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Old 03-19-09, 06:38 PM   #1
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"Police Acted Like 'Nazis'"

St. Johns woman tells jury that police acted like 'Nazis'
by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
Thursday March 19, 2009, 9:51 AM


Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian
Freedom Child, 57, outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland where she is suing two police officers for violating her civil rights.


Week after week, Freedom Child tried to relay her complaints about two Portland police officers to the city. She told her story in three-minute increments over 12 City Council meetings, addressing Mayor Vera Katz, then Tom Potter in the brief time allowed for public comments.

So this week, when Child took the witness stand and spent more than an hour recounting what she says happened to her Aug. 6, 2003, to an attentive federal jury -- many jotting notes -- she said she felt a "kind of relief inside me."

Child, 57, a gray-haired woman wearing wire-rimmed reading glasses, swiveled in her chair to talk directly to jurors. She explained why she was suing the officers: "They have never been held accountable in any way."

Child's testimony came during a three-day trial in which she accused two Portland officers of violating her civil rights.

She testified that they acted like "Nazis" who frightened her by rolling up to her at night in an unmarked, dark brown car, asked questions without identifying themselves and then "violently ripped" her out of her house by her hair to take her to jail. She was charged with riding a bike at night without lights and interfering with an officer. She was found guilty of the bike offense but acquitted of interfering in state court.

The city disputed her account. Deputy City Attorney James Rice characterized Child as someone who refused to take responsibility for her bike light violation, was out to sue the police from the get-go and was an unreliable witness because she was hysterical at the scene. "They seized her because she ran; that's their job," Rice said of the officers.

The eight jurors began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon and will continue this morning.

Child's lawyer, Steven Sherlag, said the encounter could have been resolved had Officers Jason Harris and Jeffrey Dorn simply reassured Child with an "It's OK, ma'am. We're the police," and cited her for the bike violation. But he added, "They were not acting like police at all."

Sherlag pointed out inaccuracies and omissions in the officers' police reports. Neither wrote that they were riding in an unmarked car, and each said they put the "overhead" emergency lights on to stop Child. There were no overhead lights on the unmarked car. Child, her roommate and two neighbors also testified they never saw any flashing lights. Dorn testified that he tugged Child's hair to take her into custody but didn't include that in his report.

"It really is a simple case, or it should have been. It became complicated when they treated Ms. Child like a criminal when they had no evidence," Sherlag said. "We all make mistakes, but we fix them and undo those harms. Instead, they've done everything they can to cover it up."

During the trial, Child said she had lights on her bike but forgot to turn them on. After volunteering at the Community Cycling Center, she rode the bus home most of the way, getting off with her bike three blocks from her St. Johns house. Child said she couldn't tell who was in the dark car that rolled up to her about 9:30 p.m. By then, she was walking on the sidewalk with her bike. "The man at the wheel looks at me and says 'Hey, where you going?' " Child testified. "It was freaky, kind of creepy. I thought there's a man following me. I just kept walking."

She said she ignored the driver and kept walking. The driver asked, "Do you live here?" She said when she was at her front yard, she turned and said, "Yeah I live here. Who are you and what do you want?" She said they shined a light on her and her house. When she saw the car doors open, she ran to her front door.

Both officers testified they were concerned about car prowlers in the area. Although they acknowledged they did not identify themselves as police at first, Harris said he quickly did after she asked who they were. The officers were in uniform.

They said Child told them she didn't like the police and ran to her porch. Harris testified that he yelled at Child to stop, that she was under arrest. He said he ran after her and grabbed one of her arms. Dorn said he tried grabbing Child's other arm as she clung to the doorjamb but then did a "very quick tug" on her hair to overcome her resistance without harming her. In his police report, Dorn checked a box indicating that Child did not resist arrest.

Neighbor Audrey Christina said she heard a "scream of terror," and called9-1-1, saying a woman was in trouble. A dispatcher told her, "It's being taken care of."

While cuffed in the back of the unmarked car, Child testified that one of the officers ridiculed her name. On the way to jail, she said she complained about the vulgar music blaring from the police radio. The officers said that didn't occur.

Sherlag argued that officers should have cited and released Child because they had "reasonably established" her identity by her valid driver's license. Harris, though, said it's his policy to book suspects who don't have photos in the police database in order to get their mug shots and fingerprints taken.

Harris and Dorn both testified they never received any suggestions from supervisors on how they might have handled the encounter differently. The two officers said they would approach the situation the same today as they did five years ago.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:40 PM   #2
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Federal jury rules Portland police did not violate woman's rights
by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
Thursday March 19, 2009, 2:03 PM


Ross William Hamilton
Freedom Child, 57, outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland where she is suing two police officers for violating her civil rights.


A federal jury Thursday found in favor of two Portland officers, determining they used reasonable force in their arrest and detention of a St. Johns woman who was riding her bike at night without a light on Aug. 6, 2003.

Freedom Child, the 57-year-old woman who brought the civil rights suit, said she was stunned by the verdict.

"I can hardly talk right now. It's so disturbing," Child said.

Deputy City Attorney James Rice said afterwards, "They didn't prove their case."

Child, 57, filed the civil rights lawsuit after her complaint to the city's formal police oversight system, the Independent Police Review Division, was largely dismissed without any formal interviews of Child or other witnesses, and she had no avenue to appeal.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta had instructed the jury that a verdict in favor of the plaintiff had to be unanimous. They had to show the officers deprived Child of her constitutional rights by a "preponderance of the evidence," which the judge explained as a "more probably true than not true" standard.

In her lawsuit, Child had accused the officers of using excessive force, unlawfully arresting and detaining her and malicious prosecution. She was arrested for riding without a bike light and interfering with police, but acquitted of the interfering charge in state court. She sought about $100,000 in non-economic damages, citing her loss of security, trauma and fear, and $1 million in punitive damages.

The jury considered each allegation, and found in favor of the officers.

During closing arguments, Child's lawyer Steve Sherlag argued that Officers Jason Harris and Jeffrey Dorn lied in court, in their written police reports and in depositions about what occurred that summer night. "They can't keep the truth straight. They were lying again, and again and again. It's embarrassing. You shouldn't tolerate it. We deserve better."

Rice said police acted reasonably to stop a person who had been bike riding in the dark at night. "It's not only against the law, it's dangerous," he said. Rice also called Child an unreliable witness who was out to sue the police from the moment she was placed in the back of their police car. "She's been gaming the system from the very day she sat in that car."

During a cross-examination by the city attorney, Child admitted threatening to sue the officers when she sat handcuffed in the rear seat of the unmarked police car. "What do you want me to say, thank you?"

Child admitted she had been riding her bike without a light about three blocks from her home. About 9:30 p.m., she said she noticed a dark, unmarked brown car sitting at a stop sign, and then it rolled up to her as she was by then walking her bike on the sidewalk.

She said the driver asked, "Hey, where you going?" without identifying himself. She testified she felt a strange man was following her, tried to ignore him and continued to walk towards her home.

She said the car continued to roll alongside her, and the driver then asked, "Do you live here?" As she made it to the front yard of her home, she said she turned towards the car and said she did live there, "Who are you and what do you want?"

She said she ran towards her porch when the car doors opened, and that's when the officers chased her, and yanked her from her house, one grabbing her arm and the other her hair, before handcuffing her and taking her to jail.

The officers admitted they did not identify themselves as police during their first contact with Child, but Harris testified he identified himself as police soon afterward and told her to stop.

The officers said Child told them she didn't like the police and ran towards her porch. The officers said they ran after her. Harris said he grabbed her by one arm, and Dorn said he did a "very quick tug" on a handful of her hair to take her into custody.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:43 PM   #3
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The first article in the series:



Arrested cyclist takes two Portland officers to trial
by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
Monday March 16, 2009, 9:24 PM

A 57-year-old woman who was arrested on her front porch six years ago for riding a bicycle home without lights is suing two Portland police officers in U.S. District Court, saying they violated her civil rights.

Freedom Child, a St. Johns resident, said she is making it a federal case because the city failed to investigate when she filed a complaint about her treatment in 2003.

"It was like I was treated as if I were a bank robber," said Child, a legal assistant for the Portland firm Du Val Business Law. "I'm a little old for this."

Police say Child ignored their requests to stop after they saw her riding in the street without lights. They say when she ran to a house, they chased her down and took her into custody on her porch using reasonable force.

According to opening statements Monday, Child was heading home around 10 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2003, after volunteering with the Community Cycling Center. She noticed a dark sedan sitting at a stop sign. The strange car started to follow her and pulled up beside her. By then she had moved to the sidewalk and started walking with the bike, which was adorned with streamers and butterfly wings.

Her attorney said she wasn't sure who was following her. He said when she asked, she got no reply, except creepy questions, such as, "Do you live here?" She was afraid, he said.

As she approached her home, she ran to her front door. She contends Officers Jason Harris and Jeffrey Dorn jumped out of the unmarked police car and grabbed her by her arms and hair at her door. She says they needlessly arrested her, taking her to the downtown jail where she was booked.

According to Deputy City Attorney James Rice, one officer did a "quick tug" on her hair because he was worried he would hurt her by grabbing her arm because it was so thin.

Child was charged with failure to ride her bike with a light and interfering with an officer. She challenged the charges and was convicted of riding without a light but acquitted of interfering with an officer. She also filed a complaint with the Independent Police Review Division, but it was treated as a service complaint at North Precinct. Child says she was never interviewed, nor were any neighborhood witnesses or the officers involved, and no discipline resulted.

Because the complaint was treated as a so-called service complaint, she couldn't appeal it to a panel of citizens, the Citizen Review Committee. Calling the complaint process ineffective, she's now in federal court, accusing the officers of violating her civil rights through use of excessive force, unreasonable seizure of her and her bike, falsifying police reports and malicious prosecution.

Harris testified that he and his partner were riding in an unmarked brown Crown Victoria when they noticed a bicyclist riding on North Smith Street by Tioga. Harris testified that he told the bicyclist to stop, but said he wasn't sure he used the word "police" at first.

He testified he had the car's emergency lights on the entire time he was talking to the woman, and that she replied, "No, I don't have to, why?" He said he kept ordering her to "stop," and when she ran to a house, he ran after her yelling, "You're under arrest, stop, police." He said he grabbed her left wrist, and she tried to hit his hand, as Dorn ran to help handcuff her.

"She went limp, like passive resistance," Harris testified. The two officers then carried her to the police car.

Child's roommate, William Pope, and her landlady, Helen Wilhelm, who lives nearby, both testified they never saw any flashing emergency lights on the unmarked car. They also said they didn't hear any commands from police before they heard a piercing scream, which they later learned was coming from Child as she was handcuffed. Child's attorney, Steven Sherlag, pointed out that Harris wrote in his police report that he put his "overhead lights" on, although his unmarked car didn't have them overhead. Harris also didn't mention in the report that he was in an unmarked car.

So, why not just cite the woman for riding without a light and be on their way? Sherlag asked Harris. Sherlag noted that police found identification in Child's wallet, and her landlady and roommate confirmed her identity.

Harris replied that he was unsure of her identity because she had no mug shot on file with police, and that he took her to the downtown jail to have her mug shot and fingerprints taken. He seized her bike as evidence. She was booked into jail and released at 2:30 a.m.

Child will be called to the witness stand today.
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Old 03-19-09, 07:27 PM   #4
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"Freedom Child"? Is that really her name?
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Old 03-19-09, 07:36 PM   #5
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St. Johns woman tells jury that police acted like 'Nazis'
by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
Thursday March 19, 2009, 9:51 AM


Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian
Freedom Child, 57, outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland where she is suing two police officers for violating her civil rights.


Week after week, Freedom Child tried to relay her complaints about two Portland police officers to the city. She told her story in three-minute increments over 12 City Council meetings, addressing Mayor Vera Katz, then Tom Potter in the brief time allowed for public comments.

So this week, when Child took the witness stand and spent more than an hour recounting what she says happened to her Aug. 6, 2003, to an attentive federal jury -- many jotting notes -- she said she felt a "kind of relief inside me."

Child, 57, a gray-haired woman wearing wire-rimmed reading glasses, swiveled in her chair to talk directly to jurors. She explained why she was suing the officers: "They have never been held accountable in any way."

Child's testimony came during a three-day trial in which she accused two Portland officers of violating her civil rights.

She testified that they acted like "Nazis" who frightened her by rolling up to her at night in an unmarked, dark brown car, asked questions without identifying themselves and then "violently ripped" her out of her house by her hair to take her to jail. She was charged with riding a bike at night without lights and interfering with an officer. She was found guilty of the bike offense but acquitted of interfering in state court.

The city disputed her account. Deputy City Attorney James Rice characterized Child as someone who refused to take responsibility for her bike light violation, was out to sue the police from the get-go and was an unreliable witness because she was hysterical at the scene. "They seized her because she ran; that's their job," Rice said of the officers.

The eight jurors began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon and will continue this morning.

Child's lawyer, Steven Sherlag, said the encounter could have been resolved had Officers Jason Harris and Jeffrey Dorn simply reassured Child with an "It's OK, ma'am. We're the police," and cited her for the bike violation. But he added, "They were not acting like police at all."

Sherlag pointed out inaccuracies and omissions in the officers' police reports. Neither wrote that they were riding in an unmarked car, and each said they put the "overhead" emergency lights on to stop Child. There were no overhead lights on the unmarked car. Child, her roommate and two neighbors also testified they never saw any flashing lights. Dorn testified that he tugged Child's hair to take her into custody but didn't include that in his report.

"It really is a simple case, or it should have been. It became complicated when they treated Ms. Child like a criminal when they had no evidence," Sherlag said. "We all make mistakes, but we fix them and undo those harms. Instead, they've done everything they can to cover it up."

During the trial, Child said she had lights on her bike but forgot to turn them on. After volunteering at the Community Cycling Center, she rode the bus home most of the way, getting off with her bike three blocks from her St. Johns house. Child said she couldn't tell who was in the dark car that rolled up to her about 9:30 p.m. By then, she was walking on the sidewalk with her bike. "The man at the wheel looks at me and says 'Hey, where you going?' " Child testified. "It was freaky, kind of creepy. I thought there's a man following me. I just kept walking."

She said she ignored the driver and kept walking. The driver asked, "Do you live here?" She said when she was at her front yard, she turned and said, "Yeah I live here. Who are you and what do you want?" She said they shined a light on her and her house. When she saw the car doors open, she ran to her front door.

Both officers testified they were concerned about car prowlers in the area. Although they acknowledged they did not identify themselves as police at first, Harris said he quickly did after she asked who they were. The officers were in uniform.

They said Child told them she didn't like the police and ran to her porch. Harris testified that he yelled at Child to stop, that she was under arrest. He said he ran after her and grabbed one of her arms. Dorn said he tried grabbing Child's other arm as she clung to the doorjamb but then did a "very quick tug" on her hair to overcome her resistance without harming her. In his police report, Dorn checked a box indicating that Child did not resist arrest.

Neighbor Audrey Christina said she heard a "scream of terror," and called9-1-1, saying a woman was in trouble. A dispatcher told her, "It's being taken care of."

While cuffed in the back of the unmarked car, Child testified that one of the officers ridiculed her name. On the way to jail, she said she complained about the vulgar music blaring from the police radio. The officers said that didn't occur.

Sherlag argued that officers should have cited and released Child because they had "reasonably established" her identity by her valid driver's license. Harris, though, said it's his policy to book suspects who don't have photos in the police database in order to get their mug shots and fingerprints taken.

Harris and Dorn both testified they never received any suggestions from supervisors on how they might have handled the encounter differently. The two officers said they would approach the situation the same today as they did five years ago.
Typical antagonistic behavior by, civil servants who think the only way to get around, is by vehicle.
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Old 03-19-09, 07:39 PM   #6
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So are you now going to claim there is de facto law ‘that citizens must have a mug shot and finger prints on file with the police’, if they wish to avoid custodial arrest and confiscation of their bicycle, if they commit a simply traffic infraction?

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Harris replied that he was unsure of her identity because she had no mug shot on file with police, and that he took her to the downtown jail to have her mug shot and fingerprints taken. He seized her bike as evidence. She was booked into jail and released at 2:30 a.m.
Having the name "Freedom Child" and immediately telling the cops she was going to sue them, probably did her case in.
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Old 03-19-09, 07:50 PM   #7
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So are you now going to claim there is de facto law ‘that citizens must have a mug shot and finger prints on file with the police’, if they wish to avoid custodial arrest and confiscation of their bicycle, if they commit a simply traffic infraction?
Nope.

I'm highlighting it because I think it's disturbing that not having a mug shot and fingerprints on file means a trip downtown, even when you do have ID.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:08 PM   #8
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Nope.

I'm highlighting it because I think it's disturbing that not having a mug shot and fingerprints on file means a trip downtown, even when you do have ID.
Agreed.

Clearly both sides were ill behaved during this incident, but the reasoning for taking Freedom Child downtown does add up to a civil rights violation.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:23 PM   #9
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Agreed.

Clearly both sides were ill behaved during this incident, but the reasoning for taking Freedom Child downtown does add up to a civil rights violation.
One of the problems with this case is it's not clear whether the police ever identified themselves or not. If you believe Freedom Child's testimony, they never identified themselves. And if that's true, who could blame her for trying to get in the house, once they started to exit the car? If you believe the cop's testimony, she said "I don't like police." Maybe, but do people really say things like that when the cops are ordering you to stop? Maybe, but I'm skeptical.

One of them is lying. One thing we do know, the cops lied about other parts of their testimony, so I'm not so inclined to believe that she said "I don't like cops" while they were giving her a lawful order. It's just a little too "neat." Maybe it happened that way, but the police don't help their credibility any when there are what could at best be characterized as "inaccuracies" in their report.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:35 PM   #10
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I don't care if she did say she didn't like cops. From the article, at that point I don't believe that she knew they were real cops. I believe her version of the story since theirs has blatant falsehoods. From their behavior, she could easily have said she believed she was about to be sexually assaulted. If it were me I'd figure I was being robbed.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:21 PM   #11
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Still living in the 60's. I'm always amazed, amused really, at the endless line of sidewalk attorneys that were neither there at the time of the incident nor in the court to hear all the evidence. For sure she tells the truth...after all we all know the media never slants a story.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:53 PM   #12
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Considering Freedom Child admitted in open court that she was riding with her light off,

Considering that Freedom Child's neighbors confirm parts of her story, contradict none of her story and do contradict the police report,

Considering the police contradict themselves between the reports they submitted and their sworn court testimony,

I believe Freedom Child and do not believe much of anything the cops are saying.

Any cop that truly believes anyone that does not have a mug shot and fingerprints on file, should be taken into custodial arrest and held in a holding cell for a simply traffic infraction is totally screwed up.

Note that she was acquitted of "interfering with an officer".
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Old 03-19-09, 11:20 PM   #13
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considering freedom child admitted in open court that she was riding with her light off,

considering that freedom child's neighbors confirm parts of her story, contradict none of her story and do contradict the police report,

considering the police contradict themselves between the reports they submitted and their sworn court testimony,

i believe freedom child and do not believe much of anything the cops are saying.

any cop that truly believes anyone that does not have a mug shot and fingerprints on file, should be taken into custodial arrest and held in a holding cell for a simply traffic infraction is totally screwed up.

note that she was acquitted of "interfering with an officer".
+1
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Old 03-20-09, 12:05 AM   #14
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Considering Freedom Child admitted in open court that she was riding with her light off,

Considering that Freedom Child's neighbors confirm parts of her story, contradict none of her story and do contradict the police report,

Considering the police contradict themselves between the reports they submitted and their sworn court testimony,

I believe Freedom Child and do not believe much of anything the cops are saying.

Any cop that truly believes anyone that does not have a mug shot and fingerprints on file, should be taken into custodial arrest and held in a holding cell for a simply traffic infraction is totally screwed up.

Note that she was acquitted of "interfering with an officer".
Yep, that's how I see it.
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Old 03-20-09, 11:20 AM   #15
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Typical antagonistic behavior by, civil servants who think the only way to get around, is by vehicle.
The real shock is that she was on a sidewalk at the time, walking up to her house. That just baffles the mind.

I gotta wonder about "Freedom Child." You'd think "child of the '60s" or something... but at 57 years old... no way... she must have changed her name along the way.

But still, how about just a bit of LEO common sense... little gray haired lady??? Com'on!

Obviously a terrorist, eh?
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Old 03-20-09, 11:29 AM   #16
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But still, how about just a bit of LEO common sense... little gray haired lady??? Com'on!
Like the Na...er, cop said, she didn't have a mug shot or fingerprints on file, so that means you've got to take her downtown, because everybody should have a mug shot and fingerprints on file.

Of course, he could have used some common sense, like you said, and either left her alone, or identified himself as a police officer and issued a citation for riding without lights.

But that wouldn't get that police state database built up...
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Old 03-20-09, 02:58 PM   #17
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It's good to know the cops are keeping the little old ladies in line.
I know I'll sleep safer tonight.
How do these little bully boys show their faces to their mothers now?
What an embarrasment.
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Old 03-20-09, 03:10 PM   #18
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Nope.

I'm highlighting it because I think it's disturbing that not having a mug shot and fingerprints on file means a trip downtown, even when you do have ID.

+1 I guess a drivers license is not worth the plastic it is printed on. That is messed up.
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Old 03-20-09, 11:42 PM   #19
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When I was about 12, I was accused and harassed by cops for burning down an old house on our land. They would wait until my mother had gone in the car and then come and force me into the back seat of their car and blow cigar smoke in my face trying to get me to confess to something I didn't do. Had they asked me who might have done it, I could have told them who the local troublemakers were (and I would have been right). As a naive farm boy, I was the only one punished because when they caught the ones who did it, nothing came of it. It made a very large impression on me and although I have never been it trouble with the law, I think they are Nazis for the most part- who else but a control freak would want that job?
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Old 03-26-09, 02:11 AM   #20
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oregonlive editorial on the police
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Old 03-28-09, 06:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
St. Johns woman tells jury that police acted like 'Nazis'
by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
Thursday March 19, 2009, 9:51 AM


Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian
Freedom Child, 57, outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland where she is suing two police officers for violating her civil rights.


Week after week, Freedom Child tried to relay her complaints about two Portland police officers to the city. She told her story in three-minute increments over 12 City Council meetings, addressing Mayor Vera Katz, then Tom Potter in the brief time allowed for public comments.

So this week, when Child took the witness stand and spent more than an hour recounting what she says happened to her Aug. 6, 2003, to an attentive federal jury -- many jotting notes -- she said she felt a "kind of relief inside me."

Child, 57, a gray-haired woman wearing wire-rimmed reading glasses, swiveled in her chair to talk directly to jurors. She explained why she was suing the officers: "They have never been held accountable in any way."

Child's testimony came during a three-day trial in which she accused two Portland officers of violating her civil rights.

She testified that they acted like "Nazis" who frightened her by rolling up to her at night in an unmarked, dark brown car, asked questions without identifying themselves and then "violently ripped" her out of her house by her hair to take her to jail. She was charged with riding a bike at night without lights and interfering with an officer. She was found guilty of the bike offense but acquitted of interfering in state court.

The city disputed her account. Deputy City Attorney James Rice characterized Child as someone who refused to take responsibility for her bike light violation, was out to sue the police from the get-go and was an unreliable witness because she was hysterical at the scene. "They seized her because she ran; that's their job," Rice said of the officers.

The eight jurors began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon and will continue this morning.

Child's lawyer, Steven Sherlag, said the encounter could have been resolved had Officers Jason Harris and Jeffrey Dorn simply reassured Child with an "It's OK, ma'am. We're the police," and cited her for the bike violation. But he added, "They were not acting like police at all."

Sherlag pointed out inaccuracies and omissions in the officers' police reports. Neither wrote that they were riding in an unmarked car, and each said they put the "overhead" emergency lights on to stop Child. There were no overhead lights on the unmarked car. Child, her roommate and two neighbors also testified they never saw any flashing lights. Dorn testified that he tugged Child's hair to take her into custody but didn't include that in his report.

"It really is a simple case, or it should have been. It became complicated when they treated Ms. Child like a criminal when they had no evidence," Sherlag said. "We all make mistakes, but we fix them and undo those harms. Instead, they've done everything they can to cover it up."

During the trial, Child said she had lights on her bike but forgot to turn them on. After volunteering at the Community Cycling Center, she rode the bus home most of the way, getting off with her bike three blocks from her St. Johns house. Child said she couldn't tell who was in the dark car that rolled up to her about 9:30 p.m. By then, she was walking on the sidewalk with her bike. "The man at the wheel looks at me and says 'Hey, where you going?' " Child testified. "It was freaky, kind of creepy. I thought there's a man following me. I just kept walking."

She said she ignored the driver and kept walking. The driver asked, "Do you live here?" She said when she was at her front yard, she turned and said, "Yeah I live here. Who are you and what do you want?" She said they shined a light on her and her house. When she saw the car doors open, she ran to her front door.

Both officers testified they were concerned about car prowlers in the area. Although they acknowledged they did not identify themselves as police at first, Harris said he quickly did after she asked who they were. The officers were in uniform.

They said Child told them she didn't like the police and ran to her porch. Harris testified that he yelled at Child to stop, that she was under arrest. He said he ran after her and grabbed one of her arms. Dorn said he tried grabbing Child's other arm as she clung to the doorjamb but then did a "very quick tug" on her hair to overcome her resistance without harming her. In his police report, Dorn checked a box indicating that Child did not resist arrest.

Neighbor Audrey Christina said she heard a "scream of terror," and called9-1-1, saying a woman was in trouble. A dispatcher told her, "It's being taken care of."

While cuffed in the back of the unmarked car, Child testified that one of the officers ridiculed her name. On the way to jail, she said she complained about the vulgar music blaring from the police radio. The officers said that didn't occur.

Sherlag argued that officers should have cited and released Child because they had "reasonably established" her identity by her valid driver's license. Harris, though, said it's his policy to book suspects who don't have photos in the police database in order to get their mug shots and fingerprints taken.

Harris and Dorn both testified they never received any suggestions from supervisors on how they might have handled the encounter differently. The two officers said they would approach the situation the same today as they did five years ago.
as usual, another left wing Oregon nutcase run amok.
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Old 03-28-09, 06:34 PM   #22
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considering freedom child admitted in open court that she was riding with her light off,

considering that freedom child's neighbors confirm parts of her story, contradict none of her story and do contradict the police report,

considering the police contradict themselves between the reports they submitted and their sworn court testimony,

i believe freedom child and do not believe much of anything the cops are saying.

any cop that truly believes anyone that does not have a mug shot and fingerprints on file, should be taken into custodial arrest and held in a holding cell for a simply traffic infraction is totally screwed up.

note that she was acquitted of "interfering with an officer".
+2.
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Old 03-28-09, 06:47 PM   #23
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All I want is for her to get a name change, ugh.
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Old 03-28-09, 07:06 PM   #24
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Wow. Godwin's Law in court.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-28-09, 08:39 PM   #25
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Wow

What a dangerous old lady.
I wonder how those officers would feel if their grandma was treated the same way?

Last edited by BikinChris; 03-28-09 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Stupid typo
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