Portland Advocate_1981-08

~ . page 2 CITY'S 'FINEST' REINSTATED by Lanita Duke On August 15 the BUF sponsored a march and rally which focused on pub– lic discontent with the decision of an arbitrator that reinstated the two "possum-tossin'" cops , Craig C. Ward and James E. Galloway. '!hey caught,– killed, and threw the dead animals in front of a black-owned restaurant, be– cause they "felt frustrated, and wanted to boost IIDrale." ''We've been down for so long, and, though we cannot do anything about it, we should let them know that we are not stupid, and that they cannot pass ev– erything before our eyes. We are all hurmn beings, and I want respect as such. I work hard enough for mine and I am serious about it now, I 'm ready to get out here and march and do whatever is necessary, so they will know that we will no longer allow people to walk over us ... '' "If the policanen had been Black and the restaurant owners white, would the outcome have been the same?'' "I 'm here because I thought 'arbi– tration' meant IIDre than one person but I found ~ut it was only one person, so I came down to march in protest of one man saying anything about anything!_"__ "It made me mad, and I'm glad I'm not a violent person. Something better happen, and I know the city officials who are in charge of the police won't do anything about it. They haven't done anything about that Charlie Benson who was beat up on his job at the Hil– ton Hotel ... the police report just came out and it said that the police hadn't done anything wrong. " 'What they did was dumb ... police of– ficials, and acting like little kids ... " "I don't give a d.ann about l.Dving, Herndon, the NAACP, or the opossum in– cident; it was a minor incident , not deserving of the hoopdala they've made out of it." Such was a collection of comments from people who were present. 'Ihe rally was held on the front lawn of the North Precinct. Ron Herndon, ~Chair of the Front, addressed the crowd, ''We know the arbitrator' s decision is fin– al ; but we in no way feel that Ward and Galloway have any business wearing a blue uniform in any part of the city. · There's nobody' SJOb you can work on, especially a City job, where you can IIDnkey around and throw dead animals. What was most disgraceful was that aft– er these Cats take part in this dis– picable behavior, you see a deronstra– tion where 5 and 6-hundred officers are downtown marching, showing support for these fools! " · The crowd roared as they showed their agreement with Herndon's state– ment. A Black policeman who was present broke rank with other Black officers and stated that he did not beleive the incident was racially rrotivated. "It was a prank, but they overdid it and it backfired on them. It was nothing -that was planned; it has always been the problan of the police against the Blacks; anytime you have a low-income area there will be a high concentration of police because of the greater inci– dence of crime. '' Three to four-hundred peo– ple concurred with Herndon's final words, "We are not' going to book this act no rrore. You can take it to Ringling Bros. " The acquittal and reinstate– ment of the two rren may have been a victory for the police union and the city, but it is a clear defeat for the populace, both Black and white. What laws are the police going to follow? Certainly not the criminal liability of throw– ing dead animals, or the police's "code of conduct". The arbitra– tor has said that the opossum– throwing was not racially moti– vated, though we all know that slaves in this country were Afrikan. The ~bi trator also claimed that Jordan ' bowed under political pressure' , but it appears that he himself bowed under the pressure from one of the city's most power- ful unions . These types of acts make the PPD look more like PIGS. RIGHT: Two young Brothers express their frustrations creative– ly at the BUF demonstration protesting the reinstatement of Ward and Galloway. BOTTOM: The demonstrators pause for a moment of prayer before marching on the North Pre– cinct in St. Johns. Photos courtesy of: Richard BrOMl / ·' t .