Skip to comments.Vera Katz extends a new welcome mat for the city of Portland
Posted on 12/10/2001 1:33:57 PM PST by SAMWolf
Portland police have rejected U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's request for help in questioning thousands of young Middle Eastern men because the interviews likely would violate state law, the bureau's acting police chief said Tuesday.
Andrew Kirkland, an assistant police chief who is in charge of the Portland Police Bureau while Chief Mark Kroeker is on vacation this week, said the bureau was immediately troubled by the request when it arrived late last week.
Ashcroft has announced a plan to interview 5,000 men on an FBI list as part of the nation's developing anti-terrorism efforts. But Kirkland said the federal government's multiple-page document on the plan and a list of 200 men in the Portland area contained "no specific information" about crimes for which they might be suspected.
"It was fairly general," Kirkland said, "and some of the things it asked of us we questioned if we could do them or if we wanted to do them."
Without giving details, Kirkland said he, Kroeker and city attorneys were concerned the request violated Oregon law prohibiting local police from questioning immigrants when there is no evidence they are connected to a crime and foreign citizenship is the only issue.
"You can't use personnel and equipment just to go out and randomly interview people solely on immigration," Kirkland said. Portland's is the only police department known to have refused to cooperate with Ashcroft's request for assistance in questioning people in an attempt to gather more information in the nation's intensifying terrorism investigation.
Because of the length of the national list, and Ashcroft's desire to complete the interviews within 30 days, the attorney general sees the help of local police departments as crucial.
Kirkland said he had heard that police departments in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Tucson, Ariz., were beginning to raise similar concerns.
Michael Mosman, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, said he wasn't concerned about the Police Bureau's decision and that other law enforcement agencies in the state "are more than willing to help." He added that he is confident the plan doesn't violate any state or federal laws.
Not all of the men on the list are from the Middle East and none is a suspected terrorist, Mosman said. "They're not people with a criminal history," he said. "As far as we know, every one of them is here lawfully and engaging in lawful lives... They didn't get on the list because of race or ethnicity."
When asked how they wound up on an anti-terrorism list, Mosman said they had come to the United States in the past two years on tourism, student and business visas from countries with terrorist links.
He said the effort was tantamount to a traffic officer arriving to the scene of a car wreck and attempting to interview everyone standing around. "We are interviewing a number of people nationwide just to get more information," he said.
Portland's decision, he said, was "a tempest in a teapot," especially since the bureau is actively involved with other efforts to fight terrorism.
Kirkland said he was personally concerned that a city with a growing immigrant population might view the interviews as racial profiling. But the decision, ultimately, was based on "troubles with (Ashcroft's) directive," he said.
Mayor Vera Katz had not seen the request, yet was aware of the bureau decision, calling it "a wise one." "I do have a concern when we're asked to do something that violates state law," she said.
Thank you Sam.
Well now! Talk about a stupid explanation! Maybe Portland's finest should just nonchalantly go and try to interview Mohammed Atta and the others. After all, NOW there is some evidence that they were connected to a crime! A fine example of the lastest with the leastest.
I'm afraid that Oregonians are nearly as wierd and out-of-touch as we Washingtonians!
I hate to say this but the only good that emailing your thoughts to Vera will do is to allow you to vent. She won't change her mind. You wouldn't believe some of the things she wants to do...then, again, maybe you would. This woman is nothing but a little, fat pit bull...only more dangerous. The men she surrounds herself with are nothing more than weak, girly men. Sadly, even a good man like Kroeker is just trying to save his job (they announced this policy when he was on vacation). Now, trying to get cancellations at the Convention Center is a great idea!
I've been conducting my own personal boycott of Multnomah County for a number of years. I just don't go there, if at all possible. If I have to go, I don't spend any money. In the past year, I've been there twice. Once to Saturday Market, and I didn't buy anything (we had visitors from out of town). The other was to attend the Portland Police Bureau's Medal of Valor dinner, and I was proud to do so. This was a dinner to honor the men and women who went above and beyond the call of duty, and put their own lives at risk to help others or to apprehend a perp. I didn't spend a dime there, either. To sum it up, the way to get anybody is through the pocket book.
Calico, you have my condolences...and I like your screen name! ;o)
I love the graphics! Sent 'em on to hubby and others. They will get a kick out of 'em.
Aren't they a hoot? hehe ;^)
Great to see ya, btw =^)
Now I will have nightmares of that Pit Bull in heat look that she has!
First of all you will not believe who is having a concert at the center for New Years:
Mon Dec 31 - Jan 1, 2002, Arabic Concert/New Years Eve Party! (Link) (Oregon Convention Center for a quick laugh)
A quick glance at the 2002 groups meeting show about as liberal groups as you can get, lawyers, teachers, union members etc.. Maybe someone else with a little more time could find a conservative group to inform about this dangerous stand Katz and her group are taking. (Link) (Oregon Convention Center schedule for 2002/03)
Not only should we work to get all these people out of any position of responsiblity, hopefully the taxpayers who elected them will end up paying through the nose, if anyone is hurt by a terrorist so much as passing through Oregon.
Maybe there is some hope in Maine.