Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Naive criticism of officer-involved deaths comes from a lack of understanding.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Portland police officers on patrol.The guest column by Cristal Otero (Tribune, Dec. 26) is so bias and emotionally charged, it simply makes no sense.

From the first paragraph, it's clear Ms. Otero is intending to denigrate our police. Her statements are something that could only have incubated in the halls of PSU, where objective thinking is no longer allowed.

While deftly outlining different events and names, she makes it clear (in her mind) that these events were avoidable and were the result of lack of police training. Nothing could be further from the truth. Her logic is designed to suggest additional police training will allow cops to somehow become mystics and clairvoyant when determining if a person charging them with a knife has plans to kill them. Police will be able to conclude a person's mental condition as they measure a response? And this to be done in the two to three seconds before a knife plunges into their chest?

Consider just a few of her inane statements: "Over the last decade our community has had 27 deaths caused by police actions." Really? The police cause the deaths? Are you sure the cops were not defending themselves from certain injury or death?

Or consider this bizarre sentence: "Later that year, Billy Wayne Simms was killed with an AR-15." No, he wasn't "killed" with an AR-15. He died from a bullet fired from an AR-15. However, would it have been different had he died from a shotgun blast or a .38 caliber handgun?

Further examples of her naive criticism are compounded by saying one death involved a veteran and another a 17-year-old. Are we to assume veterans and 17-year-olds cannot be dangerous? Should a cop ask their names, age, rank and if they're honorably discharged from the military before reacting?

There's so much more to this misguided rant, it takes your breath away. I'm no cop, and have never been in any law enforcement organization. Therefore, I don't pretend to know what a cop does on a given shift. However, I don't think a person needs to be in law enforcement to recognize bias or uninformed thinking.

Having said that, it seems to me Ms. Otero should confine her observations and opinions to academia where she has an audience. When second-guessing police, she is out of her league and speaking in abstracts that have no basis in reality. She's not a cop and as such is not qualified to be judgmental.

If I won three straight challenges of the board game Monopoly, would I then be qualified to open my own real estate business? If I watched the Indy 500 for a decade, would I be qualified to drive?

Cristal Otera is not in a position to make the comments she does about police.

Jim Speirs is a Portland resident.

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