This is the city...Portland, Oregon.
It's a quiet place in northern Oregon where the Willamette River joins with the Columbia River.
Some people have what they want, others do not. When those who do not, try to take what is not theirs, is where I come in.
My name is Stensgaard...I wear a badge...I break the law.
That's right, in Portland Oregon, police officer Chadd Stensgaard decided that he didn't have to obey a no parking zone in front of a Japanese restaurant when it came time to stop for dinner.
While Stensgaard was on duty driving a Portland Police car back in March, he stopped outside the restaurant for a dinner break. The stop for dinner not only cost Stensgaard the price of his meal, it also cost him an additional $35.00 to the Portland Police Doughnut Fund.
About five minutes after Stensgaard arrived for dinner, Portland lawyer Eric Bryant approached Officer Stensgaard and informed him that he was breaking the law by parking in the no parking zone. Stensgaard replied that he was within his right to do so. He even used that as his defense when he appeared before Traffic Court Judge Terry Hannon last Wednesday saying that he parked his car so as to be nearby in case he needed to respond to an emergency. At the hearing Bryant, who filed a citizen complaint against Stensgaard testified that when he informed Stensgaard of his infraction he said that he is a officer of the law and that he is supposed to enforce, not break, the law.
In Oregon, emergency vehicles are allowed to park in no parking areas when responding to a call or, in the case of the police, pursuing a suspect. As of the writing of this article, no part of the Oregon traffic law allows for the purchase of sushi.
But don't think that won't stop police officials from lobbying to have the law amended. Police officials in Portland say that after this incident, they plan to approach the city commission to amend the city's no parking ordinances to allow police officers to park illegally when stopping for food or restroom breaks.
So it has come to this. We all know the police operate above the law anyway. Corruption in city police departments is almost as bad as it is in Congress. And just like Congress, the police are now going to lobby to have laws passed to make their illegal activities legal. Today it will be parking in no parking zones. Tomorrow it will be appropriating illegal weapons and drugs from the impound storage for personal use.
What has happened to common sense? There was a time when a crooked cop was the rare exception and generally they could be trusted. No longer is that the case. You can no more trust a cop than you can pick up the Brooklyn Bridge and throw it across the Atlantic.
And with stupid litigation lawyers looking for any excuse to make money by suing the snot out of everyone you can bet your mother's silverware set that the police officials in Portland will find a lawyer to argue their case before the Portland City Commission and will threaten to sue the city if they don't amend the law. The city will cave in to the lawyer rather than waste time and money defending itself and common sense.
Talk about stupid!