On a blitz tour last week, George W. Bush set foot in Oregon for the first time since the Presidential campaign. At Parkrose High School and Northeast Youth Opportunity Center, Bush tried to offer advice that would spark the region's sagging employment rates.
But the 300 protesters who gathered along the President's travel routes were more interested in voicing their opposition to ongoing bombing in Afghanistan. Chanting "vegan brownies and peace now," one group linked arms and pressed toward police barricades.
Several women dressed in pearls and veiled pillbox hats carried a sign that declared, "Billionaires for Bush" and "Profits Are Patriotic." With a white fur draped across her shoulders, one woman explained, "Without our war, you will have no jobs and you will starve like those silly Iraqi children." IAN THOMAS
Same As The Old?
Even before the city's new watchdog police group had heard its first case, naysayers complained that the Independent Police Review Division (IPR) was biased. After criticism for always siding with the police, PIIAC was replaced last fall. Last Friday, IPR was scheduled to hear its first cases.
But even before IPR could prove itself, Portland Copwatch, a self-appointed citizen watchdog group, maligned their process. Copwatch claimed that the nine-person panel that reviews alleged misconduct by officers was biased in their training and by the evidence they were presented. The reports given to IPR, the group said, present the person complaining as the wrongdoer, while also justifying the officer's behavior as "in-the-line-of-duty."
Although three cases were slated, discussion ran so long that only two were decided; both involved complaints about excessive force. One woman arrested for robbery complained that officers shot fist-sized bean bags to subdue her; the panel voted unanimously to dismiss the case. In the second case, a neighbor called the police after she saw a visibly intoxicated woman fall from her bike. It was early in the morning and the woman cracked her head on the pavement; she complained that the responding officer handled her too roughly. Members voted 7-2 to dismiss the case. PHIL BUSSE