Monday, October 22nd marks a day to focus attention on stopping Police Violence. KBOO is recognizing the day by creating special programming from 10 AM - 7 PM. You can listen at 90.7 FM Portland; 110.7 FM Corvallis; 91.9 FM The Gorge; and at kboo.fm Elsewhere.
Police brutality is a huge issue. Locally, I have to give much honor and respect to Portland Copwatch. For an overview of the problem of police violence in our own city, check out this information. For the briefest overview, just check out the list of victims that PCW compiled of police shootings and deaths in custody from 1992 until the present. In the interest of full disclosure, if you read the information on the beating death of James Chasse, Jr, know that we were friends, many years ago. This stuff hits home hard.
I have been asked to help produce an hour of the special, focusing on the murder of a young man named Fouad Kaady. Kaady was a young man living in Gresham, OR. On September 8th, 2005, Kaady was in a car accident, and his car caught on fire. There were several emergency calls from witnesses reporting the accident, a car being on fire, and of a man, walking down the street, badly burned and injured. Emergency response crews are dispatched-- Help on the Way!
First to arrive at the scene are Clackamas Dep. David Willard, and Sandy Police Officer William Bergin. Producers at Portland Indymedia have taken audio from their testimony to bring us the description of that night in the cop's own words, and folks, their words are horrifying.
Listen to the program on Monday, October 22nd, at 1 PM Pacific. Hear Willard and Bergin describe finding Kaady seated, cross-legged, looking down, not active in any way. Hear them talk about needing him to lie on the asphalt belly down so that they can restrain him (why? we're not sure why cops feel the need to restrain a critically injured accident victim... we'll try to answer this during the show). And know that 28 seconds after Dep. Willard and Officer Bergin first met Mr. Kaady, they shot him multiple times, and killed him.
What makes a cop treat an accident victim like a criminal? Listening to their testimony, I was reminded of the dialogue in so many b-grade horror flicks, where some small town cop is giving instructions on saving the townsfolk from monsters. Specifically the sheriff in Night of the Living Dead.
Without serious reform, giving someone a badge and a weapon is tantamount to giving them a licence to kill with impunity.
If you want more information stopping police violence, in Portland contact Portland Copwatch or the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center.
Get active! The life you save may be your own (or your friend's...)