December 13 City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty filed a $ 5 million lawsuit against the Portland Police Union, its former president, and another Portland police officer, claiming they played a role in the leak of information that falsely implicated Hardesty in a hit-and-run accident last spring. (“Zero hour,” WW, December 15, 2021). The lawsuit offers a possible answer to the question of why Portland Police Association President Brian Hunzeker resigned as union director on March 16. Hardesty alleges that he leaked the indictment to The Oregonian and that it did so “in retaliation for the plaintiff’s years of opposing racial discrimination by the [Portland Police Bureau] and members of the PPA. “Here’s what our readers had to say:
beerandloathingpdx, via Reddit: “You know, you watch movies like Serpico, Police land, American gangster… and you think, man, the 70s and 80s were pretty messy.
“Then you see a story like this in Portland and you realize how fucking dirty all police unions are. Get rid of qualified immunity, watch the pigs run away, start over with people who can be held accountable for their actions. “
ex-pdxteacher, via wweek.com: “Portland police are using public resources to do political work with someone they disagree with. Is there any of this that is ethical? Nothing at all?”
gymrat, via wweek.com: Commenting on this situation pointing to Hardesty’s behavior that you disagree with or even think is unethical is definitely ‘what’s up’. She could be a terrible council member (and clearly some of you think so), and she has NOTHING to do with this case. This case is about whether it is okay for the police to disclose unsubstantiated allegations, based on a citizen’s report, about them to the conservative press and The Oregonian. “
PC-LoadLetter, via Reddit: “I think she deserves a generously reasonable settlement based on her ordeal and the way she was treated. I also think she is a poor councilor and I wish she would step aside.
“These are not mutually exclusive ideals.”
Joshua Marquis, via wweek.com: “Reports of minor hit-and-run attacks are not state secrets. Revealing a suspect is bad policy, but it is not the greatest crime the writer pretends to be.
“This case will NEVER go to trial. Instead, his friends on the City Council will use it as a way to purge their guilt (and a lot of taxpayer money) as a way to fire a politician who is clearly not getting reelected. Where exactly has it been damaged? “
Due-Personality2383, via Reddit: “This probably never would have happened if he hadn’t lied about watching the police light fires at the Portland protests. She admitted to having lied. They retaliated. What they did was wrong. But it was also what he did. Can we put some adults in their place across the board? “
Elliott Young, via Twitter: “Civil rights organizations have found it more effective to bankrupt white supremacist organizations through civil than criminal litigation.
“@JoAnnPDX is following the same strategy with the Portland Police Union.”
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