Portland Dispatch: Bias

Portland District Attorney Mike Schmidt took office early in Portland’s summer of rioting. One of his first acts was to drop most charges against rioters.

Schmidt was surrounded by four Black leaders from Portland who are part of his 15-person transition team, a rare display of public collaboration between community members and a Multnomah County district attorney, especially one just days into his new job.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, leaning on a group of community representatives he called his transition team, announced Tuesday that his office will drop most of the charges filed against protesters in Portland…

His prosecutors won’t pursue demonstrators accused of interfering with police, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, escape or harassment if the allegations don’t involve “deliberate’’ property damage, theft or force against another person or threats of force, Schmidt said.

He’s kept his word in only prosecuting the most egregious acts of violence.

In January 2019 Oregon passed Senate Bill 577 expanding the definition of “bias crimes” and requiring our Department of Justice to maintain a database of them along with recorded “bias incidents“, which, at the moment, aren’t illegal.

“Bias incident” means a person’s hostile expression of animus toward another person, relating to the other person’s perceived race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin, of which criminal investigation or prosecution is impossible or inappropriate.

“Bias incident” does not include any incident in which probable cause

of the commission of a crime is established by the investigating law enforcement officer.

One wonders if this includes giving someone the wrong look, which is after all an expression.

The first concessions to the police abolitionist rioters last summer included gouging the police budget and disbanding the city’s gun violence team for racial profiling. No debate regarding its effectiveness was even humored; it was enough the police were “targeting” black gunslingers. The subsequent increase in violence suggests it was in fact effective in taking the most violent off the street (and saving the lives of other, lesser thugs along with everyone else).

The other demand capitulated to immediately by Mayor Ted Wheeler was the removal of Portland cops from the Transit Division, which, along with other law enforcement agencies, patrols our mass transit. As with the gun unit, no debate around the effectiveness of the division; disparate impact was enough. Wheeler insisted the safety of passengers would not be compromised because crime victims can still “call 911”. Response times for 911 calls have gone up, of course, as police are increasingly understaffed due to budget cuts, demoralized cops taking retirement or leaving for other, less hostile municipalities or leaving the profession entirely and, no doubt, what Steve Sailer calls the “retreat to the donut shop”.

The present obsession of the abolitionist forces is the homeless and mentally ill; they seek to eliminate all contact between homeless and mentally and the police, and the city still operates under a US Department of Justice consent decree after a “pattern and practice” finding declared the police were violating the civil rights of the homeless (now described as “houseless”, which is somehow less offensive).

It is in this context I considered a recent conviction announced by Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.

February 21, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that 51-year-old Thomas DeLong received an 18-month prison sentence for committing a bias crime.

This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney BJ Park.

DeLong pleaded guilty to one count of bias crime in the first degree, one count of menacing, and one count of disorderly conduct in the second degree…

The victim of the bias crime is African American and works for TriMet as a transit supervisor. In addition to the prison sentence, DeLong will be on five years of formal probation and three years of post-prison supervision. Part of the probation conditions include having no presence on any TriMet property, having no contact with the victim, and undergoing a drug/alcohol/mental health evaluation.

Eight years in the system for a mentally ill man who happened to call someone the dread word “nigger” as he chased him.

“Bias” is indeed the word that comes to mind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: