An 18-year-old Jefferson High student, Abie Ilias, is suing the Portland Police Bureau and Jefferson's dean of students, alleging she was handcuffed for an hour—all because her cousin was disrespectful to the dean.
The lawsuit alleges that Officers Charles Lovell and Ron Cash grabbed Ilias and handcuffed her because her cousin told Dean of Students Donald Johnson to "shut up." The suit says the officers had no right to detain Ilias because they had no reason to believe she had committed any crime. (Saying "shut up" isn't a crime, nor is it a crime to be related to someone who does.) The suit seeks undisclosed damages, which will be decided at a trial.
"Any time the police become involved, it's their situation," says Matt Shelby, a spokesman for Portland Public Schools. Lawyers for Ilias didn't return the Mercury's call, and it is against the police bureau's policy to comment on ongoing lawsuits. MATT DAVIS
Someone appears to be sparking trouble along NE Alberta. In the early morning of Saturday, April 14, multiple fires were set along the popular strip—all within an hour of each other.
Four of the fires were started in recycling containers, and a fifth was started in a VW van. One of the blazes, a three-alarm, spread to an apartment building on NE 31st and engulfed the entire attic. Another fire spread to La Sirenita taqueria, causing a reported $3,000 in damages, according to the Portland Fire Department (the restaurant is still open for business).
"Our investigators don't assume anything," says Portland Fire and Rescue's Public Information Officer Lt. Allen Oswalt. "But the fact that they were all started within an hour of each other in a 10-block radius, common sense would tell us they are [arson]." DAN SAVICKAS
FINALLY, A GAY VICTORY
Score two more points for Oregon's gays! On Tuesday, April 17, the Oregon House of Representatives passed a pair of bills, one that would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (Senate Bill 2), and another that would extend roughly 500 state marriage benefits—in the form of domestic partnerships—to same-sex couples (House Bill 2007).
Both bills now head to the senate for expected approval, and then on to Governor Ted Kulongoski, who supports both measures. AMY J. RUIZ