The Secret Weapon

A Tough New Police Policy Targets the Homeless. Why Doesn't Anyone Know About It?


"Now, instead of citing people for these nuisance crimes, cops can simply issue a warning and place the offender on a list. If an officer catches the same person, say, littering again a day or week or month later, that person will be charged with "interfering with a peace officer," a class A misdemeanor, along with the original nuisance offense."

So being caught littering more than once = "interfering with a peace officer"?

Give me a fucking break.
"Until last year, prosecutors say, crimes of littering, public intoxication, and public urination carried little consequence."

Sounds like something we should fix.

"The policy—currently limited to downtown and the Lloyd District—"should serve to make Portland less attractive to people who want to come here and openly violate the law and degrade community livability,"

Cool. Keep it up guys!
Sticks are necessary, carrots are superior.

It'd be nice if this country got it together.
There would be zero problem with the homeless in Portland if the homeless policed themselves better, as they do in other cities. I've lived side by side with poor people for decades, most are cool, I've shared their struggles being poor myself, but there's always d-bags, like Mr. Skateboard headbanger, who ruin it for everyone. I regularly told the winos in my old neighborhood, you can drink outside my apt. building as long as you don't swear loudly, leave the women and children coming in and out alone and stop pissing on the building. Most of them abided by this. I even used to pay a homeless guy to pick up empty cans and bottles and he was a very gracious old man, a Vietnam vet who simply never recovered from the war. But there's always a few jerks who are crude, violent and uncaring and I chased them away with no uncertain indication they were toast if they stuck around. If the "travelers" would simply stop acting like this city owes them something and start doing things like getting the heck outta the way of people when they're going about their business, maybe even offering to sweep the outside of a storefront once in a while instead of taking a shit on it, things would cool off. I've lived in NYC, Austin, LA and other cities and have never seen so many homeless people with no clue as to how to co-exist with others as I have in Portland. I understand why people become homeless and have even occasionally worked in a shelter. I even spent several months on the street on and off myself, but always offered to work for my supper, by mowing lawns, doing dishes, whatever it took. But I have to say Portland seems to attract the kind of homeless people that are so self-involved they make me almost wish we could have the sit-lie law again. I didn't support it, but I'm so sick of the b.s. excuses people who don't actually have to work or live around these people make in this town it's enough to make me want it to come back. What's even more frustrating is I know my rant will have zero impact on this, and we'll continue to have these ACLU type suburbanites who've never been knifed in a street fight squaring off against bullheaded trigger-happy cops who don't know how to treat people decently. The truth lies in the middle, not in the equally brain-dead attitudes "activists" and "officials" have. It's like Portland deliberately attracts the most clueless kind of liberals and conservatives and then says, "Let's see what happens when we put people who don't understand everyone, rich and poor alike, has to be mannerly, together."
I'm sorry, but if you can't see this as anything less than a tool for cops to harrass anyone they don't like the look of- homeless or otherwise- then you are most likely a fucking snob yuppie douche who just can't stand those pesky homeless people who beg for your change after you buy that $6.00 latte from Starbucks on the way to your soul-sucking corporate cubicle.

If you also cannot see the massive rise in police brutality and the burgeoning police state, or are choosing to ignore it then please make yourselves known, so we know who to guillotine first when this shit-hole of a country finally implodes.

Supporting this overtly fascist law/program makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Your sense of white privilege disgusts me.
For a guy named "Pope" your comments sure are fallible.
First off, who is "Your" -- all of us on this thread, or me?
Second, how do you know I'm white?
Third, I've never bought a $6 latte, at least not consciously.
Fourth, you completely overlook the fact I said I have been both homeless and worked with them.
Fifth, I agree, the country is becoming a police state. What I'm arguing is then let's stop giving the police excuses. I opposed sit-and-lie, and I oppose the police policy mentioned in the article. But a lot of Portlanders, both residents and homeless people, don't understand taking a shit on a storefront, being a 6 foot guy badgering women for money while coming off like a potential rapist, and staring with malice at people on the train because you're high are exactly the kinds of things that give cops excuses to crack down on everyone, not just the homeless. With freedom comes responsibility. I've lived with hundreds of responsible poor people who fought for their country, paid their taxes, loved their kids and were great citizens. They are my family and friends. You know who isn't? Somebody who smashes empty 40 ouncers on the sidewalk where little kids can cut their feet and then curses "The Man" while intimidating customers going in and out of a convenience store just trying to make ends meet on the minimum wage jobs he refuses to work.
Sixth, since you assume I'm white, you also seem to assume I'm primarily referring to people of color. Far from it. Hands down the most off-putting, offensive homeless "travelers" are the young white kids who flood into Portland each summer. Not all of them -- like I said, some are very cool. I know because I actually talk to them, and more than a few have said they appreciate my politeness. But a number of them refuse to see that gathering in large groups outside various places and harassing passersby tends to come off as threatening, especially to women. Which brings me to my final point, Pope David -- you are a perfect example of MALE privilege. You are so upset at the cops and the crackers you don't even think about what it's like for a petite young lady to have to walk through a crowd of stoned or drunk homeless men who may or may not be respectful. My point is simple. If these spoiled white "travelers" would grow up and face the fact they make life harder for others, maybe more people would advocate for them. Please get that through your head. And speaking of heads, by the way, threatening to cut someone's off because you don't agree with them is not a good way to make friends and influence people. On what planet can you possibly think any of your arguments would make life better for the homeless?
The policy is currently limited to downtown and the Lloyd District. I'm not in favor of COPP, period, but it's laughably obvious that it exists in order to please the retail and hospitality industry. Why bother citing people for peeing, littering or drunken harrassment unless the behavior is bothering shoppers, diners or hotel guests, right?
Constancecomment- By shoppers, diners, and hotel guests do you mean cash-flush consumers that pay taxes instead of spending them? Because those are the exact people I want to see more of downtown.
Last summer Larry Allen discovered that Dominate Culture power and privilege may not be sufficient protection for all encounters. Larry stepped out onto the sidewalk in front of his workplace in downtown Portland to hose off the store’s sidewalk and clear it of some loitering street youth. He told them to “move along”, as any old west cowboy might yell to a herd of cows, and brandished his garden hose. He made some movement that the group saw as threatening one of the women and all of a sudden, Larry’s lights went out.

Larry had unwittingly stepped into a lion’s den and poked the king, Daniel Dorson, with a sharp stick. The den was their home and they had no intention of leaving it, certainly not at the rude urging of an old man with the power of a frail Chihuahua. What Larry did next is up for dispute, but the lion king saw Larry attack his mate or sister. As one might expect, justice was swift.

Daniel has been tracked down and will be put away for some time. Larry has decided to give up washing the sidewalk.

For the rest of us considering this story, we might choose to treat all people with respect; respect for their persons, respect for their point of view, respect for their homes, respect for their rights as citizens. It is a more practical, effective, and often safer approach than confrontation; especially when dealing with those of another culture.
Papa P:

With any luck (and justice), your noble Lion King Dorson will be shown the same respect in prison that he showed Larry Allen on that sidewalk that morning when he so respectfully took his skateboard to his head in order to defend himself from a few words and a couple of drops of water.

And, if you're actually serious about what you just wrote, then I certainly hope that you, too, will be shown that same sort of respect wherever you might be.

What's your encore, man? Is there a respectful baby-shaker or a gallant puppy-kicker somewhere that you're about to canonize?
^^ Fully agree. Papa P you are a delusional douche bag. Respect will not come from cowardly attacks on the elderly, nor will it come from acting like an asshole. . How's the lion doing in jail btw? Think he might think differently from you when he gets out. Nice attempt at trying to intimidate people. Further proves that you are an idiot