The Police State Continues to Grow

Those of you who believe that civilian review boards are the solution to the problem of police violence should consider this: on October 1, a civilian review board in Eugene, Oregon ruled that a police officer “did not break department policy” when he tased a man who was pinned to the ground. (You can read about the board’s decision here and here. You can find a detailed account of the tasing incident here.) Now, obviously, if someone is pinned to the ground, there’s no need to use a taser. This simple logic is apparently beyond the comprehension of three of the five members of the Eugene Civilian Review Board.

The Eugene Weekly article I linked to above notes: “…the Eugene mayor and City Council recently expanded and packed the CRB with appointees that appear opposed to the concept of civilian review that voters passed overwhelmingly.” The mayor, Kitty Piercy, is a liberal Democrat, who has spoken at anti-war rallies. The City Council is dominated by liberal Democrats. These high-minded liberals apparently can’t bear the thought that police officers should abide by any kind of ethical standard. This is the state of democracy in the US today.

Update: the Eugene City Council has refused to reappoint Richard Brissenden to the Eugene Civilian Review Board. Brissenden, a municipal court judge, was one of the two CRB members who dissented on the board’s ruling on the tasing incident. At the above-mentioned meeting, Brissenden criticized the behavior of the Eugene Police. The council members who voted against his reappointment were: Andrea Ortiz, Alan Zelenka, Mike Clark, Jennifer Solomon, Chris Pryor and George Poling. (Remember this when these people are up for re-election.) The Eugene Weekly comments:

    Credible independent oversight of police review in Eugene now appears dead. Resurrecting oversight could take citizen action in recalling officials who oppose police review or defeating them at reelection, citizen ballot initiatives, intense public pressure on city government, and lawsuits. We also join conservatives on The [Eugene} Register-Guard editorial board in calling for an immediate moratorium on the use of Tasers by Eugene police until the department ends its secrecy and develops a meaningful policy that actually restricts this dangerous, excruciating weapon.

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