Portland still has a sizable proportion of citizens who want to buy into the heroic fantasy that police have their back and care about their welfare. As a white woman, property owner, professional and boomer, I used to share that view. But the six decades of my life have shown me the reality, unsettling, disturbing, even terrible, that cops are a gang, a huge nationwide gang, and the few exceptions within their ranks are like my old inner city students, who had to give lip service to gangs out of fear. When cops start to stand up against their colleagues who beat, rape, defraud, humiliate, terrorize and murder citizens because they can, then they can say how demoralizing they find it that the public hates them. When cops live in our neighborhoods instead of their little conclaves, when they attend our parties and are not afraid to say what they do each day because they do good, then they can ask for our respect and sympathy. The reputation of cops is in the gutter. It is their own responsibility to pick it up and wash it offโ€”so Portland officials, get your lips off the cops' asses and admit the truth. Newspaper editors, stop propagandizing for corrupt, brutal people who are not the upstanding people you would like to believe they are.