Weekend at Daryl's

I've been meaning to pen a few words about the dire law enforcement situation here in Portlandia, but the news stories have been popping up all over, and I can barely keep track of them all. Here's a quick roundup.

1.  The black-clad avengers of all societal wrongs showed up at police union headquarters the other night for their usual antics. I like when they go there, because the police union is the cause of a lot of the problems in public safety. Right now the city is negotiating a new contract with the boys and girls in blue. It's an appropriate time for the public to express its displeasure wth the union, which functions as the defender of even the worst cops.

But of course, once the 40 or so "demonstrators" got to the union office on North Lombard, they started spray-painting their inane slogans and burning stuff. Which cancels out any good that they might have been doing. It was over pretty quickly, with no arrests as far as I can tell.

Have you noticed? The kids are now painting "End Civ" around town. This ain't about Black lives so much as it is about anarchy. I don't know about you, but I'm not really down with the anarchy.

2.  The Fox News set continues to sell the story that Portland burns every night, which is of course bogus, but when did that ever stop the right-wing screech monkeys? Today we see that the guy who draws the Mallard Fillmore cartoon strip is chiding the national television media for not running more stories on "the Portland riots." Meh. I'm not seeing the national news interest. It's no longer an explosive situation; it's more like a slow but serious bacterial infection. Hard to make good news footage out of it.

3. The Boy Wonder county district attorney, Mike Schmidt, who's been batting .017 with many of us, has indicted a guy from Indiana for attempted murder of police officers at violent protests last year. The defendant, Malik Muhammad, was also allegedly involved in the obscene trashing of the Oregon Historical Society in October.

It's about time Schmidt did something.

4.  Morale in the Portland police force is in the tank, with dozens of cops retiring and resigning. The O has the story (alas, behind its fruitless paywall) here. Many of us are tempted to say "Good riddance" to some of these birds, but losing a lot of experience in the cop ranks is not a good thing. In an ideal world, we'd rebuild the bureau with the right kind of people and the right kind of training. But that would require competent leadership and a non-ridiculous form of city government, which Portland doesn't have.

5.  The motorcycle cop who abruptly quit as police union president, Brian Hunzeker of Ridgefield, Washington, has now also resigned from the board of trustees of the police retirement fund. Hunzeker stepped down as union head following his unspecified "isolated, serious mistake" in connection with the slanderous accusation that city commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty was involved in a hit-and-run accident. The public, and even the police chief, are not entitled to know what Hunzeker did until the secret internal "investigation" is over.

Hunzeker may no longer be president of the police union or a trustee of the pension fund, but he's still a Portland cop. If he pulls you over and writes you a ticket, be sure to give him my best.

6. The absurd idea put forth by the city's three rookie City Council members – that two dozen new park rangers would somehow help with the city's gun violence epidemic – has been shot down as the foolishness that it is by one of the more experienced hands in park rangerhood. It's an instant flop. As are the trio of naifs who are floating it.

This has been your Portland law enforcement mayhem roundup for Tuesday, April 6. This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.


  1. I just had a flash thought that this is all a big plan to slow down people from coming to Portland as they now view it as too dangerous. Now we can get back to having Portland being cool again, right? Well....

    1. And yet construction continues, seemingly unabated. How many carless 23-year olds working on a laptop can afford 1.5-2k a month for a 400 sf studio? I don't get it.


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