In March 1981, Portland police officers grotesquely killed several possums, then threw their dead bodies at a black-owned restaurant in North Portland in a sickening display of violence meant to terrorize a community. That was then. This is now. And nothing’s changed.
In recent days, numerous Portland Police Bureau officers have taken to social media to show their support for killer cop Darren Wilson, who in August executed an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. For anyone still believing Portland is somehow different, somehow immune from the racist institution that is law enforcement, here’s your wake up call.
Nobody should be surprised that a ‘Support Darren Wilson‘ Facebook page quickly garnered almost 100,000 followers, or that the bulk of its comments revolve around religious deities protecting killer cops from justice. Nobody should have been surprised that a fundraising effort for Darren Wilson – who has yet to be charged with a crime 100 days after his lethal act – was able to raise over half a million dollars.
But now we see, finally, the extent of hatred and callousness within our own local police force. It’s entirely evident Black Lives don’t matter within the Portland Police Bureau.
— Hart Noecker (@HartNoecker) November 24, 2014
Officer Richard Storm also has a history of violating people’s rights and bashing in the faces of people of color. As reported in the Willamette Week, on May 5th, 2011 Officer Storm approached Fausto Brambila-Naranjo for the suspicious activity of “standing in the rain“.
After a verbal exchange and take-down, Storm proceeded to beat Fausto, striking him between “seven to ten times in the face.”
A Department of Justice report stated Storm had no cause to punch Fausto, finding that, “Whatever threat the officer perceived was largely mitigated once he forced him to the ground, before [Storm] repeatedly punched
the subject [Fausto Brambila-Naranjo] in the face.”
Officer Rob Blanck, whose Facebook avatar had previously displayed his support for Darren Wilson, was recently changed to an image of civil rights activist and Baptist minister Al Sharpton who has been outspoken about the slaying of Mike Brown.
Sharpton is routinely mocked in white supremacist circles for opposing police violence and systemic racism. Officer Blanck has previously gone on record to cite his contempt for the LGBTQ community for their “deviant” lifestyles.
This kind of perverse bigotry has no place in any community, especially among those permitted to carry deadly weapons in their execution of the law. Witnessing this support for a killer cop with possible connections to the Ku Klux Klan should sicken and outrage every Portlander who cares about justice.
Regardless of the grand jury ruling regarding Darren Wilson, the disturbing attitudes harbored within law enforcement aren’t going away. We’ve seen our own killer cops walk free on paid leave, only to be reinstated. We’ve seen how the police are un-reformable as an institution.
Now we see just how disgusting Portland’s own police bureau remains. The grand jury’s ruling will be announced in a matter of days.
See you in the streets.