Chief Chuck pens Times op-ed
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has an opinion piece in the New York Times. It is here, at least for those who are Times subscribers.
It's an odd essay. The main message is that there has been crime and violence at the nightly protests, and that this should stop. But the secondary message is that protests should stop altogether.
I agree with a local pastor, E.D. Mondainé, who stated these “spectacles” are drowning out the voices that need to be heard to make positive change....
The voices of victims are not heard as well. Because of the protests, officers have not been able to respond to 911 calls or have been delayed for hours. Investigators’ cases lie on their desks as they work nights to process arrests. We have seen an alarming increase in shootings and homicides. We need to redirect our focus to preventing and solving these crimes that are taking a hugely disproportionate number of minority lives.
Lovell goes on to point out that he himself is Black, and that he has a "servant's heart, committed to being leaders in police reform." The Portland police "worked with" the federal Justice Department and changed policies and training. The "community engagement unit" has been enhanced. There are advisory councils. There is an equity and inclusion office.
Well, score one for the chief, I guess. Maybe this will earn him some points with his boss, Mayor F. Ted Wheeler. But those of us who live here know that the Portland police have an appalling mean streak that hasn't changed much. Just ask the people who were in Laurelhurst Saturday night. And if the police will be that nasty to a crowd of white people in the middle of Burnside Street with dozens of smart phones taping everything, you can imagine how they are in some alley on the east side with a suspect of color who is there all alone.