Portland police should stop using pepper spray, rubber bullets, and horses to control crowds at First Amendment protests, according to a report issued on Tuesday, May 1 by the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center. The center—which was founded in 2005 using part of the city's $845,000 settlement stemming from excessive force complaints during the 2002 and 2003 anti-Bush/anti-war protests—is also calling for the cops to stop photographing and videotaping protestors and placing plainclothes officers in crowds during protests. MATT DAVIS
The April 26 "Last Thursday" event on NE Alberta ended with cops in riot gear, and a crowd throwing bottles.
As the crowd wound down after 10 pm, two cops stopped to break up a fight between a pair of men on NE 18th and Alberta.
According to police spokesperson Sgt. Brian Schmautz, one of the men ran when he saw the officers, while the other one stayed. When the man who stuck around did not respond to the officer's instructions, the cop Tasered him.
The officer set down his Taser to handcuff the man, and a bystander picked it up. "He was drunk and said he thought there was a gunshot, he didn't realize they [the officers] were police officers," Schmautz says. The arresting officer drew his gun on the man and instructed him to put down the Taser, which he did.
The crowd, some of which had witnessed what happened—and others who made their way over from elsewhere on Alberta—began throwing bottles at the officers, according to some witnesses." Police in riot gear arrived and the crowd dispersed. DANIEL SAVICKAS
On Wednesday, April 25, a legislative bill that would give same-sex couples all of the state-issued rights and responsibilities of civil marriage cleared another hurdle: The Senate Judiciary Committee sent it on to the Senate floor.
As we went to press, the Senate was preparing to debate on the measure Wednesday morning, May 2. If the bill passes there, Governor Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign it. AMY J. RUIZ