Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, OR is on Kickstarter

Listen to this post: 

I’ve written about police brutality on this blog before. That post looked at some cases of folks who survived brutality but sustained traumatic brain injuries in the process. What about our community members who do not survive encounters with police? There are a lot. And if you are black, disabled, or both, your chances of having a police encounter that ends your life are much higher than if you look like me.

In the summer of 2013, I happened upon a video installation at PLACE, the gallery that used to be in Pioneer Place Mall. Me and the mall? Not a common occurrence. But I was there one day, and I saw “Safe & Sound?”. This was a video was made by a collective of artists and community organizers in Portland. The topic is Portland Police’s use of excessive force and intimidation. I saw interviews with family members of people the police had killed and others invested in speaking out when the people in uniform charged with protecting us are the ones harming us. I guess my take away question was why are we not all invested in this, every single one of us?

Fast forward to this month. Jamilah Bourdon had Jodi Darby and Erin Yanke on the program “Guess Who’s Coming to Radio??!!” on November 13, 2014. Listen here: I finally listened to this episode yesterday. And I thought wait one minute here. I know this. I saw this. I saw this film!

Turns out what I saw was pieces of what has now become a larger documentary. An extraordinarily important documentary. Now they’re on Kickstarter, like we were just were, raising those post-production funds.

I urge you to watch this campaign video, pledge what you can, and read about the film. In fact, you can even read about other films on this topic at the film’s site: They have a music list as well. But I noticed Krip-Hop Nation’s Police Brutality Profiling Mixtape is not on that list. Yet. We’ll make that happen.

Some people argue the police need more training. We must funnel more dollars into training the police to understand disability, respect disabled people, treat disabled people of color well, end racial profiling. That’s one avenue.

How about something else in this moment: we take a little focus away from thinking about the police’s needs. Listen to the stories of our very own neighbors who have been harmed and whose families have been ripped apart. Listen to these stories. Sit here and listen to these as long as you’re able to. Then see what you can do and whom you can collaborate with to join in the movement to end police brutality and police killings. Even if you’re white and look like me. Especially if you look like me.