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PPB Incident Updates

This page will host the public updates from an interaction I had with Portland Police Bureau which took place on June 13, 2019 around 6:15pm near Killingsworth and NE 42nd Ave. I wrote about the incident here and will keep most recent updates at the top of this thread.

 

10/28/19, received an email from MM inviting a follow up discussion. We scheduled that discussion for 11/1/19.

10/22/19, received an email with EW’s resignation as Equity and Inclusion Program Director of PPM. Also received a separate email from EW which connected me to MM who will be taking over in the interim.

10/7/19, sent letter to EW for review and also to let them know I would be out of town until the end of October and would love to follow up then.

9/30/19, received a letter stating that my Internal Police Review complaints were forwarded to Sgt. C (the Sgt who had already met with me and failed to follow through) and that he investigated and found my complaints unsubstantiated. The letter also states that Sgt. C met with the officers in the complaint and “discussed perception, word choice and more positive ways of dealing the interaction”.

9/24/19, follow up conversation planned with EW is postponed because they are still waiting on information about the status of my Independent Police Review.

9/16/19, EW (Equity and Inclusion Program Director at PPB) and I discussed my complaint and concerns. EW needs to make sure my IPR (Independent Police Review) has been closed before looping me in on the Equity end.

9/6/19, received an email from the Equity and Inclusion Program Director (EW) scheduling a follow up discussion.

9/2/19, received a text from Sgt. C (same supervisor who met with me before and who failed to follow through) that he had an Officer Improvement plan on his desk and wanted to also send me the contact information for EW who is the Equity and Inclusion Program Director of PPB. I called and left a message for EW to discuss my concerns.

8/8/19, received a letter signed by Margie Sollinger, Acting Assistant Director stating that the following allegations were identified from my complaint which has been referred for a Supervisory Investigation:

  • Officer P inappropriately referred to Rebecca Greenidge as “ignorant” (COURTESY)(Directive 310.0 – Professional Conduct and Courtesy)
  • Officer P acted unprofessionally when asked to provide a business card. (COURTESY)(Directive 310.0 – Professional Conduct and Courtesy); (PROCEDURE)(Directive 312.5 – Identification)
  • Officer G inappropriately referred to Rebecca Greenidge as “ignorant” (COURTESY)(Directive 310.0 – Professional Conduct and Courtesy)
  • Officer G acted unprofessionally when asked to provide a business card. (COURTESY)(Directive 310.0 – Professional Conduct and Courtesy); (PROCEDURE)(Directive 312.5 – Identification)
  • Unknown (Edit: This person is now known as Officer A) PPB Officer acted unprofessionally when asked to provide a business card. (COURTESY)(Directive 310.0 – Professional Conduct and Courtesy); (PROCEDURE)(Directive 312.5 – Identification)

7/25/19, received a letter from an Independent Police Investigator that my complaint has been opened into an investigation. The letter says that when the investigation is complete, the IPR Director or Assistant Director will determine how the complaint will proceed and that they have the options of: Mediation, Referral for Supervisory Investigation, Referral for a formal Administrative Investigation, or Administrative Closure. It also says that I will be notified by email or mail of their decision.

7/19/19, received a voicemail from C in the intake department for the Independent Police Review. Called C back and spoke for 30 minutes about the incident and my concerns. C pointed me towards the list of Directives for Portland Police Bureau and said that a decision whether to open up my complaint for review would be made by early next week. C stated that I would receive a letter in the mail about the decision.

7/18/19, received form in mail for Independent Police Review. Discovered that there was an online option and filled the form out online and submitted it. I copied the section at the bottom of this thread as a description of the event and when asked for commentary, I wrote the following:

I attempted to mediate with Sgt C and we had a good first meeting on 6/25/19. I asked for a meeting with his officers and he said he was receptive and would talk with them that night.

I did not hear back from Sgt C for two weeks and finally sent him a text asking for follow up. He thanked me for the conversation, stated that his officers understood my concerns and that if I wanted to meet with them I would have to go through some training division at Airport way and 148th.

I am deeply concerned that 6-7 Gang Enforcement Team officers find it “ignorant” to talk about race. When I met with Sgt. C, he stated that the GET officers are the best of the best and that they do this job because no one else will put up with being called racist all the time. He stated over and over that these officers spend significant time away from their families in order to build relationships with the black community. He also stated his officers are frustrated a lot.

I am a racial equity coach and facilitator having engaged my own deep personal anti-racism practice for the last 12 years. The officers’ response is predictable and dangerous. They need more training and support to understand the impact of race in their every day lives as well as their job. It is not enough to build connections with the black community and still hold the belief that as a white person there is no way we could show up with racist behavior. This is like being in a rainstorm without an umbrella and pretending that you don’t get wet.

I encouraged Sgt C to seek supports for his officers and find pathways for them to engage conversations about race that aren’t so charged with them trying to protect themselves from the label of “racist”. I can help, or refer them to someone else but deeper, more authentic and honest training is needed. I am not the PPB’s enemy and yet I will keep following up with every avenue at my disposal until I see that the PPB takes racial literacy for it’s white officers seriously, particularly those on the GET team who interact with a very high volume of black and brown citizens.

7/16/19, received an email from participant with a phone number to call and leave my address in order to get a copy of the form I need to fill out for the Independent Police Review. I called and left my address.

7/15/19, participant at an event asked if she could support me in moving forward with my concerns. I asked her to find out how to file an Independent Police Review.

7/8/19, 1:24pm – Sent Sgt C a text checking in since there has been no follow up. 7:58pm – Long text received from Sgt C that he’s been busy and that he had a good conversation with his officers about my concerns, public perception and having conversations. He said that his officers were receptive and understanding and that they strive to do good, meaningful work every day and thanked me for my conversation. He then stated that if I wanted to meet any further, I’d have to go through a training division and gave vague information about how to proceed.

6/25/19, 5:00-6:15pm – Met up with Sgt C. I shared how I’m coming to this conversation (as someone with black family members and also someone who engages conversations about race for a living), my view of the incident, and Jomo’s stories he wanted shared. I asked Sgt C to share with his officers:

  • their behavior mirrors their beliefs
  • race impacts white people too and that I would welcome more conversation about this
  • anytime a civilian asks for their card, they should give it without argument

We discussed how frustrations of the job, the day, or the call could be viewed as a pressure cooker or could motivate their team to find out why they responded the way that they did to me. We talked about how, at times, we only get a snapshot moment to show who we are and while that may feel unfair, it can also be mirror to show us how we are seen by others so that we can make adjustments. I asked Sgt C how he plans to support his officers’ growth when incidents like this show that more conversations about race are needed. He committed that he would be talking with the team tonight and invite them to more conversations with me. I shared that I didn’t doubt that his officers had walls up about me, but that I am not their enemy. I shared how I’ve seen this defensiveness when I’m working with white people who don’t want to talk about race. I asked Sgt to identify the barriers that are preventing his team from welcoming a conversation about race. Sgt C said he would get back to me about next steps.

6/25/19, 4:19-4:28pm – Text thread with Sgt C confirming meeting today.

6/20/19, 4:03-5:18pm – Text thread with Sgt C rescheduling our meeting. He is unable to meet as planned. He offers another Sgt the following day. I ask who supervises Officers P and G from my interaction and he says they are both in his detail. I tell him I’d like to speak with either him or a senior Sgt on the Gang Enforcement Team. He says he wants to hear my concerns and tells me his schedule for next week. We agree to meet either 6/25/19 or 6/26/19 at 5pm. He tells me he will follow up 6/25/19 to confirm.

6/20/19, 4:03pm – I call Sgt C to try to locate him and find out where we are meeting. No answer. I leave a message.

6/20/19, 3:24pm – I text Sgt C a request for a slight location change. No answer. I text again closer to our time. No answer

6/19/18, 10:33pm-10:48pm – Text thread with Sgt C arranging to meet 6/20/19 @ 4pm.

6/19/19, 10:30pm – Text from Sgt C reads: “Mrs. Greenidge, would there be a good time to connect you tonight, this is Sgt C…with the Portland Police Bureau. If not, I can try again tomorrow afternoon.”

6/18/19, 10:12pm – I call Sgt C and leave a voicemail identifying who I am and trying to figure out a time to meet up and ask for a text or phone call to arrange.

6/18/19, 12:20pm – Receive a voicemail from Sgt. C who says he is following up on my concern. He says he works night shift beginning at 4pm and to reach out to him tonight.

6/13/19 approx 10:30pm – I called a PPB Sergeant I know and asked to how to follow up on my concern. He suggested I speak with Sgt. D and said he would reach out to Sgt. D and give him my phone number.

6/13/19 approx 6:15pm – I meet up with a friend in the Cully neighborhood and we decide to change locations for our meeting. As I’m getting in my car, I see two unmarked police vehicles with lights and sirens heading toward the area of Killingsworth and NE 42nd Ave. I drive by a corner store near the intersection and see what appears to be two black female teens surrounded by three white male police officers. I drive a couple of more blocks and see another unmarked police vehicle with four more white male police officers turning around and heading back toward the corner store. I decide to also turn around and park in the parking lot of the corner store just after the police vehicle. As I’m parking, two more white male police officers get out of the second vehicle and approach the situation. There is now just one female and she appears to be an adult. There are now five white male police officers standing within ten feet of her with the closest three all standing within three feet of her. The officers seem tense – leaning toward her and intensely talking. She does not have shoes on, appears calm, and as I look around I see no evidence of a current threat of safety. I get out of my car and approach. The two officers who arrived just before me, turn as I approach but I don’t look a them, and one of them greets me in a way that feels like they are seeing if I know the female. I move so that I can see the female and call out to her “you ok?”. She says “I’m ok”. I say “ok, because you have five, white men around you so I’m just making sure you are ok”. She repeats “yes, I’m ok” and I begin to leave. Officer P turns away from her and takes a few steps toward me, raises his voice, and points his finger in the air at me “you know, that’s a really ignorant thing to say. She called us because…” and he proceeds to tell me the nature of the call. His body language is all aggression. I’ve seen this before. I say “It’s not ignorant to notice race” and he continues to yell at me. Officer G says “yeah, you really are ignorant” and I respond to him also “it’s never ignorant to notice race” and he argues “yeah, it really is”. I leave and get in my car. Collect my thoughts and decide to go ask for cards. The second vehicle of four officers are all in their car and backing out of the parking lot. I ask for cards through their open window. The driver begins arguing with me that I have no need for their cards because I have nothing to do with the call. Officer G says from the back passenger seat “yeah, I called you ignorant”. I repeat my request for cards. The driver continues to back out of the parking lot while he argues with me, the passenger and officer behind the driver say nothing and do not move but are watching me. Officer G hands his card through his slightly open window and I take it and hear scoffing in the vehicle but cannot hear what they have said. I stand a ways off as Officer P and one other officer continue to talk with the female. While I’m waiting, an older white male with white hair approaches their conversation and speaks for a few seconds. The officers speak back and the man walks away. I watch as the officers’ conversation ends with the female and realize Officer P is going to the driver side of the vehicle. I move to where he can see me and ask for his card. He puffs up again and tells me I have no right to ask for his card. I tell him that I’m concerned that he feels that acknowledging race is ignorant. I tell him that I think race is really important for him to notice, particularly as a police officer. He tells me that he is personally offended that I would interject myself into his active investigation. I ask for his card again. He asks me what I want it for. I tell him to follow up with his supervisor. He tells me “go ahead” but doesn’t give me a card. I ask if he’s refusing to give me a card and he says no and finally hands me a card.

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Rebecca Greenidge

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