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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adams + Police: What a NOt Graf

Posted by Matt Davis on Sun, Feb 21, 2010 at 5:08 PM

What do you think of Mayor Sam Adams' handling of the Campbell shooting crisis? I've put a poll after the jump. Meanwhile the Oregonian's city hall reporter Janie Har has a story in tomorrow's edition entitled "Will Portland Mayor Sam Adams take over Police Bureau?" Given the title, it's an article perhaps most interesting for the three-word nut graf—journalistic slang for the heart or kernel of the story:

It appears not.
Wow. So the point of the story is that the question in the title is completely misleading. Otherwise known as "trying to ram a square point into a round hole." Or: The editorial board at the Oregonian enjoy taking every opportunity they can to bring up the Breedlove scandal and stick it to Adams. It's predictable, to say the least, no matter how unfair it may be on the paper's reporters who have to attempt to weave such narratives into a reflection of the real situation on the ground.

Update, 7:32pm They've changed the headline on the paper's website. Now it says "Aaron Campbell shooting tests Portland Mayor Sam Adams' role." Sadly the old title is still visible in the html, but good catch, boys. Although it does make you look a little tentative...kind of like you'd decided to do one thing, but then when you were called on it, you decided to do something a bit more sensible. A lot like Mayor Sam Adams and the police bureau I suppose. Wokka wokka wokka.

Original post,5:08pm: Having said that, City Commissioner Nick Fish is also giving some pretty feisty quote. He, of course, has "no complaint" with the way Adams and Saltzman have handled the situation. Of course not. No complaint! Having said that...

...the community "expects the mayor, and not any individual council member, to solve this problem."
Ziiinggggg. The rest of the article, too, puts pressure on Adams over his handling of the Campbell crisis.
"He had nothing to say before the Rev. Jackson came to town," said Bishop A.A. Wells of Emmanuel Temple, who spoke at one of the rallies. "That was shameful in my mind; it shows no respect."
And of course there's a quote from Avel Gordly, who managed to bring the recall into the rally on Wednesday. Watch video by Stefan Kamph, after the jump. Skip to 4:25 minutes in, for when she says, "what do we want?" and the crowd hesitantly answers, "recall?" It's pretty telling.

It's true that the mayor was absent from this crisis in its immediate aftermath. He didn't mention it in his state of the city speech, which was a major oversight. But I've been impressed with the sincerity of his attempts to play catchup ever since Tuesday when he promised to be "more visible" on the issue.

Oregonian columnist @Annargriff has Tweeted that Mayor Adams can't hand police commissioner responsibilities off, and then reclaim them when there's a crisis. That he "can't have it both ways:"

Picture_1.png
And it's true that Reverend Jesse Jackson's arrival in town certainly seemed to underline the need for Adams to become more involved. But I think I'm with Marcus Mundy, CEO of the Urban League, when he's quoted in Har's article, here. What really matters is whether the mayor can deliver results on this crisis—the results being demanded by the community. And so far, over the last five days, the signs have been promising. Still, what do you think?

HOW DO YOU RATE MAYOR ADAMS' HANDLING OF THE CAMPBELL CRISIS?

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