Oregon City Pays $600K in ‘Casual’ Racism Case Over Arrest of Black Man

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Former West Linn, Or., Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers work as his “personal posse” to initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy, The Oregonian reports. The city has negotiated to pay $600,000 to the target of the rogue investigation, Michael Fesser, 48. West Linn police also have agreed to a face-to-face meeting with Fesser. The settlement is one of the largest in the state resulting from a wrongful arrest claim, said Fesser’s lawyer, Paul Buchanan. It ends a federal lawsuit that Fesser filed in the summer of 2018.

“This case vividly illustrates a ready willingness on the part of the West Linn police to abuse the enormous power they have been given, and a casual, jocular, old-boy-style racism of the kind that we Oregonians tend to want to associate with the Deep South rather than our own institutions,” Buchanan said. The case file includes a raft of racist and crude text messages between police and Fesser’s boss. Fesser, a father of eight, now runs a prison ministry and transitional program to support men getting out of prison.

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