Last night I attended the Coquille City Council meeting along with dozens of other angry citizens. The topic of our ire being the ongoing and pervasive abuses of the Coquille Police Department. Tensions have been fomenting for some time but was spurred by Clifford Latta who had the foresight and wisdom to organize a public meeting, read the history at Concerned Citizens of Coquille.
a forum for Citizens of Coquille, Oregon, concerned that their Police department is abusing it’s power, by opprotunistic & self serving manipulation of the Law. This is a forum where concerned citizens can voice their opinions and share their stories concerning police harassment or abuse of justice.
Two years ago I had my own experiences with the CPD which I will write about in more detail later. Research is a big part of my life as a science writer and I discovered several other people from all walks of life, working stiffs to educated middle class citizens that believe the local PD has repeatedly and systematically overstepped its authority. More than this, I believe that local police suffer from unprofessionalism, bias, incompetence and the consequence to the tax paying citizens more often than not is a violation of their civil rights.
The culture of any community, organization or police department is defined by its leadership. Coquille PD interactions, such as those described last night, are a direct reflection on the character of Chief Reeves and City Manager O’Connor.These abuses have been ongoing and so continue with the tacit approval of the current city council. Shame on them for allowing this to go on. Shame on them for condoning this treatment of their fellow citizens.
Coquille PD appears less as a public servant and more as a revenue generating organization picking the pockets of its fellow citizens. Hired thugs with guns and badges shaking down their own neighbors to justify their worthless existence while murders go unsolved, the drug problem continues unabated, etc….
My guess is there are some decent well meaning members of CPD, who joined the force or became policemen for honorable reasons, to protect and serve. Sadly, with the current leadership and the high quotas set they stand little chance of maintaining their own high standards and will inevitably get sucked down into the muck with the rest of the department.
Citizens of Coquille need to care enough about each other to clean out City Hall. Last night, thanks to Mr Latta’s organizing that process began. Several people provided me with contact information and I hope to include their documented experiences along with many others in a formal complaint to state and federal agencies. Violating civil rights is a federal crime, local police should consider this when they write up a violation for parking too far from the curb or stop another citizen without cause.
Concerned Citizens of Coquille is the first step toward policing the police.