The left newspapers might whine a bit
But the guys at the station they don't give a shit
Not great video quality, tough to see, but by the end it looks like the security guard was outnumbered 3 to 1.
Yes. Good job he picked up that skateboard and tried to whack the kid with it. Definitely within procedure, I'm sure.

Joking aside, one of the problems with these so-called "rent-a-cops" has always been that while some are armed, they have a "hands off" policy.

I have always argued that regular beat cops should patrol downtown, with the authority to place hands on troublemakers.

Rent-a-cops simply cause confusion and angst for everyone.
Those kids on that grainy already looked confused and angst ridden.
Amen to that. They make it really hard to determine where the public stops and the private begins. That looks like one guy hitting another guy in the face, as opposed to, you know, law and order and whatnot.
Most people are unaware the PCS management (and the private security personnel) assert that the square extends curb-to-curb, including what the public perceives to be "sidewalks" and "transit stops". In fact, while you may ride a skateboard on a city sidewalk, doing so on the "sidewalks" around PCS will get you in "trouble" with the security personnel.

The question is: If I go there with a camera and a monopod or tripod, which PCS also claims (but has failed to document for years now) is disallowed anywhere in the block, will security personnel beat me with it in an effort to convince me to discontinue usage of the camera support assistance device?

The last time I used a camera there, I was ordered to leave or risk arrest for "failure to comply with the orders of a park officer".

Last summer, I purchased a brick there, but when I went to visit it, it had been fenced in and covered over with tables and chairs for some future private event and I was unable to view it.
poor rent a cops... cant quite make it onto the force where they get the real toys- tazers and bean bag guns!
but poor us... a lot of them do
this is crazy!

Although, if you go to and watch the video (which is better quality) listen to the audio and slow the video down, you can see that the dude who gets hit by the guard hit him first with his skateboard.....seriously, slow it down and listen, you can hear the first hit from the skaters board and then the hit from the guard. Plus you can see the skaters board over his shoulder coming down then you can hear it hit.

Would be nice to see the whole video, cause you can hear a lady in the background at the very beginning of the video say, "that guy just hit the policeman." Makes me think the skaters were not as innocent as it may appear.

I go to the square almost everyday for lunch and have never had any issues or seen anything crazy like this...pretty crazy.

Just playing devil's advocate.
Ok, so I just watched this thing pretty closely (after reading that last comment), and here's my expert opinion: the rent-a-cops were definitely retaliating against something, probably being hit by the kid. When the officer-type swings the skateboard, it looks and sounds like he actually makes contact with another skateboard - being used as a shield by the kid. Notice a second board goes flying to the right after the cop(ish) takes the swing. Then the kid gets right up, unphased.

Conclusion: completely innapropriate response by the uniform, but he didn't actually hit the kid at all.
The board-hitting-another-board thing makes a lot more sense.
Skateboarding is not a crime! Unless you hit a rent a cop with your board when told you can't skate somewhere... After watching closely it does not appear that the rent a cop hit the skater kid in the face/over the head with his skateboard until after he is attacked.
I can't get too worked up over this - looks like the rentacop eventually lost his cool after trying to fight off a bunch of assholes. I'm sure I would have, too! I don't think I can root for either side, here.
Dear skaters, attack someone and expect to get your ass beat.

I agree that the Square should be patroled by real cops.
At minimum, the first thing the security guard should have done was to call a real cop. Tough to second guess in the heat of the moment, but it's a good CYA move any time something has (or is about to) escalate.

It seems pretty straightforward that private property can be patrolled by private security where public property should be patrolled by public security, though. Cops aren't perfect (duh) but they are a huge step up from the guy who keeps people from shoplifting at The Gap.

Plus, there's no way in hell that skater would have swung on an honest-to-god cop.
I had no idea they were using rent-a-cops. Why is the square not patrolled by actual police officers like the rest of downtown?
Matt, do you know if "Pioneer Courthouse Square security" is a stand-alone unit, or do they use clean&safe/whackenhut/securitas/etc?

Whomever viewed the video (especially the one on the site) and claims he/she saw the security guard outnumbered 3-to-1 and that the skateboarder who was hit actually hit the guard first is nuts. There are clearly multiple guards in the video, not just 1. I watched it probably 10 times and didn't see anything at all that suggested the kid who was hit swung first. As for the alleged "first hit from the skateboarder's board," where was the guard hit? I didn't heard the sound, but I didn't see any evidence that anyone hit the guard at all. It could've just been the other fighting going on between the OTHER guards and the kids. In fact, the only thing I thought was odd was that the kid hit was able to stand up at all, after being hit full force by some guy twice his size.

At the end of the day, even if the skateboarders had caused trouble by being there, what the guard did was a crime. He was clearly not acting in self-defense and committed a felony when he assaulted the kid with a deadly weapon (which, in this case, the skateboard was). He is very lucky that kid is alive. If he isn't prosecuted, a serious injustice will have occurred and I'm not sure any of us can ever feel safe from excessive force by those hired by the city to provide security.
Typo in my post above:

I heard the sound, but I didn't see any evidence that anyone hit the guard at all.
First, the idea that the kid struck first comes from the woman's voice in the video. She says "that kid hit the policeman." Doesn't prove anything, because the video starts at that moment and it the camera was pointed the wrong way. However, I think it's a believable scenario.

Second, read what I wrote earlier (this adresses your surprise at the kid being able to shake it off so quickly):
"When the officer-type swings the skateboard, it looks and sounds like he actually makes contact with another skateboard - being used as a shield by the kid. Notice a second board goes flying to the right after the cop(ish) takes the swing. Then the kid gets right up, unphased. "
I think this is super-clear in the vid. He didn't hit the kid in the head.

BUT -- I totally agree with your last paragraph.
I am not sure "the kid who hit the policeman" was actually the kid who was hit in the video, are you? I guess what I'm saying is that even if some other kid swung at him with a skateboard, he can't justifiably hit another kid with one in "self-defense."

Regarding whether the kid was actually hit or his skateboard was, I saw postings suggesting the kid's face was pretty torn up, which I doubt could happen if the board never made contact. Plus, he was knocked to the ground, which suggests he wasn't able to deflect the hit with his board.

Just my opinion (and one I hope the jury shares) - as I wasn't there.
Well, even if the kid was injured, I think his shield may have softened the blow, at least explaining why he didn't get knocked unconscious. Like I said, though, I totally agree that the rent-a-cop was out of control.

It would be great if KGW had some security cam footage of it from another angle. It looks like it happened right outside their door.
Fair point, and a good thought about KGW. I hope the DA's office gets that footage if it's available. It might clear up the controversy over whether the kid hit the guard first.
I used to work for the security company that handles PCS. It was then called Portland Patrol, but I think now it's called Pacific Patrol. To be honest, I'm surprised that this didn't happen years ago. This company hires almost anyone that comes in off the street, can pass a background check, and is willing to work for next to nothing. You don't get steak when you only want to pay for hot dogs. They give them the minimal amount of training possible, and send them out to fend for themselves, and make them money. The policy and law is that you have the right to defend yourself. The problem is that the security company hasn't trained the guards in how to do it properly. I now work in Seattle as a Fare Enforcement Officer on their new light rail system. My job is to check fares, and issue citations for $124.00 to those that haven't payed. I do get in to fights every now and then, but I'm trained by King County Sheriff in how to handle it the correct way. It's called Defensive Tactics. We work to restrain. Yes, it can become painful to the person being restrained if they want to fight more, but there is minimal impact injury. In this case, the guard was wrong for using the board to the kids head, regardless of if it actually hit or not. That is a lack of training. The use of force continuum says that you can legally use one level above that of what you are being attacked with. The guard could have used the board legally, just not in the cranial area or the torso. Arms and legs are legal. Next point: I did count three different guards in the video. The obvious first two, and then the third that jumps in. When you're in a fight like that, one guard stands aside and calls police, and then jumps in. Standard protocol. My guess is that police were called. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have no love for Portland Patrol. They are one of the worst employers I have ever had. I am hoping that this incident leads to better training for the officers that work for them. With that, everyone benefits, including the offenders.
Good post.
Portlands living room, All are welcome! (read the fine print).
Hey I am the guy in the video with the backpack, i saw the whole thing from start to finish, the first swing was done by the guard. who is also the same one who is swinging the skateboard. they were following three kids out of the park with a camera, they even followed them after they left the park and had started to cross the street, the kids were telling them to not take thier picture and when they continued to do so after they left the park the one kid turned around and extended his arms full length and pushed the guards camera down with his board. the guard immediatly ran at the kid and punched him in the face. Thats when the brawl started and YES the guard did hit the kid in the head. I watched it and if you notice in the video the kid puts his hand to his head when he gets back up. The first sound you hear before the guard swings was one of the other kids throwing his board to the ground to come to his friends defense.
the security guards down at pioner square go way to far.. one of them attcualy attacked me and my two year old, and when I called the cops they instantly sided with him and cited me!! coruption... good old boys in blue club...they need to be fired and replaced with people who know their place and violence should never be tollarated esspecialy form people like these security guards..
another victem of pioner squares security guards
I worked for PPS recently, and I'm very ashamed of what happened this particular night! Sad to say that i heard of the incident from a senior co-worker a year ago and he explained that the rules are vague on how to handle incidents when "officers" are struck first. It's a lesson learned for the company but unfortunately as long as security companies operate, these types of incidents will happen.

Skateboarders are one of the worse headaches for a company like PPS especially at the square since it's not allowed and they tend to circle around and do it again until they are satisfied. These officers have a job and rules to tend to and it doesn't help when you aren't given proper order or respect for that matter. No matter if you are a cop or a security guard, you obviously have a job to take care of and people should respect that and follow the rules as explained by all guards.

Kids want to have fun but these kids most likely have been told to skateboard elsewhere and decided to give it another try and were handled the inappropriate way. I do feel bad for the child who was struck and I'm sure it was a lesson learned as well.

I personally always hate working the Square since many incidents arise and people tend to be very rude about following the rules, rules which pertain to most other Portland City Parks. People should know that there's a security guard in place for a specific reasons who are contracted by the city to tend for the park. I'm not here to make excuses but this is a problem that needs to be solved soon or many more incidents will arise. Jobs are hard to come by and I had a 6 month period of joblessness after coming back from Afghanistan and then finally PPS was my chance to get back in the workforce and make a living.

PPS management along with other security firms need to properly train their personnel and explain to them thoroughly that "You will be yelled at, spit on, even beat up at some time while you are working here" and that you are expected to refrain from using any violence. Self defense, as many of the commentators claim, is not proper handle of the situation. Meaning that if the company wants to operate in the future, they will need to refrain from all violence at all times. Plain and simple or suits will follow!

PPS management needs to clean up their act and stop being so demanding of their employees, trust me they are, they even delay the one time raise on many occasions and really mistreat their workers who are relatively new to the workforce. There's a high turnover rate and so managements rarely cares nor appreciates hard work put in.

All in all, I didn't want to write this to infuriate anyone or anything, just stating some experiences and thought that could help Portland get its act together and become the peaceful city it is destined to be. I love the city and I admire the people!

Truly, Just another voice

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