Last year was littered with morose stories about police departments.
Regardless of the size of the city (Ferguson, Missouri) or stature of the force (NYC), perception is always paramount when it comes to protecting and serving. The aforementioned examples went much deeper than your standard “PRFail,” so we’d like to focus on a kinder, gentler police department for 2015.
Welcome to Portland, Oregon.
The city has a reputation for being slightly granola, so a headlining story involving its police force is probably no reason to bite your nails…just ask Matthew Mglej.
Mgjel, 25, filed a lawsuit in the Portland Division of U.S. District Court of Oregon last week. According to Reuters, his $1.1 million claim holds that “officers used excessive force, unlawfully detained him and violated his constitutional rights when they arrested him during his free expression demonstration.”
Mgjel was just chilling and exercising his free speech when he was arrested last May…while playing a violin sans clothing outside the federal courthouse in Multnomah County.
The au naturel violinist now says officers dragged him across concrete to the police car while he was naked and dropped him “several times in the arrest process,” according to the lawsuit. He also claims to have suffered cuts on his wrists from the handcuffs and says that he was not allowed to contact a lawyer.
The police report begs to differ:
“The man was arrested without incident but would not cooperate and walk to the police car under his own power so he was carried by officers and placed into the vehicle for the ride to jail.”
Here’s the twist: to help endear himself to the local community, Mglej “played his violin and wrote messages quoting Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as passers-by took pictures, chanted, cheered and endorsed” his display.
In other words, this was just another case of your average law enforcement operation, endearing itself to the local community.