Jim Crow Justice

Dora McRae's long, and so far fruitless, road to justice takes its final turn on Wednesday when the Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee (PIIAC) will review her three-year-old story of police brutality. She claims she was dragged from her car and placed in "compliance holds" during a routine traffic stop.

Officer Timothy Musgrave claims to have felt so threatened by the 68-year-old African American woman that he used a restraining hold, causing her to lose consciousness. Several complaints have been filed against him in the past few years.

"Here we've got a woman, a grandmother, who for the past two years has had her life turned upside down and who has had expenses out of her pocket in an attempt to get justice," said Dave Mazza, chief petitioner of the Police Accountability Campaign 2002. "And she's still waiting to get some sort of justice."

Although PIIAC has a reputation for idleness, they have shown signs of life lately as they have come under scrutiny.

"If there is any value at all in this maybe it's in getting the black community a little more motivated to publicly bitch about this stuff," says Dave Park, McRae's attorney. RORY CARROLL

Parental Consent

This session Rep. Bill Witt (R-Cedar Mill), a lawyer, devout Christian and president of his own corporation, has resurrected the notion that parents must be notified in the case of abortions. Making its third appearance in as many legislative sessions, HB 2071 already has passed twice, only to be vetoed by Kitzhaber.

Witt points out that he is not attacking the legality of abortion but believes the bill would merely "help families be families." Witt rejects as a "scare tactic" any contention that mandatory parental consent might endanger the lives of young women by forcing them into back-alley abortions.

Kathleen Sullivan, executive director for Oregon's chapter of NARAL, explains that 75 percent of girls who become pregnant do seek parental guidance--the remaining do not "for very good reasons."

Witt also has signed his name to HB 2769, which allows prosecution for homicide against anyone performing or undergoing an abortion. BRAHMANI HOUSTON