Portland Police Bureau strikes again - and gets sued

Delease Carter is suing the PPB for harassment, unlawful arrest and battery

Delease Carter is suing the PPB for harassment, unlawful arrest and battery. Photo from the Oregonian

Delease Carter, a 21 year old student who lives in Northeast Portland and studies at Portland Community College Cascade (my old stomping ground!) is suing the city of Portland for battery and unlawful arrest.

Delease claims Portland Police Bureau officers (we don’t know which) touched breasts and genitals, slammed Delease’s head into the pavement and insulted her, all because she was walking home with friends in the middle of the street.

It seems obvious that Delease was a victim of racial profiling – a white youth dressed in the same manner would never have been subjected to the same treatment. Delease and friends were not picked up while doing anything criminal, they were walking in the street as opposed to on the sidewalk, but this hardly constitutes a “crime” per se.

The question remains, however, whether Delease was also stopped and assaulted by the police because of ambiguous gender presentation?

We don’t know how Delease identifies, but from what I have been reading in the press it seems that Delease was released as soon as police identified Delease as female by checking their ID, and considered her unlikely to be affiliated with the Kerby Blocc Crips they were patrolling for in the area. After the events that have been continuously transpiring with regards to the PPB, I am not surprised that we are still seeing a steady stream of profiling and offenses against minorities.

How safe are passing individuals in our city? Must we now expect not only to be treated differently because of skin colour, but also because of our gender presentation or a combination of the two?

The list of problems with the PPB and minority communities just keeps getting longer.

We will try and keep you updated on the case.

Watch this interview with Delease and there is also an interview and some background here.

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