De facto Portland police strike enters third month

The Portland police have never struck me as model employees, but when the district attorney rightfully indicted one of them for a well-documented assault, they really became toxic. Since those charges came down in June, the cops have stopped working on a lot of important stuff. 

First, the rank-and-file declared that there wouldn't be a riot squad any more, as they all quit that detail. After whining about the disbanding of their gang squad, now they are refusing to sign up for the revival of that unit. They refuse to break up street violence that is terrorizing innocent people. They don't answer the phone. They won't work to keep the tent squatters in check, and of course, they haven't enforced traffic laws in years while the fatalities in that department have piled up.

The police are forbidden by law from striking, but what the Portland police are doing isn't too much different from what we'd get if they did formally walk out. They've got a union, and it doesn't matter what the elected officials say, the union always rules. They like to play military, but they don't follow orders.

You can see why people want to scrap the police bureau entirely and start with something else. But who's going to create that, Ted Wheeler and the City Council? Dream on.

Clean, safe Portland is over, and it ain't coming back for a while. Never, if the current dynamic with the cops isn't radically changed. Meanwhile, the work stoppage continues. As does the coverup of major misconduct, including malfeasance by the police union chief. It's a disgrace.


  1. You do have take into account that the DA is not indicting many crimes for political reasons. So the Police rightly are seeing the unfairness in the process- regardless of the strength of the case against the officer. Now is not the time to blame the police. It is the DA that has messed up this city far more than the cops.

    1. Yours is a minority view. The reason we have this DA is because the cops are so bad.


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