Portland Police Bravely Defend Public From Homeless Woman Looking To Charge Her Cell Phone

from the real-american-heroes dept

Police: they have a job that demands respect, even if those doing the job occassionally do not. We talk a great deal here at Techdirt about some of the frightening uses of military grade equipment by local law enforcement agencies, about what sometimes seems like a neverending list of civil rights abuses, and so on. Still, as I said, I respect the job. It's my respect for that job that leads me to think that the Portland cops who arrested a homeless woman for charging her phone on a public outlet need a greater understanding of what it is exactly that police in this stupid country are supposed to do.

Now, if you're thinking to yourself, "There's no way police in Portland arrested a person just for plugging her cell phone charger into a public outlet," well, you're correct; they arrested two people for that in one trip.

In this case, the theft was first reported by Portland Patrol Inc., and two Portland police officers followed up to issue the woman and her co-defendant, a homeless man who was also charging his cellphone at the planter box outlet, citations to appear in court for third-degree theft of services — a Class C misdemeanor. According to the Electrical Research Institute, it costs about 25 cents a year to charge the average mobile phone. If the phone in this scenario had gone from zero charge to full charge, the cost would have amounted to mere fractions of a penny.

“Jackie,” (who did not want her real name used), says she was shocked when four uniformed officers all agreed her actions warranted not only their response, but also charges and a court summons.
Let's play a quick game. Pick out which part of the pull quote above is the most ridiculous aspect of this story. Got it? You picked the part where the homeless woman and a homeless man were charged with theft for plugging in their phones to a public outlet, didn't you? Well, you're wrong. That is ridiculous, of course, but any single police officer might be some asshole idiot capable of being this dumb. No, the most ridiculous part of the above pull quote is that it took four goddamned officers to respond to this request, and they still reached the conclusion that a citation was warranted. If these aren't verified to be the four dimmest officers on Portland's force, then the entire city has much larger problems.

Oh, and should you be waiting to jump into the comments with some snarky question about why a homeless woman should have a cell phone in the first place, please keep in mind that phones cost less than houses. Also, shut up. Because strictly from the point of view of safety, not to mention the hopes of having any kind of future employment or way to communicate with social services, a cell phone at this point is so necessary for the homeless, not to mention everyone else, that the government should probably be furnishing everyone with some kind of holographic communciations and record-keeping tool that appears on your forearm when needed.


Pictured: a homeless person in President Geigner's America


Now, the Jackie in this story has never before been convicted of a crime, but she missed her court date after losing her citation because, well, where the shit is she going to put it? It's not like she's got a damned file cabinet stocked up in the house she doesn't own. Knowing she missed the court date, Jackie turned herself in to the police and ended up being booked into jail. Keep in mind, if you can, that this is all over "stealing" electricity at levels of "fractions of a penny." Jackie is on several waiting lists for assisted housing and might actually want to work someplace in the future, but, if convicted, she'll always have to be checking that "been convicted of a crime" box now on applications, thanks to a dumb law and four brave boys in blue.

And don't think that this is a completely isolated incident, either.

Jackie’s was not an isolated incident. Public defender Jane Fox says she’s seen similar cases.

“It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s just insane,” says Fox. “The (case) that I had was somebody charging their phone by the Greyhound bus station. Don’t you have a reasonable expectation that an outlet near the bus station would be OK?”
Only if you thought there was such a thing as common sense, which is clearly in short enough supply so as to no longer be common. As I said, I respect the job of the police, but I sure don't respect the job that these four defenders of the public good managed to do. And just to wrap a nice bow on how stupid this all is, how much do you think the public is paying in tax money to prosecute Jackie's fractions-of-a-penny theft? It seems likely that the paper the citation was written up on cost the taxpayers more than what she did, not to mention getting everyone in the court system involved. And, yet, Jackie's the one stealing from taxpayers? Please...

Filed Under: charging, homeless, mobile phones, police, portland


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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 7:31am

    Oliver Twisted

    Gives whole new meaning to the quote "The law is a ass - an idiot"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ed Allen, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:50am

      Re: Oliver Twisted

      This is why "following the law" without adding a little judgement was long ago found to be inadequate.

      It is as stupid as a computer. Never a consideration of the costs nor what the benefit of applying
      a given law is this instance would be.

      So we got judges to reign over zealous prosecutors and have "jury nullification" to fall back on when
      both prosecutors and judges insist on a law being used against a particular defendant when common sense says it
      should not be.

      Still we get cases like this occasionally.

      How noble the law, in its majestic equality, that both the rich and poor
      are equally prohibited from peeing in the streets, sleeping under bridges,and stealing bread!
      Anatole France [The Red Lily] (1894)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 9:01am

    Does anyone remember that GTA 2 (was it?) mission where you had to grab a bus, collect some homeless on the streets and take to the sausage factory for... "Processing"?

    Ahem.

    The way society treats individuals it doesn't like or don't fit in their perfect bubble is despicable and this is yet another example. It's just that there isn't another Australia to send them too as all continents are occupied.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:47am

    It went this-a-way

    Homeless Egregious Scofflaw: I was just charging my phone!

    Anal Retentive LEO: That is an infraction of the most vulgar kind.

    Homeless Egregious Scofflaw: Where the hell SHOULD I charge it?

    Anal Retentive LEO: At home.

    Homeless Egregious Scofflaw: I'm homeless!

    Anal Retentive LEO: And your point is?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brian B. (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:50am

    Portland's finest doing what they do best, I suppose? The amount of money spent on this arrest is mind-boggling. The time of 4 officers, court time, jail time (potentially food, etc). Not to mention the cost of bad-PR (though, do they really care?)

    I'm just going to put this here - http://i.imgur.com/uOWK3Bp.png

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    SolkeshNaranek (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:50am

    Can't we at least be grateful

    the LEOs neglected to fill the suspects full of lead during their encounter?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    LauraTee (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:51am

    I had to send this to a friend to vindicate myself. Several years ago, we were driving somewhere, couldn't find the address, and my phone was out of battery. He kept telling me to pull over so he could find an outlet to plug it in. I refused over and over, saying "You're crazy if you think the cops won't have a problem with a big black guy stealing that place's electricity." He thought I was out of my mind. I wish he was right, but apparently I was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:52am

    This wasn't about electricity

    the theft was first reported by Portland Patrol Inc.

    The local businesses wanted the homeless people to quit loitering near their shops. The stealing charge is just an excuse to not have to say, "We think you're ugly and might scare away our clientele. Please go away."

    Here's an article about the Portland Patrol Inc - http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/trust-me-im-a-rent-a-cop/Content?oid=315932

    It looks like their sole purpose is to shoo homeless people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:58am

      Re: This wasn't about electricity

      There's a very good productive way for the businesses to get rid of the homeless people. Hire them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JBDragon (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:42am

        Re: Re: This wasn't about electricity

        Want don't want to work a normal job!!! Besides it's very expensive to hire a person these days!!! Let alone hire someone that you don't even need. Jobs aren't created to just give people a job and money, there was to be a real need. This is a communist country. Then you need to get rid of some people you can just kill off thousands or millions and there's nothing anyone can really do about that!!!!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:54am

    That was a close one

    Can you imagine the horror that could have occurred had those homeless people been allowed to have a proper way for people to reach them? They might have been able to get a job, maybe stop being homeless! That sort of upward mobility must be stopped at all costs. They're homeless, and that's where they're going to stay, and the sooner they accept this the better off everyone will be.

    /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:00am

    it took four goddamned officers to respond to this request,

    That is a small pack for US police officers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:05am

      Re:

      It's a good thing there were only two homeless people. One more and the police would probably had to break out their MRAP.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:03am

    A technicality

    This article says "... for charging her phone on a public outlet ...", but the original news report has an Editor's note saying "The utility Jackie and her co-defendant plugged into, while located along a public sidewalk, was a privately-owned outlet."

    Of course it's arguable that that's worse, because doesn't that then introduce an additional "do you want to press charges ?" step ? i.e. somebody else who could have said "this doesn't make any sense whatsoever".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:06am

    So at his standard hourly rate, it costs more for the officer to say "ma'am, can you please unplug your cellphone from that outlet" than she would use in electricity in a year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:06am

    This is far more common that you might think

    Having been homeless, I've seen a lot of this. Police and security guards routinely bully the homeless because they can: who's going to defend them? They're perfect targets for sadistic behavior, and believe me, there's no shortage of that.

    I've seen cops/guards steal coats ("that's too nice for you, you must have shoplifted it"), kick food away ("you can't eat here"), drag people out of bathrooms ("you can't wash your face here"), refuse transport to the ER ("you didn't get beat up, you just got drunk and fell"), steal money ("you can't beg here, give me all your cash"), demand sex ("blow me and I won't run you in"), and worse. Much worse.

    Nobody sees. Nobody knows. Nobody cares.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      GEMont (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 10:41am

      Re: This is far more common that you might think

      Its the new American Way, brought to you via the Ownership Society, ushered in during the Dubya Bush Administration.

      One's American-ness is measured by one's possessed wealth.

      No money = person who is not an American citizen.
      No money = person with no American Civil rights.

      Its the balance point for the other end of the spectrum.

      Millionaire = American Citizen who can get out of jail free.
      Billionaire = American Citizen with a license to kill.

      Since most Americans believe that they will some day become a millionaire or billionaire, there is absolutely no desire to change this national measuring-stick among the common people, and the mega-rich love the process as it is, so it is absolutely guaranteed to get worse over time, with absolutely no possibility of being changed, short of a national dissolution.

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2015 @ 11:49am

        Re: Re: This is far more common that you might think

        Interesting how you turn an article about a Democrat controlled city into a statement about Republicans.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          GEMont (profile), 21 Mar 2015 @ 6:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: This is far more common that you might think

          Interesting that you would think I have a partisan agenda simply because I state a fact of history that does not include actions by both parties.

          "...Democrat controlled city into a statement about Republicans."

          You make it sound like two gangs of thugs laying claim to their captured territories... probably closer to reality than you intended.

          For the record, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, are two sides of the very same fascist coin, and the only real difference between them, is their political labels.

          The Republican Party is composed of millionaires bent on becoming billionaires, while the Democratic Party is composed of millionaires bent on becoming billionaires.

          See the difference?

          ---

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2015 @ 12:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is far more common that you might think

            "For the record, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, are two sides of the very same fascist coin, and the only real difference between them, is their political labels.

            The Republican Party is composed of millionaires bent on becoming billionaires, while the Democratic Party is composed of millionaires bent on becoming billionaires."


            Actually, both parties are controlled by billionaires, whose money is funneled through so many non-profit organizations that it becomes hard to quantify.

            So exercising "democracy" means getting to choose between the party of billionaire Democrat George Soros or the party of billionaire Republican Sheldon Adelson (and if you don't like either oligarch, then you're obviously an anti-Semite neo-Nazi conspiracy theorist!), whose views on most things (for instance, foreign interventionism) are very similar if not identical.

            Voters are of course allowed a few tiny, insignificant choices, like whether guns or abortions should be more regulated or less regulated, that are turned into major battle lines in every election, while all the truly important issues are never even addressed because neither party wants to change anything that might upset their moneymen.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              GEMont (profile), 22 Mar 2015 @ 2:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is far more common that you might think

              Nicely stated, and absolutely correct. :)

              That's the reason that the Millionaires (politicians from either party) want to become the Billionaires.

              They want to stop taking orders from their Masters, and start giving orders, as Masters, in the Ownership Society, because the lion's share of the profits go to the masters.

              ----

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:08am

    Um, I have a question...what are those outlets for? I've plugged electronic devices into external outlets on numerous occasions. It's not like I'm unplugging another device, there usually isn't a cover and/or lock, and certainly no sign. If you have a public building with exposed outlets with no "Not For Public Use" sign I find it ludicrous that you can complain about people using them.

    This is simply another case where the homeless get charged with laws that don't apply to other citizens, such as how long you can stand in one spot or what businesses you can enter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:23am

      Re:

      External outlets are there for a reason. How are you supposed to use an electric leaf blower to clear the sidewalk in front of your business without one? You don't need a sign or a lock for the same reason this is stupid. Locks and signs cost way more money than what they would possibly save. However, complaining to the police costs the business nothing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:17pm

        Re: Re:

        "External outlets are there for a reason."

        Yeah. It's called "bait".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JP Jones (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 6:30pm

        Re: Re:

        I guess my point is that if you leave something unsecured on your public-access property with no sign or lock indicating it is not for public use then you would naturally assume other people could use it. That would be like having a water fountain outside your business and then arresting people for using it because it's for "employees only" even though there's no sign or other restriction on use.

        Complaining to the police costs nothing for the business, but they shouldn't even be able to complain about it. The police aren't free and hopefully have more important things to do, like stop or deter actual crimes. My issue is that using a public outlet shouldn't be a crime unless you've made it obvious that it's not for public use, and if it isn't a crime, the police should not be allowed to get involved.

        This is a double standard and it needs to be exposed and forbidden. No regular citizen would be charged with a crime for using public outlets; in fact, using public outlets to charge phones and computers is incredibly common in coffee shops, book stores, and other small businesses. I've never seen anyone ask for permission or seen a sign allowing it, both indoors and outdoors.

        The homeless have enough issues without adding ridiculous legal charges.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 10:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't get me wrong, I agree with much of what you are saying. This is a silly waste of police resources. I was merely explaining how the outlets could be there and not be for public use as well as why the businesses were not investing in signs and/or locks.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Tanner Andrews (profile), 1 Apr 2015 @ 3:39am

        Re: Re:


        However, complaining to the police costs the business nothing.

        I'd love to think that the complainant would be required to show up in court as a witness.

        True, in this case the state got a default judgment, but at least the threat of having to show up in court might motivate them to do better. In this case, I'd probably want to try to vacate the conviction on the ground that there is no actual crime charged.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:15am

    when the police are in charge of a country, not the people, you will get this. they are going to issue their stamp of authority in every way possible! how dare anyone think they have rights and the police wont go to any lengths to ensure their authority isn't challenged! heaven only knows what dastardly theft these two would have worked they way up to, the next time they wanted to 'steal' something!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AnonJr (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:23am

    Total side-bar: what does it say about this that I had to scroll Feedly back to the top to double-check that this wasn't Popehat...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      It means that are current government is doing a really good job of uniting the American people. They have provided a common foe that we can all hate. The government itself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:36am

    Portland

    man I sure hope that was not Portland Oregon I hope the cops here have more sense than that fingers crossed

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 22 Mar 2015 @ 9:22am

      Re: Portland

      This was Portland Oregon. The Portland Police are notorious for their questionable behavior. That's why they've been under federal investigation and oversight for years now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:41am

    Twice article says "public outfit" Outfit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:47am

    outfit should read outlet

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lucidrenegade (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:49am

    "he'll always have to be checking that "been convicted of a crime" box now on applications, thanks to a dumb law and four brave boys in blue."

    All the applications I've seen ask if you've been convicted of a felony. Misdemeanor < Felony

    Aside from that, f*ck the po-po

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      The ones I've always seen, around FL anyway, always says convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving dishonestly, with theft, lying in parentheses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:19pm

      Re:

      "All the applications I've seen ask if you've been convicted of a felony. Misdemeanor < Felony"

      Most of the one's I've seen ask if you've ever been convicted of any crime.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:55pm

        Re: Re:

        "Most of the one's I've seen ask if you've ever been convicted of any crime."

        Try going somewhere you need a visa. (Or entering the US if you're not a citizen or legal resident). "Have you ever been arrested?"

        That homeless person today might one day win the lottery or get a well paid job and feel like they might want to take a holiday abroad. Ooopsy. They will have trouble entering many countries if they're not 'famous' or 'very rich'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whoever, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:50am

    Massive collections of scofflaws are found ...

    in airports, one sees people charging their phones or even, *charging a PC*. Often groups of people. The police seem to ignore these scofflaws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:03pm

      Re: Massive collections of scofflaws are found ...

      The people the airport police need to charge are the chair-hogs. We've all seen them, the kind that will take a seat, as well as the chair on each side of them, putting a coat in one chair and a pc or bag in the other, just because they don't wan't anyone to sit down next to them. Tying up a seat needlessly when there are people having to stand
      needs to be an arrestable crime. I once pointed out a seat-hog to an airport cop, who did nothing. (maybe I have a low tolerance for assholery in general?)

      Also in many newer public libraries, the tables and desks are all wired with electricity so people can plug in their computers or whatever else right there where they work, rather than hunting down some well-worn wall receptacle that was intended for the janitor's vacuum cleaner or floor polisher.

      Homeless commonly use public libraries, but mainly just to sleep in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2015 @ 12:14am

        Re: Re: Massive collections of scofflaws are found ...

        currently working on a massive airport terminal remodeling. The original 70s era plug locations were 100% set up for janitors (tucked under the edge of a water fountain between bathroom entrances, located on the back side of a column near the gate)

        We are drilling in from the lower floor baggage handling area to bring in tons of outlets in the middle of previously pointless floors to feed into power strip platforms and clusters of chairs with charging stations.. enjoy, traveling public.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2015 @ 4:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Massive collections of scofflaws are found ...

          That's good to see airport design entering the 21st century (and not just regarding 'security theater'). Here's another idea: relocate the trash cans so that they are not smack dab in the middle of crowded areas (or better yet, design them so that trash drops through the floor and outside the building into some explosion-resistant container). I've never understood why anyone with an eye for security would allow a trash can in a high-profile place in the middle of an area where people are tightly packed (such as in the zigzag line waiting to get through security scans). Or does it necessarily take some terrorist to plant a bomb in the trash and kill a hundred people before anyone in authority can make a move to eliminate such obvious terrorist magnets. And it's not like no terrorist has ever planted a bomb in a public trash bin -- it's been a tried-and-true method used throughout the world for many decades.

          Maybe it's a sign of the times. Christian and Jewish terrorists would plant hidden bombs (or park U-Haul trucks) and then skedaddle, while Islamic terrorists aren't afraid to blow themselves up along with their explosive-packed cargo.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 11:58am

    Law and Order

    Really, really petty crimes division.

    This is obviously a hate crime, because police hate citizens with cellphones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Law and Order

      "This is obviously a hate crime, because police hate citizens with cellphones."

      Especially cellphones with cameras.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:01pm

    Most important part

    You all are just focusing on the story of this article and miss the most important part:

    "the government should probably be furnishing everyone with some kind of holographic communciations and record-keeping tool that appears on your forearm when needed."

    TIMOTHY GEIGNER 2016!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:09pm

    Did they use the super duper extra authority criminal but lets call it terrorist laws, you know, for when that niggly bit of rights get in the way?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:20pm

    This had nothing to do with any actual crime of "stealing electricity" -- which is something that scores of travellers do in airports every day and get away with it. No, the actual crime is "being homeless" but since vagrancy is no longer an acceptable charge, the cops had to come up with something else, and they found one. Whether it's public urination, entering a private dumpster, trespassing on city property [as in sleeping under bridges or in culverts], or whatever else, it's not hard to find some crime to charge these people with and take them off the street.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TMC, 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:33pm

    Depressing

    If you ever find yourself over at the courthouse, and you want to be bummed out even more, take a gander at the job postings board. If you want to be a flood plain engineer, you need a degree and three years experience. If you want to be an IT clerk, you need an undergraduate degree and a couple certifications. If you want to be in law enforcement, you need a high school diploma or a GED and a valid driver's license.

    And you wonder why four fucktards decided to use the system to beat on the homeless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:24pm

      Re: Depressing

      "If you want to be a flood plain engineer, you need a degree and three years experience. If you want to be an IT clerk, you need an undergraduate degree and a couple certifications. If you want to be in law enforcement, you need a high school diploma or a GED and a valid driver's license."

      And the cop will probably be paid more than either of the other two, as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:43pm

    "There's no way police in Portland arrested a person", somebody with a name did this and it's a shame is not in the title of this post (all four of them, I don't mind)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:46pm

    Wise choice in spending public funds!

    Soooo, the afformentioned "thieves" were thieving less than $00.01 in actual damages and so the government is going to expend anywhere NORTH OF $10,000 to prosecute this? TIMES TWO DEFENDENTS! Really? Way to keep Portland stupid....er weird!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:08pm

    When I saw this post in my Facebook feed, I just assumed Zuckerberg was running another of his experiments by swapping images of different pages I followed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:14pm

    I think that they should be charged 100x of the service stolen. Costs to be rounded to the nearest dollar.

    I can see the police telling them to move on, but they deserve the ridicule for actually running them in for this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:22pm

      Re:

      But why only 100x? If a fair penalty for "stealing" a 99 cent song is 150 thousand dollars (or an absolute minimum of 750x actual damages) then isn't a mere 100x penalty getting off rather lightly?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GoLEO, 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:38pm

    WTF

    Why does a homeless dweeb have or need a cell phone? I think SWAT should have been called in. It could have got nasty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:48pm

    "... she missed her court date after losing her citation because, well, where the shit is she going to put it? It's not like she's got a damned file cabinet stocked up in the house she doesn't own."

    No, no she obviously missed the court date because she put it in her cell phone calendar and her cell phone died because they wouldn't let her charge it so she didn't get the reminder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 2:33pm

    Proud to be an Americ... nevermind...

    I was going to write some insightful comment but fuck it, if people cared then this shit would have been stopped decades ago. We don't care, it's barely newsworthy these days. No change is coming and there will be no revolutions. Things are worse this year than they were last; with no end in sight. Go ahead, prove me wrong...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 9:15pm

      Re: Proud to be an Americ... nevermind...

      "We don't care..."

      Of course we care. We even *like* it. (Or course, for the sake of political correctness we deny it, but our actions speak much louder than our words).

      Hit 'em again! Bravo!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    vancedecker (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 2:36pm

    How will she get her welfare check?

    "way to communicate with social services"


    Of course you're first concern is that the welfare taker keep getting their loot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 2:47pm

    She should demand a jury trial

    In addition to running the costs up sky high, the jury would vote to acquit in "fractions of a second".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 1:19pm

      Re: She should demand a jury trial

      You have to remember it is the average person, who is uncomfortable with the homeless, driving the police to arrests like this. Those people are on juries, too.

      It's a very sad statement on our society.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2015 @ 7:48pm

        Re: Re: She should demand a jury trial

        "Those people are on juries, too."

        Whether a juror would be sympathetic to the outcasts of society depends on whether their knowledge of them comes from the liberal media or is from hands-on contact with these people. Many of them have severe mental and social deficiencies. You never know if saying "hello" as you walk by will make the guy shudder in fear or explode in an obscenity-filled screaming fit. I used to be sympathetic, but now I definitely believe that authorities should make every effort to remove these people from the streets, starting with the obviously deranged ones. Short of that, at least have authorities try to "manage the herd" by providing facilities and services. Rather than, for instance, keeping all the park bathrooms locked up (except during ball games) so they won't sleep inside ... which creates a second, far worse problem.

        Off-topic note to park restroom architects: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop designing washroom buildings with a wrap-around 'privacy' wall OUTSIDE the entrance door, ESPECIALLY when the entranceway is covered by a roof. It's as if nobody on the building design team ever had the brains to realize that when the bathroom doors are locked, people are likely to empty their bowels in the nearest private place -- which in this case is in the [dark] hallway right outside the locked door!!!!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 22 Mar 2015 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: She should demand a jury trial

        I don't think it's the average person driving this. I think it's the business owners.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    radarmonkey (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 2:51pm

    Correction needed

    No, the most ridiculous part of the above pull quote is that it took four goddamned officers to respond to this request, and they still reached the conclusion that a citation was warranted.
    (new emphasis mine)

    Not that this makes one iota of difference in the monumental stupidity of the situation, but it was only TWO 'officers' responding to a 'request' made by two MALL COPS (Portland Patrol Inc.). Therefore, for all of the (well-deserved) ration of shit you are heaping on the city's legal system, a big old helping of "Fuck You!" needs to be placed on the assholes who called the cops to begin with.

    Hey, Portland Patrol Inc.! You are the first in a long string of assholes in this story! Even Paul Blart would be ashamed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:14pm

    "If these aren't verified to be the four dimmest officers on Portland's force, then the entire city has much larger problems."

    Worse, they were probably four of it's brightest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gracey (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 3:35pm

    Okay, well ... I must confess to being relatively confused by this.

    What exactly is a "public outlet" if the public isn't allowed to use it?

    Or are homeless people not considered "the public"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2015 @ 4:32am

    It used to demand respect because those people were risking their life to protect others. Now they are allowed to shoot someone a dozen times just to avoid being punched once.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    me, 20 Mar 2015 @ 5:04am

    Their job does not demand respect

    Respect is earned, and every time you hear about a Contempt of Cop case, it illustrates that. Many metro PD's and even smaller Sherriff depts are essential legalized mob in extreme cases. You have the DOJ and FBI creating cases to solve. It's no better than the media manufacturing news. You want respect, earn it, plain and simple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Robert (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 8:04am

    I'm sorry for Portland and Jackie

    But real sad part here is that most cops are just no good, they are in it for the paycheck and pension, which NY the way should be a 401k. You, none of these cops are doing it for the community. I'm sorry, you just can't trust any of them, there are more bad than good, on these fake police departments. Drop there pay, take away pension because this only seems to bring a bad element to the department. And please stop calling them hero's, a hero does things for the sake of saving people, they do it for the paycheck

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 10:14am

    Stealing is only a crime if you NEED the thing you steal.

    I can already hear the official rationale that will be forwarded if this case gets into the mainstream:

    "If we let one person get away with stealing .005 cents worth of someone else's electricity, then in no time at all, there will be thousands - perhaps tens of thousands - of homeless and poor people charging their phones and Lord knows what else, at public and private power outlets. It is best to nip this kind of criminal behaviour in the bud."

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jfb123 (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 1:14pm

    Truly disturbing, I'm going out on a fence here, but something tells me if these people didn't look homeless they would not have faced this ridiculous assault against there constitutional rights and dignity, truly sad and for less than a penny of electricity.
    I wonder what this fiasco cost the taxpayers of Portland, or worse if by four officers wasting time harassing homeless people, did any major crimes take place at the time any preventable loss of life because bullies with badges have no real police work to do?
    I would be very interested to see the call logs for the area these officers were responsible for at the time of this incident.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      GEMont (profile), 21 Mar 2015 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      "I would be very interested to see the call logs for the area these officers were responsible for at the time of this incident."

      We cannot release that information because to do so would allow master and petty criminals, terrorists, rapists, muggers and various miscreants world wide, to easily determine our very super-secret police investigation methods and thus harm the ability of law enforcement to respond effectively to crime and because children would die horrible deaths and kittens too.

      Police State Police

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 22 Mar 2015 @ 9:19am

    My PPI story

    I was in downtown Portland when a panhandler made the rounds politely asking everyone for spare change. He then moved on. A minute later, a PPI person walked up to us all and asked what direction the panhandler went. Every single person pointed in the direction opposite to his travels. It was one of the best things that I've ever seen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 22 Mar 2015 @ 2:18pm

    Heads on Pikes along Main Street USA

    In a way, it is ironic, that through the machinations of the surveillance state, in their attempt to root out the dissenters among us, they are indeed turning those of us who would likely have never even complained about the intrusion into their private lives by their own government, into the new rebel army.

    Perhaps the only way that this awful situation can come to a head and be eliminated, is if the governments continue to escalate the processes they have secretly put into action for their own protection against us, until the whole world reaches its limit of frustration and rebels against the machine.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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