Police Murder Unarmed Person of Color

 
On Sunday March 28th, just after 5pm PST, two Portland police officers stopped James Perez for a traffic violation, in a neighbourhood traditionally "money-poor" but rich in spirit. A traffic violation generally is a small fine, this time it resulted in death, without trial, judge, or jury. Soon after the murder, portland indymedia readers began their own investigation of the crime and the officers involved.

James Perez, a person of color, was shot in his car multiple times by a police handgun, and at least once by a police tazer, it hasnt been confirmed if the officers attempted to use "less-lethal" weapons before opening fire. Apparently Perez was asked to exit his vehicle and was unbuckling his seat belt when one officer, Jason Sery, opened fire.

This is not the first public police murder in Portland, in the recent past two other highly publicized murders occured. The Portland Police shot and murdered Kendra James one year ago, and Jose Mejia Poot two years ago. All victims were people of color. So far no officer related murders have resulted in any serious punishement of the murderers.

RELATED: 15 Hours Later | Rose City Cop Watch | Portland Cop Watch | Kendra james Video (download)

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Sadness and Contradictions

Kurai Tsuki 31.Mar.2004 00:23

This is a very sad story. And the situation in Portland seems to contradict the ultraconservative stereotype of people of colour being more privileged than whites.

Guilty without a trial

Michael 31.Mar.2004 03:42

There have been some very well documented cases of police homicide. However, I find it inexcusable that you use terms like "murder" to describe this shooting. Whether this is murder or homicide is to be decided by some kind of investigation. Even if you believe that the system is corrupt how can you possible have had time to discover any facts about this shooting? It discredits Indy Media to publish articles that do not even make a pretense of looking for any kind of fact to establish an opinion. Police sometimes need to kill in order to protect themselves and society. They also need to be regulated to stop the type of corruption that is endemic in human nature and the police force. My criticism is not about weather this officer is guilty of murder or justified in his use of force. I simply don't know. I suspect that Indy Media is no more informed than I am.

Last year a member of the Indy Media community murdered a police officer. He simply walked up behind him and shot him in the head leaving a wife and kids behind. It is sad that Indy Media seems to have not learned the lessons of such incidents, and at least attempted to be more responsible in their reporting.

People of what?

J.L 31.Mar.2004 16:58

I'm sorry but the term "people of color" makes no sense to me. If the victim was Indian or Korean would you refer to him as a "person of color". What if he was Native American. Or what if he was a light skinned Mexican with no Indian heritage. In most cities the majority of police officers are "people of color" anyway. But I really don't understand dividing the world based on skin complexion.

to the above commenters

portlander 31.Mar.2004 20:50

1. get real. indymedia is a reliable tactic not a news source. this tactic is for real people to tell radical accurate and passionate tellings of the truth. That is the basic mission statement. If you follow up on pdx imc a bit, you will see the discussion is now that the police planted drugs on James Perez, tazed him after he was shot and MURDERED, and the police have downplayed this "incident". On global you cant really get into a lot of detail, it is a portal to the local indy. So check it out.

2. the term person of color is an unoffensive way to address non-caucasian people. so, yes, it would be used for lightskinned mexicans and native americans. As I understand, it is what the radical people of color prefer to be addressed as when addressed as a whole. Also, in Portland, the city is 77% white. The police officers are mostly white because the city is as well. In this case, race card is pulled because this is the third violent murder that white portland police have committed in the name of law with tax dollars. So, that is why I would guess that disttinction is drawn. again, it is tough to get into all the detail for a global piece.

read more at portland.indymedia.org

people of color

Bob 31.Mar.2004 21:53

I have yet to see someone who is without color. My color is kind of pinkish. After a day in the sun, I am a person of a little red color followed by a tan color. My neighbors are people of brown or black color. My wife is Italian and is a person of a little darker color than me. My chinese friends people of a little yellowish color.

Get brave. You mean black people. Intellegent black people do not get any more offended by the term "black" than I do by the term "caucasian."

If Gadafi moved to America, he would be a white african american.

By the way, Indymedia is not news, it is simply entertainment. I read it for a good laugh.

-

Kurai Tsuki 01.Apr.2004 00:44

I don't think Quadaffi would consider moving to the 'states considering how the American bombing killed his adopted daughter.

i am not a colour

steveinnit 01.Apr.2004 07:36

if all noncaucasians are "of colour" then what are caucasians
i used to think that even discussing the race of people was racist but now? no - there IS white culture, black culture, punk culture, society rich twat culture, these labels have to be used so that they can be challenged and either destroyed, developed or moderated
there are some words that are offensive but people of colour definitely is a shit phrase,it implies that the user is treading very carefully when they speak, just like a politician
there is so called politically correct speech but there is politically stupid speech also
people of colour is one such stupid phrase
i am white i guess all the other posters are as well, what do people of other races think

re: People of Color

J.L 01.Apr.2004 15:37

I just think its an ambiguous term. Because it is almost always used to refer to African Americans. But it implies that there is some kind of division between
Europeans and the rest of the world. I mean most of Latin America is a European/Indian mix. And most of Asia and the Arab world doesn't use the term.

This man was unarmed and shot three times

. 02.Apr.2004 05:36

Then he was tasered for three minutes. It was all recorded.

Hear what the witness has to say

 http://easylink.playstream.com/katu/040331tasing_story11p.wvx

This officer is a huge liability

The Portland police are nazis 02.Apr.2004 06:23

The city of Portland paid out $5,000 in February to resolve a federal civil lawsuit alleging excessive force and assault by police Officer Jason Sery, who investigators say shot and killed an unarmed black driver during a traffic stop Sunday in north Portland.

The lawsuit alleged that Sery and another officer, William Gillentine, beat a man on August 26, 2001 at a north Portland gas station.

The lawsuit, filed in November of last year, claims the man "suffered serious injury to his head, right eye, right ear and was knocked unconscious." It sought $5,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 more for pain and suffering.

Court records did not indicate what prompted the alleged assault, but the plaintiff claimed the two officers grabbed him and then "forced him to the ground and beat him."

In a response filed to the claim, the city had maintained that Officer Sery arrived at the scene as the man was already being placed into a police vehicle to be taken to jail.

The city attorney who handled the case declined to comment on why the city settled within months of the lawsuit being filed. However, one legal analyst suggested the payout could have been a simple "nuisance" settlement.

Read lawsuit filed in Nov. 2003
"The significance of $5,000 is very simple," said attorney Richard Weil of the Troutdale Law Firm. "That is the arbitrary amount the city atty's office can authorize without going to the council... or so that is what they always say when we go to judicial settlement conferences in lawsuits with the city. It is essentially nuisance value."

Meantime Thursday, the Portland civil rights lawyer who represented the plaintiff in the federal case said he is preparing to file another lawsuit alleging abuse by Officer Sery.

"There seems to be problem in the community," said attorney Christian Bottoms. "An alarm has been ringing for quite some time... and I think this case, along with other cases, will hopefully bring enough attention to this issue."

Bottoms' client, Daemon Bowman, contends his previous encounter with Sery has striking similarities to Sunday's incident that claimed the life of James Jahar Perez, 28, who had refused to provide identification and was reportedly struggling with Sery's partner.

On Sept. 9, 2003, Sery stopped Daemon Bowman for a "booming" car stereo after he drove into the parking lot of his apartment complex in North Portland and was walking toward his unit. According to Sery's report, Bowman could not produce a driver's license or identification.

Bowman, angry that police raced up to him for a minor offense, said he walked back to his car to get his identification. While he was seated in the car, unable to provide a driver's license, Bowman said, police yanked him out.

"Sery maced me and the other officer grabbed me, and they threw me on the side of the car. One guy took me to the ground with his knee on my back, and Sery had his baton out striking me," Bowman said.

Bowman was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault. A judge sentenced him to 15 months' probation for resisting arrest. The other two charges were dismissed. His mother filed a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division on Sept. 11, 2003, submitting photos of her son's bruised arm, hip and buttocks from the baton blows.

In a Nov. 13, 2003, letter, internal affairs Capt. Darrel Schenck declined the complaint, the only one in Sery's file, Schenck said.

Police Union President Robert King said he could not comment on the allegations raised because he was not familiar with them. Sgt. Cheryl Robinson, Portland police spokeswoman, said only that Sery's police record of one complaint speaks for itself.

The Portland police are nazis

that's why they need three copwatch organizations 02.Apr.2004 06:52







The city of Portland paid out $5,000 in February to resolve a federal civil lawsuit alleging excessive force and assault by police Officer Jason Sery, who investigators say shot and killed an unarmed black driver during a traffic stop Sunday in north Portland.

The lawsuit alleged that Sery and another officer, William Gillentine, beat a man on August 26, 2001 at a north Portland gas station.

The lawsuit, filed in November of last year, claims the man "suffered serious injury to his head, right eye, right ear and was knocked unconscious." It sought $5,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 more for pain and suffering.

Court records did not indicate what prompted the alleged assault, but the plaintiff claimed the two officers grabbed him and then "forced him to the ground and beat him."

In a response filed to the claim, the city had maintained that Officer Sery arrived at the scene as the man was already being placed into a police vehicle to be taken to jail.

The city attorney who handled the case declined to comment on why the city settled within months of the lawsuit being filed. However, one legal analyst suggested the payout could have been a simple "nuisance" settlement.

Read lawsuit filed in Nov. 2003

"The significance of $5,000 is very simple," said attorney Richard Weil of the Troutdale Law Firm. "That is the arbitrary amount the city atty's office can authorize without going to the council... or so that is what they always say when we go to judicial settlement conferences in lawsuits with the city. It is essentially nuisance value."

Meantime Thursday, the Portland civil rights lawyer who represented the plaintiff in the federal case said he is preparing to file another lawsuit alleging abuse by Officer Sery.

"There seems to be problem in the community," said attorney Christian Bottoms. "An alarm has been ringing for quite some time... and I think this case, along with other cases, will hopefully bring enough attention to this issue."

Bottoms' client, Daemon Bowman, contends his previous encounter with Sery has striking similarities to Sunday's incident that claimed the life of James Jahar Perez, 28, who had refused to provide identification and was reportedly struggling with Sery's partner.

On Sept. 9, 2003, Sery stopped Daemon Bowman for a "booming" car stereo after he drove into the parking lot of his apartment complex in North Portland and was walking toward his unit. According to Sery's report, Bowman could not produce a driver's license or identification.

Bowman, angry that police raced up to him for a minor offense, said he walked back to his car to get his identification. While he was seated in the car, unable to provide a driver's license, Bowman said, police yanked him out.

"Sery maced me and the other officer grabbed me, and they threw me on the side of the car. One guy took me to the ground with his knee on my back, and Sery had his baton out striking me," Bowman said.

Bowman was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault. A judge sentenced him to 15 months' probation for resisting arrest. The other two charges were dismissed. His mother filed a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division on Sept. 11, 2003, submitting photos of her son's bruised arm, hip and buttocks from the baton blows.

In a Nov. 13, 2003, letter, internal affairs Capt. Darrel Schenck declined the complaint, the only one in Sery's file, Schenck said.

Police Union President Robert King said he could not comment on the allegations raised because he was not familiar with them. Sgt. Cheryl Robinson, Portland police spokeswoman, said only that Sery's police record of one complaint speaks for itself.