Things Officer Kevin Macho has done in almost six years with the Portland Police Bureau: rescued a missing baby from the chill of an east Portland lawn; been named in a civil suit alleging he roughly handled a transgendered motorist in a 2008 traffic stop; and predicted a settlement between the city and the US Department of Justice over police abuses could cost officer lives.
Something he hasn't done: received a promotion.
Now, Macho's threatening to sue, the Mercury's learned. In a tort claim notice filed June 28, the East Precinct officer claims the police bureau's discriminated against him, citing its "continued failure to promote him above the rank of officer."
That failure, Macho's claim says, is due to "discrimination in favor of lesser-qualified females and others over white males, including Officer Macho, in promoting from within PPB ranks." The document notes: "PPB has repeatedly failed to promote Officer Macho above the rank of officer and has failed to promote Officer Macho from the 2012-2013 Promotional List."
Police Spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said he hadn't heard of the claim, a required procedural document for people planning to sue the city. Macho did not appear to have filed suit Thursday, and a message for his attorney hasn't been returned.
The "promotional list" Macho's tort claim cites is a roster the bureau cobbles together of people fit for promotion, based on written tests, interviews and, occasionally, skills tests, said Simpson, noting he didn't recall the exact procedure. He also said he couldn't provide specifics on short notice about any diversity policy the police bureau has.
"In general, the police bureau can't offer comment on a tort claim," Simpson said.
A lawsuit, if it's ever filed, would likely launch fresh debates about diversity in the police department. In 2011, the bureau received the city's "Diversity Champion Award" after hiring seven racial minorities in a crop of 33 recruits. The previous two years, the bureau had only one black officer—and no latino recruits—amid its 67 hires.
Here's a photo of Macho's (pronounced like Mocko, by the way) tort claim notice: