Unrest continues to grow in Portland as protesters have been fighting against police brutality and racial injustice for months now (over one hundred days now, to be specific). In the pandemonium between protesters and cops, the police have begun to use unorthodox methods, one of which includes taking down Uber drivers.
Video Produced by: Henry Kueppers
While riding his bike through a protest on September 26th, an Uber delivery worker was tackled off his bike by the Portland police. They quickly held him down on the concrete where he was hogtied and detained. The driver tried to tell them he was working, but they didn’t really listen to him. The Uber driver wasn’t even participating in the protests. Yet, the police tried to justify their actions and refused to let him go, even though other protesters were confirming that he was a delivery driver. Caught on video, after the Uber driver communicates to them that he’s trying to deliver food, the police tell him that they gave a warning to the crowd.
The Uber driver has not been identified, and it is not known whether the man was arrested or simply detained momentarily. At the time of recording this video, neither Uber or the Portland Police Department have commented on the incident. However, many folks online are calling on Uber to condemn the police and make a statement, especially since Uber has recently created strong anti-racism ads in the country. Furthermore, in May, the CEO of Uber announced that the company would be pledging one million dollars to help sponsor police reform across the country. However, ironically, when the police attack one of their own employees, they have yet to condemn the actions or call out the police.
One Twitter user said, “@UberEats @Uber @Uber_Support y’all gonna do anything about this huge f**king problem?” This tweet was followed up with the comment, “I echo this statement. @UberEats @Uber @Uber_Support Stand Up Please!”
While Uber and the Portland Police continue to remain silent on the matter, the conversation has by no means ended. The internet is getting loud with their disagreement over the treatment of the Uber delivery driver and the ever growing brutality used by the police. Thousands of people took to Twitter to document the event and voice their anger.
Portland police are once again absolutely out of control. https://t.co/70ZgsaP9BB
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) September 27, 2020
— WallofVetsPDX (@PdxVets) September 27, 2020
These Tweets obviously are allowing people to voice their outrage and thoughts on the incident, but they’re beginning to serve another function as well. They are clearly illustrating the brutality and growing concerns over the Portland Police department.
Since the killing of George Floyd in May, there have been protests in the city almost every night. In this time, there have been countless fights and altercations between citizens and the police force. The police have been under heavy scrutiny for their use of excessive force and aggressive methods, including utilizing tear gas, shooting rubber bullets and apprehending and arresting protesters in unmarked vans. The situation is not being helped by the fact that the city has become filled with far-right wing extremists and Trump supporters, who continually feed fire to the flames. Because of this, inside one major protest or riot, you have two groups who are already diametrically opposed fighting one another, leaving the police to resort to despicable measures in order to “create peace.”
People across the country, not just in Portland are growing tired of the police. Social justice groups in Oregon are working fervently to bring justice to the people. In a statement to the Governor of Oregon, Kelly Simon, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon wrote, “among many abuses, police violently shoved and dispersed journalists, forcefully threw people to the ground, and threatened to destroy the critical supplies of protest medics.”
People on Twitter are in agreement with the ACLU and are beginning to take note of the lack of police reform and the lack of response from leaders in Oregon.
What's even more striking about this is you can't say that the Portland PD is even primarily motivated by racism, because Portland is one of the whitest cities in America (though the department is pretty racist). It's just brutality for it's own sake at this point
— frequent antifa flyer (@MenshevikM) September 27, 2020
This man, DOING HIS JOB, now is humiliated and almost undoubtedly will have life long trauma from this.
— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 27, 2020
It’s clear that this incident and several other ones are creating quite a conversation around the police in Portland and the ethics of the police force in general. But, we want to hear your thoughts about it! Are the police using excessive force? Are they out of line? Or, are they just doing their jobs? Let us know.