A PoPo postcript

I was reading last week (in a nice Christmas news dump) that Portland City Hall is about to shell out $100,000 to a guy who was roughed up by the cops at the assembly point of a protest in late September of last year. The situation sounded familiar, and sure enough, I hit the archive button on this blog and saw that I had watched it happen on Twitter and blogged about it here.

That was one of the few nights that the cops showed up early enough to stop the demonstrators from getting totally out of control. I believe the black bloc-heads were heading toward the police union offices for the usual fires and vandalism. On this night, our fearless constables were having none of it.

Unfortunately, the Portland police can never quite get it right, and a few of their boys felt compelled to employ the old "That sign could be used as a weapon, so I'm taking it" approach. As I recall, the sign read something like "Register to Vote," which would have been quite ironic if it was in fact going to used as a weapon against the authorities. 

Anyway, when the demonstrator wouldn't hand it over, he got the usual beating, tackling, and macing. This is why people protest. And now he and his lawyers get a hundred grand. What the heck, it's only taxpayer money.

He said Officer Justin Damerville sprayed the pepper spray, and Officer Matthew Bigoni took him to the ground, according to the suit.

City attorneys initially responded to the lawsuit, saying the officers were authorized to temporarily seize the pole from Stoyanoff’s sign for safekeeping, citing it as a dangerous and deadly weapon.

They argued the police acted lawfully in responding to or attempting to prevent a civil commotion or riot, and that any harm caused to Stoyanoff was the result of his “own actions or inactions or was otherwise a result of his failure to mitigate damages,’’ deputy city attorney Mallory R. Beebe wrote in a response filed in court.

Ah, those city attorneys. Doing such a public service.

Anyway, in the jackass competition between the cops and the protesters, the cops moved ahead on that particular night. But in the end, I think it was draw. The losers were the rest of us.