sights & sounds

June 6, 2010

‘being gracious’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:39 am
Tags: , ,

Officer James Crooker

From OregonLive.com; emphases mine:

In mid-May, Portland police Officer James Crooker  went to Southeast Portland on a patrol call. With a few minutes to spare, he decided to get a coffee.

So, he popped into the Red & Black  cafe on Southeast 12th Avenue near Oak Street, bought a coffee and was heading out when a customer approached him, saying she appreciates the hard job that police officers do every day in Portland.

One of the co-owners of the cafe, John Langley,  has another point of view. While the officer and customer were chatting, he walked up and asked Crooker to leave, saying he felt uncomfortable having a uniformed officer in the vegan cafe.

The incident, which was brief, speaks volumes about the tensions between Portland police and some members of the community who are more worried about police shootings than protection.

Crooker said he was surprised to be shown the door but left immediately. He said this marked a first during his nine-year in law enforcement, two in Portland and seven in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

“The places that I’ve been kicked out of before have been places like the methadone clinic,” he said. “I’ve never been kicked out of a regular cafe.”

But the 36-year-old officer, who was born and raised in Portland, said it’s all part of working this city’s streets in a uniform.

“We have a unique relationship with the community,” he said. “You’re there to protect them but on the other hand they don’t know what that involves. Being gracious is part of it.”

When Langley asked Crooker to leave, [Cornelia Seigneur] was startled.

“It was shocking,” Seigneur said. “Everyone deserves to have a coffee, and he was served a coffee. It was humiliating.”

A former Marine who served in Iraq2, Crooker didn’t take the incident to heart.

(more…)

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