A black police officer from the Portland Police Department is gaining attention online for his testimony describing the racist treatment minority members of his force received from white protesters during Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
What are the details?
The city of Portland, Oregon, has experienced nearly 50 days of ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd in late May, and the abuse from activists toward law enforcement has led members of the PPD and their families to speak out.
One of those speaking out is Officer Jakhary Jackson, who described to Lt. Tina Jones last week during press availability what it has been like on the other side of the nightly protest lines.
“I’ll say this,” Jackson began, “I got to see folks that really do want change like the rest of us that have been impacted by racism, and then I got to see those people get faded out by people who have no idea what racism is all about — who have never experienced racism, that don’t even know that the tactics they are using are the same tactics that were used against my people.”
Officer Jackson recalled the treatment during demonstrations.
“A lot of times, someone of color — black, Hispanic, Asian — would come up to the fence and directly want to talk to me,” he said. But often, “someone white comes up, ‘F the police, don’t talk to him.”
What else did the officer say?
The officer said it became a pattern.
“I even had a young, African American girl tell me, ‘Why is you guys aren’t talking to us,’ I said, ‘Honestly, this is now the 23rd day of doing it, every time I try to have a conversation with someone that looks like me, someone white comes up and blocks them and tells them them not to talk,’ and then right when I said that this white girl popped right in front her.”
It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd. And you have white people screaming at black officers, ”You have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen.’ You hear these things and go, ‘Are these people, are they going to say something to this person? No.’
And that’s just one example. Having people tell you what to do with your life, that you need to quit your job, that you’re hurting your community but they’re not even a part of the community. Once again, you as a privileged white person telling someone of color what to do with your life.
See the full video of the interview with Officer Jackson, taken by KGW-TV, below:
What it’s like to be a Black officer policing Portland protests | Raw interview