One man repeatedly listed his problems--from being hog-tied at arrest to being told by an officer that "innocent until proven guilty is just a cliché."
The CRC's Outreach Chair, TJ Browning, told the crowd, "We're trying to give you what you want with citizen oversight. We've only been here one year, and we have so much to learn. But we're listening and taking baby steps."
The CRC was instated last July, when public outcry forced Mayor Katz to overhaul the previous police oversight committee. Despite the recent forums, critics are skeptical about whether the new board will be an improvement. In their upcoming policy recommendations, CRC says it plans to focus on the use of officer profanity, but made no mention of pepper spray. ANNA SIMON
WHO'S AFRAID NOW? A year after their first vigil, Portland Peaceful Response (PPR) once again hosted a weekly gathering at Pioneer Square. As usual, there were anti-war poetry readings. But this week also focused on what demonstrators called misguided efforts to fight terrorism--namely, the recent arrest of a local Islamic cleric. Two weeks ago, Sheik Mohamed Kariye was detained at the Portland Airport by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a collaborative effort between federal agents and local police. He was allegedly found in possession of forged documents.
In a press release, Tom Hastings, one of PPR's organizers, asked, "Is it merely coincidence that the Task Force is up for renewal at City Council next week?"
A suspicion is meandering through the city's activist groups that the Task Force's arrest may be an attempt to validate their existence. Although they have expanded from 11 to 40 members, until the arrest of Kariye, the only action by the Task Force over the past year was the detention of four environmental activists accused of arson. At 2 pm on Thursday, September 19, City Council will consider whether to renew the Task Force. PHIL BUSSE