Officer Humphreys is the cop

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Officer Christopher Humphreys and Officer Aaron Dauchy are both expected to be called to the stand this afternoon to testify against the 12-year-old girl whom Officer Humphreys shot with a beanbag shotgun late last year. Humphreys was suspended over the incident, prompting 650 police union members to rally in his defense, wearing t-shirts reading “I am Chris Humphreys.” Humphreys was subsequently reinstated, but claimed job stress and as far as we know has been off work on a disability claim ever since. (Fri, Feb 26, 2010)

Courtroom dramas usually involve crimes of consequence. Murder. Arson. But Lisa Ann Coppock’s long, ludicrous legal saga hinges on the most mundane of crimes: failing to buy a $2.50 TriMet ticket.

On April 22, 2008, Coppock boarded a MAX train in Gresham without paying. She says the ticket kiosk was broken. When two Portland police officers approached, she held out cash for her fare.

But Coppock, a 29-year-old out-of-work artist, suffers from what her mother describes as “an acute emotional sensitivity.” She became frightened and ran. The officers chased. Depending on whose account you buy, she either fell or was thrown toward the ground, striking her head hard enough to require stitches. Police took her to the hospital, and then to jail, where she was charged with three misdemeanors: theft of services, resisting arrest and interfering with police.

Officer Humphreys is the cop who tackled James Chasse Jr. in downtown Portland (September 17, 2006), and, with two other officers, Portland Police Officer Kyle Nice and Portland Police Officer Brett Burton, beat him so severely that he died shortly thereafter as a direct result. State medical examiner Karen Gunson found 48 separate abrasions or contusions on Chasse’s body, including 16 possible blows to the head, and broken ribs in Chasse’s back that came from a violent kick or knee drop.

Humphreys is not just a “bad apple” or “rogue cop.” All cops are complicit in the social ills that they perpetuate through the enforcement of laws that they know legitimizes the dominance of the corrupt and powerful over the rest of us. Fuck cops.
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