The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office this morning agreed not to prosecute a Gresham woman if she, in turn, agreed not to sue a Gresham police officer involved in her controversial arrest on the MAX back in August.
Angela DeCorte signed an agreement prepared by attorneys from the City of Portland this morning to “hold harmless” the Gresham officer—essentially, agreeing not to pursue legal action. In exchange, the District Attorney’s office agreed to drop charges of resisting arrest, theft of services, and interfering with a peace officer against DeCorte. Officers from Portland and Milwaukie were also involved in the incident on the platform.
DeCorte took her partner’s daughter to the Wailers concert at the zoo on August 5th—they rode the MAX into Portland from Gresham. On their way home, says DeCorte, the train stopped at SE102nd Ave, where a man was screaming in pain on the platform about being Tasered by police officers.
“My daughter was asking why are they doing that?” says DeCorte. “She was asking if that was okay. So I repeated my daughter’s questions to the officers, asking if they realized there were children watching this.”
DeCorte says officers told her and other concerned onlookers: “You all need to mind your own business and get back on the train.”
DeCorte continued asking questions about the welfare of the man being Tasered, she says, when an officer approached asking for her fare. She showed the officer her purse, which had the ticket inside, and turned around to sit down on the MAX.
“Before I could sit down, I was grabbed on both sides and had my head ground down to the pavement,” she says. “My daughter is nine years old, and they’re yelling at me to get off the MAX.”
DeCorte says Gresham Sergeant Michael Amend told her “you’re fucked, you should have minded your own business, you’re going to jail.”
Once DeCorte’s daughter was off the MAX, she says, Amend told her “you’re a terrible parent, you shouldn’t have been allowed to have children, I’m going to call child services and get her taken away from you.”
DeCorte cried and begged to be allowed to take her daughter home, she says, but she was taken to jail instead, and not released until 6 o’clock the next morning.
DeCorte says she would rather focus on her family and on positive things than let the court case and proceedings drag out.
“I feel like, as a taxpayer, I paid for them to brutalize me, then I paid them overtime to show up in court, do I really want to keep paying them to drag this out?” she says.
"Profanity is not tolerated by our officers, and it would be investigated if a complaint was made," says Sergeant Rick Wilson, public information officer for the Gresham Police Department. "As for the agreement with the district attorney's office, you would have to talk with them about that."
DeCorte says she does now plan to file a complaint about her treatment.
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