    At this point the only justification for the “protests” is to help Trump. Thanks a lot.
    Oh and also to cost taxpayers a bunch of money that could be used to help people
    out in a Pandemic.
    Grow up and vote or organize to get people in office to make changes.
    I truly do wonder if Trump and Fox news are behind this, otherwise their is zero point in this nightly
    game with police.

    1. Avatar Granpa says:

      Ya get no street cred from voting.

      1. Avatar David Hampsten says:

        Too true! It’s even worse for those of us who attend public meetings to advocate. A truly thankless task, engaging in democracy.

    2. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

      If You checked the identification of 1/3 rd of the agitators they were ICE and Klansmen. only a small number of the agitators were apprehended. They disappeared through the PPB lines as they closed in.

  9. Avatar El Biciclero says:

    Regarding “abolishing” the police:
    What is really meant by this? Surely we can’t be suggesting a return to vigilante justice and universal arming of citizens, you know, for their own protection? Is the suggestion that we replace “The Police” with something that looks just like “The Police” but does things “better” than our current police force?

    What is the proposal for dealing with “real” crime? Are we relegating things like theft, property damage, minor assault, menacing, and the intervention or prevention of such things to a status of No Big Deal? Does the abolishment of our current enforcement regime render chunks of our legal code moot? Are we also abolishing our institutions of lawmaking to suit modern notions of what really needs to be enforced?

    I find several aspects of current law enforcement methodology—the subject of this article being one example—disturbing. I fully support the idea of—and need for—reforming how laws are enforced. But I find it equally disturbing that there are so many calls to seemingly end any and all enforcement of all laws. If that is not what is meant by “abolish the police”, then someone should really start explaining.

    1. Avatar Greg Crowe says:

      This is a very reasonable question. The overall message of the defund the police social movement is to reinforce the idea that most calls to the police do not require, in fact are HARMED BY, an armed response. Most calls to the cops require a report taker (my car got hit, my house was robbed, my business was vandalized), a social worker to do conflict resolution or a social worker to help with an issue involving the homeless. Most calls to the cops do not require a beefy dude with a gun to show up and figure out how to use his gun to solve the problem. That’s the idea.

      1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

        Report taking seems like the only general scenario where an unarmed officer is likely to work out, and currently there are very few shootings that arise out of report taking efforts. Whether this would reduce costs enough to “defund” anything is an open question.

        Dealing with homeless folks — I don’t know enough about what these calls entail to understand how often an armed presence is required. I’m sure it’s more than “rarely” and less than “most times”. How will the dispatcher know in advance which it will be?

        “Conflict resolution” often involves volatile people in highly charged situations, sometimes mixed with drugs and/or alcohol and/or history of violence and/or weapons. How long until an unarmed, unaccompanied social worker is killed or injured by a drunk and irate and violence prone individual convinced their spouse is cheating on them and who the hell are you to tell me to calm down and why don’t you make me and just get the hell off my property?

        I’m open to any reasonable proposals for reform, but the above are a few of the many things that people who want to get beyond “defund” or “abolish” slogans are going to need to contend with. I am highly skeptical that we’ll spend less; as I’ve often said, I’m willing to pay more taxes for better outcomes, but not everyone is, especially now. Lot’s of people imagine “defunding” will somehow save money.

    2. Avatar Rachel Cameron says:

      Why is this still a discussion? This has been addressed SO many times by abolitionists. Just do a quick google search. Not that hard.

      1. Avatar Greg Crowe says:

        You’re spot on Rachel, but I will say a lot of white males, like me, are not familiar with this topic simply because of the social advantages we were born with. So I try to err on the side of caution, I try to respond honestly when asked.

      2. Avatar El Biciclero says:

        My apologies for not being one of the abolitionists amongst whom this has apparently been addressed ad nauseum. Probably why it’s still a discussion—not everyone is clued in to every progressive cause floating around out there. Part of the problem white folks have is that many of them have lived in a bubble and assumed their knowledge and experience are universal. That problem apparently exists in other groups as well.

  10. Avatar Stephan Vertal says:

    Thank you for repeatedly stating that you do not know what happened before what is shown. There is a long list of possibilities as to what led to this action.

    1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

      As with most things, context is everything.

  11. Avatar Maggie says:

    Let’s see. The cyclist bikes the wrong way on SE 3rd. (First violation) The cyclist then turns around and bikes the correct direction, does not look forward as they approach the intersection (distracted by a cop that looked to try to stop him when biking the wrong way). When there is someone in the crosswalk that a cyclist is approaching and that person is either in the cyclist’s land or in an adjacent lane, the cyclist is supposed to come to a complete stop, not crash into that person. (Second violation). Even if that person might have been trying to catch the cyclist…which is unclear from the video. Sounds like the cyclist was warned, too, can’t tell if the warnings of “lookout lookout” were from the police. I’m sorry but this looks like another case of a peaceful person antagonizing the police into taking action against them. So sick of the games. Looks like the cyclist really hit his back, I’m very glad it wasn’t his head and I hope he is ok.

    1. Avatar Greg Crowe says:

      ***Comment deleted by moderator.***

    2. Avatar El Biciclero says:

      Besides the fact that there was no one in the crosswalk as the bicyclist approached (they came running out from behind the van not to cross the street, but with the express intent of knocking the bicyclist over), is this how the operator of any other vehicle would be treated for driving the wrong way, turning around and driving slowly the other way?

      The answer is no. Using orthogonal momentum to knock a bicyclist to the ground is the go-to for police to stop a bicyclist. They don’t use it on motorcyclists. They use the so-called “Pit” maneuver on motorists only after first pursuing them with lights and sirens and loudspeaker warnings to pull over. Only bicyclists are subjected to bodily injury as the first step in effecting a traffic stop for minor violations.

    3. Avatar buildwithjoe says:

      Maggie. A group of coops were running extremely fast to attack a cyclist and you call them “someone in a crosswalk? The lead cop tackled the cyclist so hard the cyclist and copy few 12 feet and head into a curb.

      If the cop was someone like you said, the impact would not cause them both to fly 10 feet and 90 degrees from the direction of the cyclist. Laws of physics ok.

      ***PORTION OF COMMENT DELETED FOR INAPPROPRIATE PERSONAL ATTACKS AND INSULTS***

      The illegal orders of police are heard in the full length video posted by Dan and KATU. Why do I say they are illegal? Read caselaw and read the intent of the lawmakers who said cops should not do what they did to Brandon. Read them, you have google ACLU State V Raiford, State V Rowe ( me) and State v Ausmus…

      quoting you Maggie…
      “someone in the crosswalk that a cyclist is approaching and that person is either in the cyclist’s land or in an adjacent lane, the cyclist is supposed to come to a complete stop, not crash into that person

  12. Avatar J_R says:

    It looks like the cops got a two-fer. They managed to beat a single individual who represents two of their favorite targets: a bicyclist and a protester.

    From the short clip, the takedown and hurt applied by the cops looked to be completely unnecessary. The cyclist/protester would have been out of the area in seconds. I guess if you enjoy what you are doing, you can’t let a chance like that pass you by.

  13. Avatar buildwithjoe says:

    quoting Oregon State lawmakers in 1971 >>

    “If conduct is protected by the 1st amendment to the
    Federal Constitution—freedom of speech…assembly
    it …cannot be the basis of a conviction for disorderly conduct.”

    The disorderly charge cops used to cite that cyclist is illegal. — Cops know this but go on their rage attacks because they drop charges or lose in court, and injury settlements are paid by taxpayers. Immunity cycle of death !! We live in a F POLICE STATE!!!

    HISTORY >> Disorderly Conduct came from NY to Oregon in 1971 and the intent of OR lawmakers was that it NOT be used to cite freedom of assembly events. — On the side of the cyclist there is so much law,, lawmaker intent, 2 constitutions, and case law like Teressa and my own case State V Rowe. See page 9 of State V T Raiford —

    https://aclu-or.org/sites/default/files/State_v_Raiford_ACLUOR_Amicus_Brief.PDF

    1. Avatar Dan says:

      “The First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct an assembly at which there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, or interference with traffic on public streets, or other immediate threat to public safety or order.”

      “The right to assemble is not absolute. Government officials cannot simply prohibit a public assembly in their own discretion,but the government can impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of peaceful assembly, provided that constitutional safeguards are met.”

      “In the United States, the organizer of a public assembly must typically apply for and obtain a permit in advance from the local police department or other local governmental body.”

      https://www.loc.gov/law/help/peaceful-assembly/us.php

      So the bicyclist was in fact breaking the law once the street had been closed down. The entire protest was in violation if a permit had not been obtained.

      Did the police tackle him in a very harsh manner? Yes I agree. Was the bicyclist subject to arrest for riding up and down a closed street. Yes he was. It was an abuse of force and should’ve been handled more appropriately by the police, but the bicyclist was also in the wrong.

  14. UPDATE, 7/17 at 6:21 am: New video and reporting from that same KATU reporter shows more of what happened before the rider — who has been identified as Brandon Thomas — was tackled. In the video he’s shown riding on SW 4th before this and there looks to be a verbal interaction with police. Thomas was tackled after riding back down the street after it appears police told him to disperse. KATU says he was arrested for interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct.

  15. Avatar X says:

    D. Hampsten: “…gently but firmly shove him to the ground…”

    Definitely not what I saw in the video. That’s what you might do to stop a child running into danger. This was more like a blindside hit in hockey or football, a dangerous action but one in which the person being hit is at least wearing pads. However even pads and a helmet don’t protect against concussions, broken bones and occasional deaths. The extrajudicial punishment is not proportional the hypothetical offense, whether it was a traffic violation or an insult. Cop authority is not sacred. That’s sort of the point here.

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