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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cops On Pregnant Panhandler: She Wasn't Pregnant, She's A Junkie...

Posted by Matt Davis on Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 10:41 AM

The Portland Police Bureau addressed the story of Catherine "Jasmine" Perkins, at this morning's Street Access For Everyone committee, the girl whose 10 sit/lie cites somehow slipped through the city's cracks, by telling the group "she has a heroin addiction," and that she wasn't even pregnant. "Everyone comes up with, how can I put this, a unique sign to draw in money," said Portland Police Officer Craig Dobson, in telling people about her case.
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Also, Dobson told the group, Perkins was mocked by fellow street kids for having her sign. She got into an altercation with another group of street kids, according to Commander Mike Reese, and a young man stepped in, who told Reese that he'd had his teeth kicked in for trying to intervene.

Apart from attacking the credibility of Perkins' story and blabbing about her medical issues, the cops did also apologize for, and explain, the data error that led to 11 of her sit/lie cites not appearing on the SAFE oversight committee's list.

"I'd like first and foremost to apologize to everyone on the committee for the error in our records division," said Reese.

The records division's code for a warning (#88) is different from their code for a miscellaneous violation under which the sit/lie cites fall (#269). Because Perkins stopped receiving warnings fairly early on, only her first warning was captured under the cops' records sweep, said Reese. But not her subsequent 10 citations.

Reese estimated that three other people with multiple citations have also slipped through the cracks. He's asked the records division to go through all the #269 cites from now on when it prepares data for the oversight committee.

Perkins, who is about to move into housing, now has around $3,000 of fines. Marc Jolin of JOIN is talking with Deputy District Attorney Laurie Abraham about ways for Perkins to transfer those fines to community service.

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