Opinion: Police bureau isn’t our only tool to fix hate-filled streets

Posted by on August 25th, 2021 at 11:36 am

Willamette Week coverage of August 22nd events.

The events of this past weekend require me to make a point I’ve long understood about streets: safety is as much about culture as it is about concrete. If Portland truly stands for streets where everyone can feel safe and welcome, we must do more to defend them against dangerous people — whether the weapon is a multi-ton steel vehicle or a fist, or a gun.

Allowing violent extremists hell-bent on fighting and hurting others to roam our streets without any resistance is no different than allowing an 80 mph speed limit on a wide arterial adjacent to homes, parks and schools. Armed individuals who use neighborhood streets as a backdrop for their pointless violent games are the human equivalent of huge SUVs and trucks driven by distracted drivers or illegal street racers that pose an imminent threat to our city.

Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is away on vacation this week and was not around to see how this past weekend’s latest left-wing/right-wing tussle unfolded. Even so, facing pressure from her constituents to make a statement, Hardesty tweeted that she was, “disgusted by the actions”.

Hardesty is a well-known critic of the Portland Police Bureau, but her impact on that agency is limited because it’s not in her portfolio. PBOT is. And the connection between a transportation bureau and hate-free streets is much stronger than you think.

Advertisement

In fact, PBOT’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan includes an entire section on the topic. Goal 1 of the plan is to tie street safety to racial and social equity. Here’s the text (emphasis mine):

Goal 1: Make Portland streets safe for everyone

How does making Portland streets safe for everyone advance equity? Addressing hate in streets. Safe spaces mean different things in different neighborhoods. Our public streets and sidewalks belong to everyone and should be safe and welcoming for everyone. This begins with treating each other well and combating hate in our public spaces. How people experience safety and inclusion in our streets is fundamental to every decision they make.

That seems like a policy commitment tailor-made to address the type of violence and aggression innocent Portlanders were subjected to this past weekend.

I realize plans (and policies for that matter) have a way of gathering dust in this town, and words are just that: words. But Hardesty holds the key to turning these words into action: Her partner on crime, Dr. Jonathan Jay, an expert on urban health from the Boston University School of Public Health.

You might recall that Hardesty held web panel with Dr. Jay in October 2020 as part of her Rethink Portland initiative and in an interview with BikePortland a few months later she credited Dr. Jay for helping her understand how we can maintain public safety and still reduce the police budget.

And guess who was in Portland earlier this month, just 10 days before the Proud Boys and anti-fascists squared off in east Portland? Yep. None other than Dr. Jay.

As you might have read in the Willamette Week a few days ago, Jay was hired by the City of Portland to help tackle our violent crime problem. The man who brought Dr. Jay to Portland is newly-hired Community Safety Transition Director Mike Myers.

Myers understands there are direct link between the built environment and how people behave in cars and toward each other. “There are consistencies in where fire deaths occur, where gun violence occurs, and where pedestrians are getting hit,” he told the Willamette Week.

And when asked by Willamette Week what he remembered most during his two-day visit in east Portland, Dr. Jay replied, “The neighborhoods seem to be designed more for cars than for people. And there’s a lot of people who live there.” Nailed it.

We can use PBOT to take back our streets with more carfree spaces, more concrete diverters, more space for non-drivers, more painted intersections, more public plazas, and so on. If we get more law-abiding folks outside, taking up space on our streets, it will leave less space for folks who don’t care about the law (or each other).

Better street designs and high-quality public spaces alone will not prevent these violent clashes. But if a certain city commissioner is frustrated by not having power over the bureau that manages our laws, now would be a good time to channel that energy into the one that manages our streets.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

117
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
103 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
41 Comment authors
TadBrandoncmh89Yuki F.Real American Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Capt'n Proton
Guest
Capt'n Proton

I wish that I could be optimistic, but I see the lackluster response to the pandemic (easily moveable green signs which are now all on the curb) in the same light as the mayor’s response to fascist infiltrators. Business interests routinely trump regular working people’s needs.

Clem Fandango
Guest
Clem Fandango

Those “fascist infiltrators” have a constitutional right to assemble and speak their piece without being attacked by vigilantes.

They moved their event to the K-mart when it became clear that having it downtown as originally planned would lead to conflict, but the ninja larpers came and found them anyway. At which point yes, ass-clownery ensued on both sides.

This comment will never see light. Aside from violently suppressing speech, you guys passively censor it too.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Why can’t they do their fascist nonsense in the towns where they live?

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Those “fascist infiltrators” have a constitutional right to assemble and speak their piece without being attacked by vigilantes.

Sure they do, they don’t however have a constitutional right to come and start street brawls, break traffic laws, threaten or intimidate with their weapons, or use deploy mace, pepper spray, fireworks or any other projectiles. The 1st amendment isn’t absolute. They come from out of state for the express purpose of attacking, intimidating, and harassing Portlanders, which isn’t protected by the 1st amendment.

They moved their event to the K-mart when it became clear that having it downtown as originally planned would lead to conflict, but the ninja larpers came and found them anyway. At which point yes, ass-clownery ensued on both sides.

That’s not really true. The Gravy Seals retreated to K-Mart when it became clear that their friends in PPB weren’t going to proactively protect them during this attack. Of course, PPB isn’t going to protect our taxpayers either because they are useless alt-right layabouts, but that’s besides the point. They moved to east Portland because it’s much easier to run away if it becomes serious.

Again, they come with the express purpose of violence which is evident based on their internal communications where they talk about coming to Portland for to commit acts of violence.

Clem Fandango
Guest
Clem Fandango

Who were they attacking, harassing, and intimidating in the empty k-mart parking lot until the ninjas showed up to fight with them?

You’re just re-defining the meaning of words so that they mean whatever you want them to mean. It’s kind of crazy making.

And for god’s sake if I were coming with the “expressed purpose of violence”, I wouldn’t bring a paintball gun. It’s more like they came with the expressed purpose of generating content that looks like violence on instagram but is mostly just dumb and annoying IRL, just like the ninja squad.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Who were they attacking, harassing, and intimidating in the empty k-mart parking lot until the ninjas showed up to fight with them?

Aw yes, they drove hundreds of miles with weapons to hang out peacefully in a KMart parking lot. Yes sir. There is no way they were causing chaos before they got to KMart, and they are all certainly all law abiding folks who would never deploy projectiles from their vehicles. No siree.

You’re just re-defining the meaning of words so that they mean whatever you want them to mean. It’s kind of crazy making.

You not understanding words is different than me ‘re-defining’ words.

And for god’s sake if I were coming with the “expressed purpose of violence”, I wouldn’t bring a paintball gun

Why? Paintball guns and mace hurt and are intimidating and these terrorists can shoot people with them and PPB will just stand back in admiration. If they started shooting people with guns, even PPB would have to do something.

but is mostly just dumb and annoying IRL

LOL you know how I know you’re a white dude?

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Again, if they’re so purely intentioned, why do they drive to Portland instead of staying in the communities where they live?

Clem Fandango
Guest
Clem Fandango

To exercise their right to speak, wherever and whenever they choose. You are within your rights, as well, to go out to Goldendale and have an antifa rally.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

No. To intimidate and provoke. Their rights could be exercised without driving to Portland.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

“Freedom of speech for me, but not for thee” is a recipe for totalitarianism.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

Do citizens have a right to free speech?

Trick question! Only if I like their politics.

Clem Fandango
Guest
Clem Fandango

I find this to be such a strange argument coming from a class of people that like to put signs in their yard that say, “no person is illegal!”

How can one simultaneously be for open (national) borders, while also claiming some special ownership of their town or neighborhood that allows them to bar what they consider to be the wrong sorts of people?

Watts
Guest
Watts

I don’t mean to interrupt this important debate, but I do want to point out that according to Google, Parkrose High School is 14 miles from Vancouver, but is only 9.8 miles from downtown Portland. This seems to be placing undue burden on the folks traveling from Washington compared to their Oregon counterparts.

I would propose that the next time the kids want to have their little street rumble, they meet halfway, and do their thing on Government Island. Maybe they could all just stay there, and we can make it into a reality survival/combat show or something, maybe riffing on The Hunger Games. I’d probably watch that. Or at least read the plot summary on Wikipedia.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

CmH89,
What about antifa? Do they have the right to be violent and break laws?

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Do they drive out to Battleground and make trouble in other communities?

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

Only in fictional accounts spread among the paranoid right wing “media” outlets.

In their world there are bus loads of “the antifas” going around the country and invading small towns and making Trump rallies seem violent.

On the flip side, the PB rally was so small and pathetic looking (unless zooming in with a camera) that it would have been widely ignored or mocked if not for certain elements of the antifascist brigade that brought more attention to it then it deserved.

I’m torn sometimes between the need to confront the right wing bullies directly and to not give them a spotlight for their abhorrent views.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

This story is hilarious! (In addition to illustrating the false equivalency here.)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/23/revealed-california-police-antifa-misinformation

GAW
Guest
GAW

I am an equal confronter of BOTH right AND left wing bullies. Please join me in opposing extremists on both sides of the spectrum.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Concordia,
Yep, and in the fictional leftist world there were hordes of Proud Boys posing as Antifa destroying and vandalizing Portland for nights on end. Two false narratives.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Cmh89
What does that have to do with the question?

Tim
Guest
Tim

Please explain how “they don’t however have a constitutional right to come and start street brawls, break traffic laws, threaten or intimidate with their weapons, or use deploy mace, pepper spray, fireworks or any other projectiles” doesn’t also apply to the far left?

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Please explain how “they don’t however have a constitutional right to come and start street brawls, break traffic laws, threaten or intimidate with their weapons, or use deploy mace, pepper spray, fireworks or any other projectiles” doesn’t also apply to the far left?

I dunno Tim, I’m not sure I need to explain something I didn’t say? Perhaps you should explain it? It seems like it was your idea.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Captain Proton,
Fascist infiltrators? Fortunately, they are a rare breed in Portland. The problem here is the leftist anarchists who have caused all the vandalism inside in the city.

jered l bogli
Guest
jered l bogli

Every time I pedal or drive by the knocked over green signs and barrels that are in my neighborhood I stop and carefully put them back in place, it takes a minute or two and you know you’ve had an impact on making that street safer at least for a moment. More importantly, others see you doing this and that sets an example that we can all take the initiative to fix problems we see.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Fascist infiltrators? “Takes two to tango” as my late mother always said when stopping fights between us siblings.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It will take a concerted effort among bureaus. But, if PPB does not even show up to these predictably violent events, a better, safer street is out of reach. The same goes for highways where posted speed limits are ignored because there is no enforcement.

Watts
Guest
Watts

The meaning of “hate” has become very diluted and broad in some circles. Does the policy define the word in this context? Does it refer to actions and behavior, outward expression, or just impolite internal thoughts?

I’m also struck by the use of the militaristic “combatting” in the policy. I might agree with the government “combatting” unacceptable behavior, but am less comfortable with that rhetoric in response to ideas or thought.

And none of this really seems to be in PBOT’s bailiwick.

Jason
Guest
Jason

The meaning of “hate” has become very diluted and broad in some circles.

This is something I’ve struggled with myself, but language evolves. Sometimes in ways we think is not correct.

And none of this really seems to be in PBOT’s bailiwick.

I think the case is there for PBOT to take the helm. After all, transportation occurs on the roads we’re referring to. So, quite literally, it is in their wheelhouse.

Watts
Guest
Watts

Ok, make the case that PBOT should take the helm. How should the bureau “combat hate”?

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

By having lots of public meetings and open houses, of course. Preferably on weekdays in the middle of the day, when only retirees and the unemployed can attend, at obscure locations citywide.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I hate when PBOT does that.

Jason
Guest
Jason

So, I’m not in a position to do that. My background would not fit the criteria for that role. However, this does not mean that my statement is not founded in reality. Merely that I recognize PBOT has the authority to activate this agenda.

Also, that is a bad faith question.

Watts
Guest
Watts

I’m going to go out on a limb and assert that the reason you cannot make the case for PBOT taking the lead in “combating hate” is because there is no case to make. It is a ridiculous idea.

Can anyone explain how fighting a concept ended up being the centerpiece of the first goal of PBOT’s strategic plan? How that is more central to the mission of our transportation agency than climate change or traffic safety, or even maintaining our infrastructure?

Watts
Guest
Watts

Hey Jonathan,

Can you offer me some feedback on why you chose not to publish my comment here? It did have some pointy bits, but they were directed at a bureau and not an individual, and the whole thing seemed more civil than many of the other posts on this thread.

Was it the challenge to the concept of PBOT getting into the hate fighting business that was objectionable?

I want to do better. How can I make the comment pass muster?

Thanks!

Papa Biker
Guest
Papa Biker

Watts, You have more of a centrist tendency in your comments than Jonathan. I don’t think Mr. Maus really does this intentionally, but his innate bias comes though when he censors comments. Moderate comments seem to him more offensive than left of center comments even though they would not be judged to more offensive by an impartial arbitrator. It’s his blog so it’s his right to do this but it can be a bit annoying if you don’t fall in line with his narrative. I will say he does sometime let through opposing commentary but frequently it gets filtered by him.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

As a left-of-center liberal, I’m out of step with the au courant leftist orthodoxy on matters of identity, but Jonathan hasn’t blocked one of my posts in a while.

The most recent time, I’d taken a much more understated tone than the post to which I was replying. But it’s natural to have a harder time spotting the excesses of one’s fellow travelers.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

When the temperature of a thread is rising, I suspect that Jonathan considers not just whether a post is carefully written, but also whether it will be carefully read.

Papa Biker
Guest
Papa Biker

I’m not against non-police or unarmed alternatives. The problem is in Portland they eliminate or degrade current ways to deal with violence, crime and disorder BEFORE having the alternative in place. Defunding the PPB to the tune of $15 million and then replacing that with non-existent Park Rangers and unproven gifting of funds to private social agencies. I called the Park Ranger line a few weeks back to report a crime in a park. They only had a voicemail. Seriously? They never called back. Can you see why I’m dubious about these police alternatives.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

The police budget has grown far faster than inflation for the 15 years I have been here. The cops are funded now and they are choosing to take a nap anytime that they can’t have a 5 to 1 advantage against an unarmed person along with carte blanche to beat them senseless. It is time to actually start trying something different with some of these funds because more money for the police is just good money after bad.

Hubba Hubba
Guest
Hubba Hubba

If every time you got tough on a criminal you were accused of racism, and the city, the DA, etc sided with those calling for your head you’d stop responding too.

Jason
Guest
Jason

I called the Park Ranger line a few weeks back to report a crime in a park. They only had a voicemail. Seriously? They never called back. Can you see why I’m dubious about these police alternatives.

I would attribute this to a hardening or shakedown phase. Give them a probationary period and provide them with metrics to measure their success. If they don’t achieve the goals in the time provided, then I think there’s cause for concern. However, if this department is suddenly thrust into a new, more demanding role, they would need to accommodate this change. Within the structure of their budget and capacity.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I called the Park Ranger line a few weeks back to report a crime in a park. They only had a voicemail.

Sounds like an opportune time to get some singletrack in FP!

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Defunding the PPB to the tune of $15 million

For the benefit of those who just read headlines and hyperbole, PPB was not ‘defunded’ by $15 million. They got $15 million less than they requested, which put their 2021 budget just slightly above their 2019 budget.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Cmh89,
Not hyperbole. The PPB was indeed defunded to the tune of $15 million. Please stop
spreading disinformation.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.opb.org/news/article/portland-police-budget-15-million-defund-cannabis-council-vote/%3foutputType=amp

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Hi Peter, it’s not ‘disinformation’.

PPB Adopted Budget FY18 – FY19 = $226.81 million
PPB Adopted Budget FY19 – FY20 = $238.19
PPB Adopted Budget FY20 – FY21 = 229.53

Source: City Budget Office
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/cbo/article/765251

Now, based on those numbers, go back and read what I wrote. In the time it took you to dredge up an article that’s over a year old, you could have just directly gotten the numbers from the city and seen I was correct. It literally took me a minute. The link above is the first result.

Now, you’ve been corrected, so please stop spreading disinformation. It’s not true just because Lars Larson said it.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

We are short 300-400 officers in Portland. Unfortunately, the negative approach to police and policing in Portland (versus mutual cooperation and understanding) had led to the departure of hundreds of qualified, excellent officers. Really is a tragedy for our city.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

hundreds of qualified, excellent officers

How did you measure this supposed excellence?

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

The PPB’s continued brutality and violation of human rights in Portland without any legal accountability is the real tragedy.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

Homicides are up nearly 300% in the first eight months of this year, vs. the same period from 2016–2019. Every 3.9 days, another tragedy.

Pete S
Guest
Pete S

And PPB’s rate of clearing those homicides is down over that period while their budget has gone up every year.

Why should the city continue to throw good money after bad funding an organization that isn’t even pretending to prevent crime anymore (as evidenced by the stand-back-and-stand-by approach they took to Sunday’s events)?

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

Evidence shows that homicide clearance rates are directly correlated with the number of police officers dedicated to a case: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/23/upshot/murder-crime-solving.html

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

I responded to this, I don’t know why it was rejected. Without bothering to re-do the whole comment, if PPB and PPA wants to change things around the first step for them would to stop actively fighting the our attempts to hold our police accountable. It’s hard to feel bad for them when they are fighting a police accountability bill that got +80% of the vote and actively working to keep useful things like the PSSS and automated traffic enforcement from being used effectively in Portland.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

I agree, but unions are gonna union, so we need to pressure Gov. Brown and state legislators to bar anti-accountability language in contracts between police unions and cities.

Watts
Guest
Watts

Wouldn’t it be great to prohibit anti-accountability language in every public union contract across the board?

Watts
Guest
Watts

We should bar anti-accountability language in all public union contracts.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Matt Groenig is from Portland. He understood the PPB better than anyone decades ago:

https://youtu.be/Li_6h0gB-Qs

Watts
Guest
Watts

The show’s thinly disguised satire of Reedies running a nuclear reactor was also spot on!

SolarEclipse
Guest
SolarEclipse

I live a block away from where these bozos were fighting. I was sitting in my backyard when I started hearing the fireworks. Not knowing that the bozos were going to be there I had no clue what was going on. At first I wondered, if it was yet more gun fire in my neighborhood as that has become quite regular now with the lack of law enforcement.
I don’t think any amount of “street calming” devices would have prevented this sh#t-show from occurring.
As I didn’t attend, as I was actually fearful of what was going on, about the only way to have prevented some of this would have been the owner of the ex-KMart parking lot to have it fenced off and not allow anyone access. My wonder of wonder is, did the owner say the rightwing-bozos could have their hate-party there? During COVID the parking lot was used for administering vaccinations, but it could still have been fenced the rest of the time
Anyway, I’m all for traffic calming devices. I used to be a prolific walker in my neighborhood but too many close calls but inattentive drivers have me staying home and exercising. At least I don’t have to be worried about getting run over by the cat or dog in my workout room.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I can see it coming…

The City of Portland Law and Order Tax. Modeled on the Arts Tax, everyone must pay a flat tax of $300/year unless they can prove they made less than $10 during the previous tax year. $180,000,000/year to pay for the hiring and upkeep of 1,000 more police officers.

To make Portland great again.

It’s not that I’m in favor of such measures, I’m not, but that Oregon voters tend to vote for extreme measures that are frequently counter to their best interests when confronted with terrible situations that the previous generation basically put them into, often with the most regressive of taxes.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

David, Now that I was one tax I would support! Not the typical poorly functioning “screw the rich” (because I don’t pay it) slush fund measures Portland voters have been busily passing since you moved to North Carolina.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

I would definitely support that tax too! Everyone should have “skin in the game” for public safety. We are short 400 officers so 1000 is a bit excessive but generally a great idea David! Thanks for suggesting it.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Portland and Detroit currently have about the same number of residents. Detroit currently employs about 2,400 officers – granted, the city is among the poorest and most crime-ridden in the country – but Portland seems to be following a similar trajectory – loss of blue-collar industry, chronic disinvestment, the suburbanization of the inner city, and now rampant crime.

Papa Biker
Guest
Papa Biker

If we had 2,400 officers Portland would be a Rockwellian paradise….children playing unattended, bikes left unlocked, cars not stolen on a daily basis. I can only dream………

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

… or an East German Stasi police state with informers everywhere …

GAW
Guest
GAW

I’m my opinion, that seems very hyperbolic. David, it also quite easy for you to say that sitting in Greensboro, NC where laws are actually enforced. Not so easy for us who live in a city with an overwhelmed and outnumbered police force. Have some compassion for us. Thank you!

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

David, it also quite easy for you to say that sitting in Greensboro, NC where laws are actually enforced.

Greensboro has a murder rate of 14.3 per 100,000 people while Portland had a murder rate of 8.3 per 100,000 people in 2020.

Portland is safer than Greensboro… It’s almost like police don’t stop murders.

Watts
Guest
Watts

Almost… but not quite. If the police arrest a murderer, it’s more difficult for that person to commit more murders than if they were still on the street. If a potential murderer sees that arrest and thinks they too might go to jail if they murder, they might reconsider. If a potential murderer has his or her illegal murder weapons confiscated, or is arrested for another crime, their ability to commit murder would be reduced.

Of course, murders still happen even in a police state, so a fairer statement (if you actually wanted one) might be “it’s almost like police don’t stop all murders.”

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Tell me about it. This evening at 7 pm (4 pm Pacific) we are having a memorial service for a bicyclist killed by an aggressive but apparently sober car driver last Sunday, at Apache and South English (which has bike lanes), way on the east side in one of the poorest districts in town. A bunch of us are meeting at Deep Roots food coop downtown in about an hour to bike out to there; we got city permission to place a ghost bike near the crash site for 90 days.

GREENSBORO — A 26-year-old Greensboro man faces charges after a bicyclist he struck with his car Sunday evening died from her injuries, police said in a news release Monday morning.

Just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Justin Wisse was driving a 2011 Hyundai Sonata west on Apache Street toward South English Street as Angela Evans, 56, of Greensboro, was riding a bicycle west on Apache Street. When both Evans and Wisse turned north onto South English Street, Wisse made contact with Evans on her bicycle before he “proceeded in a careless and reckless manner” into a driveway, then a yard, striking a fence before striking a building in the 300 block of South English Street, police said in the news release.

Evans was seriously injured, hospitalized and later succumbed to her injuries, the news release said.

Wisse was arrested and charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, failing to comply with driver’s license restrictions, and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash, according to the news release.

https://greensboro.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/greensboro-man-charged-in-death-of-bicyclist-after-crash-sunday-evening-police-say/article_ac83b33a-040e-11ec-9dd4-839761eee18b.html

Rain Waters
Guest
Rain Waters

re watch animated classic “heavy metal”. . popo bureau inaction. were on our own. its here.

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

We already pay into the PPB retirement fund with our property taxes, it’s a specific line item on the receipt.

hamiramani
Guest
hamiramani

Amen!!!!

Commissioner Hardesty has a real opportunity to show her vision and resolution in the wake of more right-wing violence. We will not be safe until our streets – our sacred shared spaces – are made for people, not cars. I hope the commissioner will take this to heart.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Was there any left wing violence during the months of protests?

Pete S
Guest
Pete S

Yes but only a significant amount if you count windows as victims.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Pete S,
So are you saying breaking multi-thousand dollar windows at churches, boys and girls clubs, historical museum, political offices and taxpayer funded government facilities is okay?

Pete S
Guest
Pete S

I’m saying that the narrative that there was rampant “violence” at last years left wing protests requires that one classify broken windows, dumpster fires, or graffiti as violent. I don’t believe that windows and dumpsters are capable of experiencing violence.

Furthermore, of all the injustices in this world to get worked up about, a broken window at the boys and girls club is very low on my list of priorities. I am far more concerned about government choosing to spend nearly a quarter Billion dollars on a police force that is ineffectual and incapable of doing its work without inflicting actual violence (see the person they just killed this morning), all while refusing invest more than a pittance in better alternative solutions—e.g. Portland Street Response, mental health counseling, or robust services and housing for people living on the streets.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Man that’s rich. It would be significant to me if I was a small business owner. If 2 groups of knuckleheads want to duke it out they only are hurting themselves.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

Michael Reinoehl murdered Aaron Danielson…Blake Hampe stabbed a Black videographer…Protestors brandished assault rifles in North Portland…Rioters threw Molotov cocktails and fireworks at police officers, and routinely threatened photojournalists.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

She’s been on vacation since Aug. 2 and doesn’t get back until Sep. 6, but I’m sure she’ll get on that right away, once she’s had a chance to dig through five weeks of old email.

Hubba Hubba
Guest
Hubba Hubba

How do you propose a person who lives in Gresham get to their job in Newberg that they had to take because they lost their job that was close to home? You want them to take public transportation for 2 hours then get on their bike and ride for an hour – EACH WAY?

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Sorry you lost your job.
I propose you take the freeway and don’t cut through Portland neighborhoods.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Is it just me, or does it appear that the police response to criticism is to stop enforcement of laws that people need and want, like traffic enforcement? Kind of the I’ll show you response.

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

Not just you – it does feel a bit like a form of extortion.

Real American
Guest
Real American

Maybe pause before you automatically bad-mouth the police when they deal with criminals? Maybe show them some respect for the difficult and dangerous job they do in an attempt to make our society safer? Maybe not constantly accusing them of racism and brutality as they deal with criminals and lowlifes 24/7/365?

Try those things for a while and maybe you can patch up the relationship. Otherwise, expect more of exactly what you’ve been asking for: chaos, anarchy, and violence. Actions have consequences.

Brandon
Guest

So, your answer is yes? The police are extorting us by providing poor policing until they get the “respect” they feel they deserve. In my world, respect is earned, and when it’s lost it takes a while to get it back. Abandoning the streets to throw a pity party doesn’t do it for me. I don’t envy the job a police officer does, they have way too much on their plates, and I believe most of them want to do a good job, but this mob boss mentality is a problem.

J_R
Guest
J_R

I’ve lived in my SE Portland neighborhood for almost 30 years. The design of the streets has not changed. The behavior of motorists definitely has – more speeding above 30 mph; more blowing through stop signs; more failing to yield to pedestrians. Some of it’s cut-through traffic, but some of it is neighborhood residents (I recognized their cars.).

I guess a major rebuild of the neighborhood streets could alter some of the behaviors. Traffic enforcement could also accomplish some better behavior. I think the problem is that so many people have become so self-centered and self-absorbed that they simply don’t care what’s happening outside their car or their house.

Traffic violence, shootings and high costs are beginning to get to me. I’m starting to think that Portland will not be my forever home.

Suburban
Guest
Suburban

So K-Mart is really closed. The culture of a city is so fluid.

JBone
Guest
JBone

Jonathan, you are on point about culture, but I don’t think it’s just the culture in the street that is significant but that which is cultivated in the home. I think if we are really honest with ourselves (use some psychedelics if necessary), none of the problems will be solved by politicians, bureaus, taxes, etc until we recognize the wisdom handed by generations before us: it all starts with home life. Our society is suffering because of how family life has been significantly damaged by consumerism, greed, technology, unchecked egos, etc. Most of what we are seeing on the streets and in our world is children who weren’t fully loved and guided with wisdom. Insanely, the very thing we need right now, a renewed focus on love and ancient wisdom being cultivated in families, is derided as out of date, sometimes even racist. I’m not necessarily a big fan of Larry Elder, but it will be very interesting to see the reception and impact his forthcoming California governorship has on these social ills spilling onto American streets.

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

While I can appreciate a focus on improved home environments that don’t permanently damage the youth living in them, relying on “ancient wisdom” isn’t helping and is, frankly, a big part of the problem.

A lack of empathy and just distribution of shared resources are the results largely of an overpopulated planet, not just modernity. Unless one addresses the external root causes of what negatively impacts the “nuclear family”, worrying about what goes on inside the home is focusing on the symptoms.

JBone
Guest
JBone

I respectfully disagree, as I’ve seen kids from financially impoverished homes thrive, if they are surrounded by love and values of contentment, sacrifice, perseverance, service, etc.
I’ve worked across a few professions including SPED with at-risk…also homeschooled and met many diverse families in that setting.
What do you mean it isn’t helping? I’d wager majority of the people on the street of Portland didn’t have this kind of home life. I know plenty of kids who did and you’d never catch them out there. I’d suggest we’ve spent decades on your path of ’empathy’ and look where it has brought us. (I love true empathy, but despise the way its been corrupted through coercion, shame, etc)
One of the great disservices of the post-modern progressive movement has been to coddle these kids, shield them from responsibility, and let them think they are smarter than the adults.
And you can imagine my thoughts on “just distribution of shared resources”.

GAW
Guest
GAW

Jbone,
Word. Comment of the week!

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

“Well son, I know you haven’t had a decent meal in a month and don’t have power or internet at your house, but hey, have some ancient wisdom, that should fix everything!”

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Did I hear a real high-pitched Leave It To Beaver or Andy Griffith whistle?

Values like love and wisdom are great things. So is a wealth distribution system (economy, wages, ownership, etc) that allows all people to partake of the things that help propagate those values. Things like shelter, food, water, hygiene, medical needs.

Mr. Clean
Guest
Mr. Clean

We have the best wealth distribution system ever created right here in the USA. Our system has raised billions of people around the world out of abject dirt-poor poverty. How does it work? You get a job, or start a business, and you provide goods or services that others are willing to pay for – perhaps your goods/services will even help humanity. When you start to have more than you need for yourself you can give some to those who don’t. That’s how it works. It’s called capitalism.

Mike Quigley
Guest
Mike Quigley

Hey! Those armed right-wing extremists are riding in the backs of Toyota Tacoma pickups just like the Taliban. But, will they be as successful? Stay tuned!

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

The nightly street races, intersection take-overs / drifting events are infinitely more dangerous than an isolated Proud Boys – Antifa conflict. The only commonality is that PPB is completely absent in both cases!

GAW
Guest
GAW

FDUP,
Agree. PPB needs to be fully staffed ASAP so they can respond appropriately to disturbances such as the take overs/drifting, violent protests, etc. Unfortunately, the city politicians and short sighted residents have really done us a disservice by instead of working on needed collaborative reform have chosen the path of denigration of the many hard working and dedicated officers. Really a tragedy for the city as it will take years to rebuild the force. Portlanders (except the criminals and the lawless) will suffer in the interim.

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

IMO PPB staffing level isn’t necessarily the issue, the issue is more about PPB priorities, the officers’ personal politics and temperment, the police union, and lack of political leadership. Any re-staffing at PPB should be accompanied by assurances that 21/01/06 type personalities WILL NOT be hired, and resources will be redirected, how about starting with the rampant bike and car theft, petty crime and traffic problems in Portland? OTOH I agree that PDX city politics leaves a lot to be desired, so why don’t we abolish the Commission system and create multiple election districts (number to be decided but IMO at least a dozen) across town and hire a city manager to run the Bureaus?

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

PPB needs to be fully staffed ASAP so they can respond appropriately to disturbances such as the take overs/drifting, violent protests, etc

PPB has funding to hire as many officers as they need right now. They are, in fact, hiring right now.

Unfortunately, the city politicians and short sighted residents have really done us a disservice by instead of working on needed collaborative reform have chosen the path of denigration of the many hard working and dedicated officers

PPB and the PPA refuse to participate in collaborative reform. They reject any level of accountability. You can’t work on reform with people who have no interest in it. Respect gets respect. The officers of the PPB don’t respect our community and therefore the community respects them. No one in Portland is buying the “Back the Blue” nonsense about they are all heroes because we can see their actions on a daily basis. We see them stand by why their co-workers beat, gas, and maim. We saw them collaborate with federal gestapo last summer. We see see them for who they are.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Again, you are spreading disinformation cmh89. I live in Portland and 100% “back the blue”. Do I want reasonable police reform and responsive community policing. Of course. But I don’t want anarchy and I want my 911 calls answered in a prompt fashion. We can’t fight and prevent crime without sufficient law enforcement staffing.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

. I live in Portland and 100% “back the blue”

Shocking

Generally when folks make generalizations like I did, the writer is assuming that the reader has enough understanding to not get stuck on the fact that the statement isn’t intended to be literal, the writer hopes that the reader understands that all 645k people don’t share the exact same opinion on the police and that what the writer meant was that the large majority of Portlanders don’t buy the back the blue nonsense.

Here, I can make it easier

“The large majority of people in Portland are not buying the “Back the Blue” nonsense…”

Way to focus on the meat of the post though.

We can’t fight and prevent crime without sufficient law enforcement staffing.

Police neither fight or prevent crime. They respond to crime that has already happened to do paperwork and protect private property in affluent neighborhoods. That’s about it. This isn’t TV. PPB doesn’t employ a bunch of Matlocks. Will Smith isn’t driving a speed boat down the Willamette to stop the baddies. PPB is mostly paper pushers who make great salaries.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

“PPB is mostly paper pushers who make great salaries.”

I disagree. I think most Portlanders do as well.

Papa Biker
Guest
Papa Biker

I disagree cmh89. Police do prevent crime. That is the whole idea behind community policing. If we had enough officers in Portland we could actually do it. Unfortunately, do to the lack of support we have lost many officers to neighboring and outlying departments. Remember Officer Sanders of the now defunct Bike Theft Task Force. Did a great job not only catching bike thieves after the fact but kept them from doing it proactively.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

I disagree cmh89. Police do prevent crime.

You can disagree all you’d like, the data doesn’t support you however

That is the whole idea behind community policing.

Yes, a community policing doesn’t really work. LEOs are never going to be part of a community they police because who wants to be friends with the people who take your friends and neighbors to be incarcerated in the prison industrial complex? It’s a silly concept. No occupying force is really part of the community it occupies.

emember Officer Sanders of the now defunct Bike Theft Task Force. Did a great job not only catching bike thieves after the fact but kept them from doing it proactively.

Sure, I also remember bike theft being just as rampant while we had the Bike Theft taskforce as without. He didn’t prevent bike theft.

Unfortunately, do to the lack of support we have lost many officers to neighboring and outlying departments.

Maybe the PPB and PPA would have support if they didn’t act with such utter contempt toward the people who live here? No one deserves unconditional support. They’d probably get more support if they didn’t you know, treat us like crap. Not a single LEO has come out in support of increasing police accountability. They understand that the community doesn’t trust them or support them and they’ve taken the stance that the city is wrong.

Watts
Guest
Watts

The police also prevent crime by removing criminals from the streets, which both prevents those people from committing crime and (hopefully) deters others as well. The police can also confiscate illegal weapons that might be used in future crimes, arrest people planning crimes they haven’t yet committed, and perhaps salient to our ongoing wave of killings, help break the cycle of violence by working with community groups and sharing intelligence. Not to mention the deterrent effect of just having cops around — few people will commit a criminal act within view of a cop.

There are plenty of other ways as well. The idea that “the police can’t prevent crime” is simply untrue.

Yuki F.
Guest
Yuki F.

Watts,

I agree with you. Think of the recent happening with the camper aiming the rifle on the I-205 bike path. Police responded and stopped him before he accidentally shot a car traveling on I-205. They stopped a crime (shooting a moving vehicle) BEFORE it happened. Cmh89’s comments that the police do not prevent crime is poppycock in my opinion.

Good link to NPR article on this subject as well.

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2021/04/20/988769793/when-you-add-more-police-to-a-city-what-happens

“….Williams and his coauthors find that, in the average city, larger police forces result in Black lives saved at about twice the rate of white lives saved (relative to their percentage of the population).”

AND

“….Williams says, from that perspective, investing in more police officers to save lives provides a pretty good bang for the buck. Adding more police, they find, also reduces other serious crimes, like robbery, rape, and aggravated assault.”

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Cmh89’s comments that the police do not prevent crime is poppycock in my opinion.

You mean the sniper who was there for hours and could have shot people at any time? How did the police prevent a crime here? The only reason that guy didn’t shoot anyone was because he didn’t want to. The police didn’t even know it was happening until multiple reported it. This is a great example of police responding to a crime after it happened, not preventing it.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

The police also prevent crime by removing criminals from the streets, which both prevents those people from committing crime and (hopefully) deters others as well.

Aren’t they only criminals after they’ve committed a crime?

I’ll also point out that what you’ve stated, the American theory of crime prevention, is not evidence-based. So while it’s great that you can say they do that, the reality is that the prison industrial complex is not only inhumane, it doesn’t even reduce crime.

The police can also confiscate illegal weapons that might be used in future crime

There are about 400,000,000 guns in the United States. Like drugs, there is no way police can confiscate enough weapons to actually make illegal weapons inaccessible.

arrest people planning crimes they haven’t yet committed

Which rarely happens. This isn’t a movie, police do not chase down leads to stop the bad guys before they carry out their plot.

and perhaps salient to our ongoing wave of killings, help break the cycle of violence by working with community groups and sharing intelligence.

You really have a “TV” understanding of police work. Police can not break the cycle of violence, only anti-poverty measures and mental health care can. Police are not part of communities and communities do not share intelligence with police. No one trusts the police (for good reason) enough to share anything with them.

There are plenty of other ways as well. The idea that “the police can’t prevent crime” is simply untrue.

Watts, you just listed a whole bunch of things that only happen on TV. None of what you said is reality. Of course police do all those things in the movies, but it’s just not real life. None of what you said is evidence-based or data driven.

Police don’t prevent crime, which is the truth. I encourage you to do serious reading into the subject to get an informed opinion.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Again, you are spreading disinformation cmh89

I’m also bemused by this comment. Again? I already corrected you the last time you accused me of ‘spreading disinformation’. Disinformation is not just information you don’t like bud.

Peter F
Guest
Peter F

Cmh89,
In my opinion you are again spreading a false liberal narrative the police cannot prevent crime. The GVRT is a case in point. Just repeating something over and over does not make it true.

Bike Painter
Guest
Bike Painter

Cm89,
“ No one in Portland is buying the “Back the Blue” nonsense about they are all heroes because we can see their actions on a daily basis. We see them stand by why their co-workers beat, gas, and maim…”

I disagree with that. You don’t speak for everyone in Portland. There is a sizable population (I would dare say a “silent majority”) that are not anti-police. We want a well functioning, efficient, approachable, responsive and trustworthy police bureau. We don’t want anarchy in the streets. We want the current epidemic of gun violence, traffic violence, property crime and violent protests to end. Continued hating on the PPB is not going to help our city get out of this dire situation.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

(I would dare say a “silent majority”)

Historically, people who think they are part of a silent majority are actually part of a very vocal minority.

Continued hating on the PPB is not going to help our city get out of this dire situation.

Continued tolerance of their racist, violent nature isn’t going to get us out this dire situation. I’ll continue to hate on PPB and PPA as long as they exist as a problem. They haven’t acknowledged they’ve done anything wrong much more taken responsibility and worked on fixing their problems.

Tad
Guest
Tad

And I’ll continue to promote love OVER hate.