Potentially setting up a rare showdown over police accountability, the Portland Police Bureau is refusing to reconsider discipline for a veteran cop accused of violating bureau policy when he asked an African American man, during a pedestrian stop, if he was a pimp.
The city panel that presides over police discipline appeals, the Citizen Review Committee, had voted in August that senior commanders had erred when clearing then-Officer Todd Tackett of acting rudely during his 2012 stop of 62-year-old Floyd McCorvey.
The bureau answered the CRC in a letter to the city's Independent Police Review Division. (I've requested a copy.) The case comes back to the CRC this Wednesday for a "conference" hearing where the IPR staff, the CRC, the city, and the cops will all talk things out.
The Mercury first reported on McCorvey's story in May. McCorvey, a community volunteer, wasn't a pimp. And last summer, he filed a complaint against Tackett and trainee cop William Green. As I wrote this summer, after the CRC's 4-2 vote (and about the same time as Tackett, coincidentally, was promoted to sergeant):
He said Tackett and Green accosted him asked him if a nearby black woman he didn't know was his "whore," had him put his hands on his head, searched him, confiscated his pot pipe, mocked the Central City Concern apartment where he lives, and then let him go with the jaywalking citation. (A judge later convicted McCorvey of jaywalking.)
The city's Independent Police Review Division briefly investigated a charge of racial profiling before dropping it. The rudeness complaint was found "unproven." Tackett and Green were rapped for one offense—taking the clean pipe McCorvey said he used for medical marijuana and destroying it, without providing a receipt.
That wasn't good enough, however, for CRC members who found the bureau's investigation a bit troubling. Members seemed perplexed that Lieutenant Mike Fort, Tackett's supervisor, overlooked several instances in which Green and Tackett told investigators different stories, not to mention occasions when both contradicted what McCorvey said.