People Living in Portland Sewers?

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Portland, Oregon

Cristal M Clark

I am sure you’ve all heard the slogan “Keep Portland Weird,” if you have ever been to Portland you understand the slogan in its entirety this past week however things in Portland took an even more weird turn when a store manager was checking out some surveillance video and noticed someone popping out of a manhole from the sewer, maybe with the intent on doing a little midnight shopping?

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The manager of the Chown Hardware store first looked at the video because he noticed a shoe was just sort of oddly out of place, yes you see it was in the street as opposed to being one someone’s foot. According to Kris Lake the store manager; “The manhole cover opens up and it’s like a clown car. Three people pop out, start undressing, swapping shirts around, trying to get whatever muck off of them.”

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The Video shows an empty street at 10:44 p.m. then with no warning at all a manhole cover is pushed open from below and moved to the side. One person climbs out and is then followed by two additional individuals, each with flashlights. Two of them then close the manhole and then the trio is seen hanging around the area for another minute, during which one of them changes pants. All three of them then walk away and in true Disney Cinderella fashion, one of the three left a shoe behind.

Here’s where things get a little stranger, the manager of the store starts checking more video from prior nights and finds on 6/2, 5 individuals came out of the very same manhole to hang out and do a little midnight shopping.

Diane Dulken with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services saw pictures from one of the videos and said what the people did was dangerous. According to Diane; “they would have been exposed to untreated sewage as well as low levels of oxygen. In addition to the safety hazards, and it’s against city code for them to be down there.” Which I doubt if they are actually living the city sewer they care about.

Diane said when crews from environmental services go into the sewers, they first send a sensor down to determine the oxygen levels and see if it’s safe for people. Then, they go down in a harness, so they can be pulled up if they get into trouble. Workers are also supplied fresh air through a scuba-type hose or with air exchanges.

Diane ended it by saying that the bureau now plans to send crews into that area to see if there’s any damage or vandalism.

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Damage or vandalism? I see, I suppose that checking for any type of vandalism or damage in the sewer is much m or important than checking for oh, I don’t know any signs of actual people living in the bloody sewer?

Cristal M Clark

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Portland Oregon getting rid of the Citizen Oversight Committee for it’s police

Portland

Portland will stop public hearings on appeals of Portland Police Bureau findings that stem from citizen complaints of alleged officer misconduct.

At least that is the latest proposal heading into Portland’s City Council next month by city officials. That proposal has left some with a feeling of unease to say the least.

If the proposal is approved that would mean that complaints would be heard behind closed doors before a Police Review Board.

Some are saying this is what the city needs while others seem to feel that if the proposal passes it will remove what some describe are the very elements that are crucial for promoting community trust in the city’s police force.

Those elements are transparency and citizen oversight.

But that really isn’t the case if one were to really dig into the proposal. Those who file police complaints with the city would be able to challenge a police supervisor’s findings. They would be able to make their concerns heard before the Police Review Board. That is the front of the line.

Currently the Police Review Board is made up of police and one citizen. They meet behind closed doors and make decisions that aren’t working…clearly.

The proposed board would be made up of officers and citizen representatives, more than one citizen. They would then recommend to the police chief whether to sustain a complaint and they could suggest the level of discipline. They would still meet behind closed doors because of union rules and it’s not a court of law and thus complaints are not trials because of criminal investigations.

This step would remove a lot of political red tape that simply is not necessary. Currently across the nation for every citizen oversight board, they are riddled with democracy and bureaucratic red tape.  

Both by the way are best described as the messy bedroom of a teenager.

They are mess, they make things difficult, such things like filing complaints, this move is a step to alleviate the mess and get to the floor, the bottom of the pile. It is designed to make the complaint process easier, more efficient and clean for the citizens who file complaints.

Of course the Citizens Review Committee is challenging this proposal and it is completely against it because it would take away the CRC’s right to hear public appeals of the Portland Police Bureau’s findings from complaints it has received.

What the CRC fails to mention is that This step basically if you paid attention combines the efforts of both committee’s working separately into one cohesive group which would be made up of both police and citizens. They are quick however to insinuate that citizens will become intimidated by being behind closed doors with armed officers, hence without actually saying it, they ever so quietly suggest that police are more like bullies with guns.

It’s a subtle suggestion, either way I hear it loud and clear.

Sometimes the need for change is met with a lot of resistance and fear, people don’t like change, they will go to great lengths to prevent it at times, but it’s 2016 and it’s pretty clear that what Portland has in place today isn’t working. It’s a bold move that should be made. As long as they pick the right players from each side, it can be a very big success.

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

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Portland police unions vs. Portland police internal affairs captain

 

Portland

Not a headline you see often but it is worth a mention because it does illustrate how concerns through the ranks can potentially grow into a nightmare for any police organization.

Portland, Oregon. I love everything about Portland in fact my list of dislikes are much shorter than my list of likes and would take far less time to cover.

At any rate two of the Portland police union presidents have stated rather publicly that they feel that internal affairs captain Derek Rodrigues should be transferred for not following bureau protocol and initiating an investigation of Chief Larry O’Dea’s off-duty shooting of a friend.

Both, Portland Police Officer Daryl Turner, president of the rank-and-file union called the Portland Police Association, and Lt. Craig Morgan, president of the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association stated that they shared “grave” concerns that dear old Capt. Rodrigues came across, stumbled upon or simply received intel regarding some sort of incident regarding Chief O’Dea.

That incident and I know this may come as a shock to you being that it involved an off duty police officer…happened to be a shooting that occurred while Chief O’Dea was off duty where he maybe sort of in a subtle drunken not thinking clearly way, claimed that his friend had somehow shot himself in the lower back.

The union’s claim that Capt. Rodrigues failed to follow basic procedures that were specifically put in place to ensure accountability and integrity.

Great, what the hell does that mean right? What is means is simply that Capt Rodrigues failed to conduct the investigation in such a way that it followed proper procedure.

On 4/21/16 Chief O’Dea, while off duty decided to partake in a few drinks with a “Friend” and play with a “Loaded Gun.” After that, while He smelled of alcohol he told a Harney County sheriff’s deputy that his friend appeared to have shot himself in the lower back “accidentally,” according to the deputy’s report. But… Chief O’Dea at some point later decided to apologize to his wounded friend for having shot him with his .22-caliber rifle.

Last but not least, best not to forget this minor detail, Chief O’Dea later told the mayor that he had accidentally shot his friend.

Chief O’Dea was placed on paid administrative leave pending a criminal investigation as of 5/24/16.

In all reality, this was most likely was a combination of drinking and really piss poor judgement, that I believe we can all agree on.

Chief O’Dea never technically told investigating officers that he was the man who shot his friend, he was also drinking and shooting road kill with 6 other individuals who were also camping at the same time. Sad yet true.

The Union also has had a few issues with Capt. Rodrigues before where the police internal affairs captain somehow and in some way, on occasion has reversed police commanders rulings that exonerated officers for alleged misconduct.

Capt. Rodrigues has even gone to the Citizen Review Committee to accomplish this task. He has more or less applied pressure to the Citizen Review Committee members. This reminds me of a saying about mixing blood with water….that is really, really bad.

Walk into any police department and ask them about IA. They don’t typically dig IA and for good reason. From the general public I always without fail hear that IA protects it own and fails to look into claims of police misconduct. From the police I always hear that IA overstepped its boundaries and failed to conduct a proper investigation which is precisely why more and more departments are utilizing citizen oversight.

At the end of the day, do I personally believe that O’Dea should be charged with at least lying to police, I believe technically that is called false reporting…at any rate, yes he lied and should be held accountable for that, he did not intentionally set out to kill someone.

Should he lose his job? No. He did not set out to shoot and kill someone, remember, I keep saying this, police are just like the rest of us, they mess up too from time to time. It’s ok. They mess up big or small, they are human beings and we need to stop viewing them as some superheroes who never fuck up or make a mistake, sober or not.

At the same time, why was O’Dea questioned and allowed to give a statement by investigating officers while intoxicated? The initial statement noted that they could smell alcohol on him. He was camping, I am pretty sure the guy didn’t have like a couple of beers…it’s camping folks.

Here is the reason citizen oversight works when done right. Your everyday average Joe like me, we tend to see the whole story not part of it. We also tend to see things in a very human being sort of way. I get camping and drinking, I also get that the guy’s statement should have been taken after he had sobered up, where he might have been given a better opportunity to be honest. Drunks or someone who is buzzed, are not well known for being able to think clearly, not panic and or be honest when in fear of losing one’s job. Hence they panic.

Personally, Capt. Rodrigues is the biggest concern of all because he clearly has an agenda and it’s not doing what is right or fair.

Yes, O’Dea is guilty of lying and poor judgement. It happens. Rodrigues on the other hand, seems to be throwing his weight around and he needs to be promptly put into his place for it. Any time you have IA influencing Citizen Oversight, your department is at risk, your community is at risk, your officers are at risk.

When Investigations into police misconduct are no longer fair and are done improperly, it throws the entire idea of IA and Citizen Oversight into question.

Never mix blood with water and that is precisely what Captain Derek Rodrigues has been able to accomplish in my beloved Portland.

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News.