Officer kicked out of SE Portland cafe

Officer kicked out of SE Portland cafe

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by Anne Yeager

kgw.com

Posted on December 20, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Poll:
Did the manager have the right to kick out the officer?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Police Officer Jim Crooker said he was embarrassed after a manager kicked him out of the Red and Black Cafe in Southeast Portland -- just because he was a uniformed officer.

"At first it was humiliating. I was there to get to know the neighborhood so I can offer better service," said Crooker.

May 18, Officer Crooker stopped at the cafe for a cup of coffee when he ran into customer Cornelia Seigneur. She wanted to tell him thank you for all of his hard work.

But one of the managers interrupted their conversation.

"As I recall, he said I don't feel safe with you here, " said Seigneur, "He's looking at the police officer. My daughter and I were stunned."

The Portland Police Bureau has faced public criticism and protests, after some recent high-profile deadly shootings. Manager John Langley says police harass his customers, many of whom are homeless.

"To me, a uniformed officer doesn't represent safety. It makes me feel unsafe and my customers feel the same way." said Langley.

Officer Crooker quickly obliged and walked out the door.

But the incident upset Cornelia Seigneur so much that the freelance writer wrote about it online. Her blog post was loading slowly on Friday.

"I was really shocked and disappointed. I was sad and I feel that a human being was being humiliated, " said Seigneur.

Langley mades no apologies. He said if he sees a police officer again, he would ask that officer to leave.

"The job of the police involves persecuting houseless people, immigrants, and having them in this space doesn't feel right," Langley said.

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