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Chief: Review of fatal shooting will follow the regular channels

In the Portland Tribune recently, columnist Phil Stanford incorrectly stated that I had considered firing officer Scott McCollister for the shooting of Kendra James (On the Town, May 27). This statement is completely false, and I would like to set the record straight.

Now that the grand jury is concluded, several reviews of this incident have begun. Internally, the Portland Police Bureau is conducting a thorough review of the shooting (as it does with all police-involved shootings). In addition, I have asked for a leadership team to provide me with a complete evaluation of all of the bureau's directives and policies regarding training, selection and recruitment, as it compares to other agencies. This effort, which is called CPORT, for Community Police Organizational Review Team, will look at the entire agency. Finally, the FBI is conducting its own investigation.

After the internal review is completed, final recommendations will be forwarded to me, as with any review of a police-involved shooting. It will be then that I consider a final disposition.

Mark A. Kroeker

Chief

Portland Police Bureau

Race wasn't main factor

in case of Kendra James

I wanted to take time and applaud Promise King's column regarding Kendra James (Woman's death reopens wounds, Insight, May 20). I am a black woman who feels this sad situation with James was brought to such a severe end due to her not wanting to cooperate. There are questions I have, such as was she on drugs at the time of the incident, and did this make her behavior less than acceptable?

Regardless of what was going on in her mind, she acted in an irresponsible manner that ultimately led to her death. I don't look at this as a racial incident, but as a stupid incident. The police officer could have lost his life.

I have been stopped several times and have always cooperated and most of the time received only warnings. James was not a role model, but the black community is making her seem as though she walked a straight and godly life.

I wish she had not been killed, but it happened. However, the racial conflicts that have resulted are not fair or justified.

Judy Spinelli

Molalla

Police mistreatment

of blacks is common

It is sadly the case that it takes the killing of a person of color by a police officer to re-engage the dialogue about police brutality, as in the tragic death of Kendra James (Woman's death reopens wounds, May 20). Yet if we pay attention to what is happening in America's cities today, it is apparent that overly aggressive police conduct is commonplace and is ruining the lives of so many young African-Americans.

I am a white man who is watching and wondering how to make police negativity toward the minority community stop. See the work of the Stolen Lives Project at www.stolenlives.org, describing the thousands of victims of police shootings, mostly people of color.

Train the police more? They have been trained. Give police more diversity and sensitivity training? It works only if the trainees care.

The truth is that excessive aggression Ñ usually aimed at blacks and Hispanics Ñ is a mind-set in America, one that can only change if we rethink local law enforcement from the top down, beginning with mayors committed to ending the criminalization of poor folks and minorities. It seems to me that the 'war on drugs' has become the 'war on people the police suspect,' and the net is spreading further every day, costing lives and ruining lives.

Did the use of lethal force on James save the life of the police officer? I don't think so. It is not enough to investigate one police shooting at a time, because we know the facts will always be construed to justify police action in the line of duty so long as a very subjective standard is used as to what the police officer believed at the time he or she pulled the trigger.

Bill Heinrichs

Cheshire, Conn.

Cool Runnings review

sold the menu short

With the pleasing photo and hearty food shots accompanying 'Beaumont takes to the islands' (May 30), it was surprising to read, in my opinion, a snarky, snobby and inaccurate review.

I have been to Cool Runnings several times and every time have found the food to be wonderful. Cal Ferris is devoted to his cooking. He does it seriously, paying close attention to detail, such as adding sprigs of rosemary (not sage) to a dish.

Remember, presentation counts for something, and they have plenty of it here. The service is exceptional and helpful (which you make no mention of), and the music is subtle. I find the overall atmosphere of the restaurant pleasant, inviting and authentic.

You mention good things about some of the main dishes according to what the chefs, servers and patrons recommend. But all this is prefaced with the phrase 'The food isn't great.' What isn't great about it? What are the menu's shortcomings?

You mention that the food is laced with flavorful spices and comes in generous portions with a 'nice selection of sides' and that the restaurant offers what sounds like a dynamite hot sauce. The only thing you pick apart is an appetizer.

I would hope that Tribune readers would bypass this 'review' and try Cool Runnings for themselves. They will not be disappointed.

Christian Stevens

North Portland