Interview conducted and transcribed by Portland writer Theresa Griffin-Kennedy
Interview with Don DuPay April 23rd, 2011.
The academic study of law enforcement issues as well as writing about trends and patterns in law enforcement is as important socially as any manner of sociological or psychological inquiry. And so is personal narrative with law enforcement as its focus, because it is essentially story telling; the dissemination of personal stories from those who have dedicated their lives to the idea that public safety is important and law enforcement a worthy profession.
Story telling can be an effective way of humanizing even the most seemingly detached sort of person and sometimes the most effective way of doing this is through the interview process.
They say the third time’s the charm and that must be true because for my third police interview I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with a former homicide detective previously employed with the Portland Police Bureau that I have tremendous respect and admiration for.
Mr. Don Dupay was employed with the PPB from 1961 through 1978, first as a uniformed patrol officer doing things as diverse as working traffic, morals, vice, burglary and then later working in the homicide division. In sharing certain aspects of his history and experience, I’m hoping to create a dialogue in which more empathy and understanding can be manifested within those individuals who don’t fully comprehend the incredible difficulty and personal sacrifice that a career in law enforcement often entails.
Interviewing Don DuPay beginning Feb 10th of 2011 was a compelling and sometimes melancholy experience. I met a keenly intelligent man, a former police officer employed 17-years, the last 11 of which he worked as a police Detective in both the burglary and homicide details. Don has a quick and lively intellect. He listened with thoughtful seriousness to each of my questions, considering each issue and question carefully; responding sometimes with long riffs on what he was thinking and other times with laconic, quick remarks that left me hoping for more.
Don fluctuated between appearing sad and tired and other occasions becoming quite humorous, cynical and dead pan. A man of 74 years who has seen and smelled more than his share of visual and olfactory horrors. There were times during the interviews when Don appeared to be haunted by his past in law enforcement. Still preoccupied by the horrible aftermath of equally horrible crimes that he and his colleagues were expected to solve, then casually come to terms with later and dismiss. When Don was an officer and later a homicide detective, there were no such things as support groups or “traumatic incident committees” where officers could go to voice concerns, share experiences or receive emotional support from other officers who might clearly understand. Don, like all officers of his generation was expected to walk it alone with regard to internalizing the potential trauma and ugliness of working in law enforcement, with its daily fare of dangerous violence and the very worst in human behavior.
At one point during our first interview Don became emotional and quietly wept for a short moment before apologizing. “I’m sorry” he whispered, “its just talking about this--its hard.” I said nothing, leaning into him slightly as we sat in the restaurant booth. I simply gazed at him with what I hoped were understanding eyes. I would not qualify his emotions, negate them or make him feel in any way uncomfortable by making comment, even if good intentioned. Rather, I attempted to provide a kindly presence only, without comment or opinion. At one point, I reached over the table and lightly squeezed his left hand to communicate my good will and sympathy, as he sat hunched over with his head down.
Don told me about the old days of Portland Oregon, long before I was born. Back when he was a fresh faced young man of 25 eager to “make a difference” and ending in 1978 when he left the force because…“I couldn’t do it anymore; it would have killed me.” He told me about officers taking money and drugs when they shouldn’t have. Of chiefs of police drinking whiskey on the job and being serviced by young, underage East Portland prostitutes in City Hall. He spoke of the death of a young teen-aged boy, murdered he said, by other officers.
He spoke of a time of societal innocence and equal measures of abuse of power by those in power. He spoke of the ways things were done in “the old days” when old veterans with knives were not shot to death with high powered hand guns and rifles but rather were wrestled to the ground and deprived of their weapon by superior hand to hand combat; so they could continue to live their lives, such as they were.
He spoke of a time that will never exist again.
TK: Okay, so it looks like its recording… (laughs).
DD: It looks like its recording but… (smiles).
TK: These things are really interesting--they’re really sensitive (MP3 Player)...and like this? It comes up--like any kind of crackling paper? It just comes up like you would not believe! But they’re convenient. I just still feel kind of spooked by them, (laughs). I just wish I had an old tape recorder but I don’t! So anyway! I’m just going to go over some of the same old questions. Why did you feel compelled to become involved in a career in law enforcement; what made you want to become a police officer?
DD: Young. Idealistic. An interest in firearms and like a lot of men back then, I thought I could make a difference. You can’t; you can’t make a difference. When I became a police officer back in the 1960’s, I was a young idealist just out of the Navy and I thought if I put enough people in jail, I could make it a better world. Youthful idealism.
TK: Okay, that’s usually the reason. I hear that a lot.
DD: Back in the early 1960’s there was a television program called “The New Breed. Have you heard of it?
DD: Well, “The New Breed” was about men in law enforcement that used their brains as opposed to their brawn. I was a part of the New Breed of police officer.
TK: Okay. Ultimately you advanced to Homicide Detective within the PPB. What are some of the special demands that are involved in being a Homicide Detective?
DD: Well, homicide was just one of the specialties that I worked in. It’s a horrible job. The worst job anyone could have. Probably the worst job in the world. Lookin at dead bodies--pickin up dead bodies. Uh, something you never want to get yourself involved in. Don’t believe what you see on these CSI shows. They make it pretty cold--but when you really get--when you really see somebody’s head--somebody’s head cut open--that’s not--that’s not what you want to see. Stay away from Homicide! (smiles).
TK: Okay. What did you enjoy most and what did you enjoy least?
DD: About being a detective?
TK: Uh huh.
DD: Well, you didn’t have the uniform to interfere with who you were talking to. It’s easier to talk to people just one on one...with a guy with a suit and a tie on than it is with a uniform and a badge and all the cowboy stuff they wear nowadays. So…
TK: Okay. Describe the most challenging encounter you ever had with a violent criminal and how that experience affected you.
DD: Uh, a long time ago out in the old Columbia Villa, I was working with a brand new policeman--for his first day and we got a call on a--on a family beef. And the husband was laying on the couch and his wife was at the door and she was trying to get away from him. And every time that she would try and get away from him, he would jump up, push her against the wall, put the knife to her throat…so…and this was back in the day when we didn’t carry tear gas. There were no shotguns; you had to call the Sgt to the precinct to get a shotgun. And uh, my other problem was I had a brand new policeman who didn’t know that the hell he was doing! And there were children upstairs too--and he was gonna kill the wife and kill all the kids. So, I told the young policeman to shoot the guy and kill him if he started up the stairs! And then meanwhile I ran back to the car--got help from the Sgt. Eventually we tear-gassed him out of the place. And uh, I was glad that I never had to shoot him because back in those days she would have had to sign a complaint. (For domestic violence) and she wouldn’t have! And then I’d have been the guy who killed her kid’s father. That stands out in my mind.
TK: That was a pretty awful place, the Columbia Villa.
DD: It was terrible.
TK: When you were an officer and later a Homicide Detective, how did you feel about having to carry a gun and possibly having to take someone’s life in the line of duty?
DD: I never thought about it. Carrying a gun is like carrying a screw driver. You park it after awhile. You stop thinking about it. I always made sure that I was good on the firing range. And if I shot you the first shot would go right through the middle of your head. I worried about me going home. I didn’t particularly care about whether you went home. And that has to be the philosophy of the police!
TK: Uh huh. I’ve heard that before. How did working in law enforcement affect your personal life?
DD: Oh it totally… it totaled out my whole life. It ruined it, just ruined it. It fills your life with post traumatic stress syndrome…stuff you can never get out of your head. It causes divorces; it causes people to drink too much. Most policemen can’t deal with the stress and so they deal with it in inappropriate ways. For instance, how do you go to a murder scene and see everything that you have to see and then go home and prop your feet up on the table, read the paper and talk to your wife about how your day went? You can’t do that. You can’t do that; not without a glass of whiskey in you.
TK: What personal and professional qualities or traits are needed in a competent and responsible police officer?
DD: Common sense.
TK: Common sense? Really? That’s interesting you would say that because I met a retired police Sgt. for coffee once and I asked him that very same question and he told me verbatim “Common sense and moderation” so it’s just interesting to hear you use that very same word.
DD: Common sense…if you don’t have any common sense, you shouldn’t be a policeman. They don’t teach it in college and they don’t teach it in the police academy and it you don’t have it then you can’t make it…the way you’re supposed to.
TK: Okay. Do you believe the expectations of policy makers, politicians or the general public to be unrealistic with regard to police work, training or procedure? In terms of criticism?
DD: The general public really has no idea what the police are trained to do or not to do. They’re not allowed to confront them when they do something wrong...
TK: They’re not allowed to what?
DD: They’re not allowed to confront policemen when the policemen do something wrong. The internal affairs system is designed and set up to frustrate the citizen and protect the police and that’s all it’s designed to do. There’s really no reason for Internal Affairs. If I was the chief of police, every policeman who was complained against would be talking to the complainants in city council chambers instead of--we would be totally out in the open. There would be no--no back up--because you work for the citizens; you don’t work for Internal Affairs. And if you can’t confront your boss, the one who pays your salary then the system is all wrong.
TK: Okay. Do you think that people…like the public presume that police work is simple and not a complex calling that requires special training and education?
DD: No, people nowadays realize that police work is very complicated and very dangerous and uh…(Long pause)…it’s a profession you definitely want to stay away from. Kids grow up, they want to be a fireman--they want to be a policeman. Neither one of them are good ideas.
TK: Uh huh. But we need em… (laughs).
DD: I didn’t say we didn’t need em! (smiles). But it’s not a good idea!
TK: Right, okay. Can you explain any significant historical shifts in the manner that police are trained that has had an impact on civilian deaths?
DD: Yeah-they have too many weapons!
TK: Too many weapons?
DD: Uh huh, too many--somebody died--that was just yesterday on the news that got hit with a taser. Tasers will kill people.
TK: Yeah, they do.
DD: They shouldn’t be allowed!
TK: Uh huh. Causing heart attacks and things like that?
DD: Heart attacks…you don’t know what you’re doing to the body when you interrupt all that electrical stuff that’s going on in the head. Bean bag guns? I mean what the hell is that?! We never had bean bag shot guns! You either went out and you did your police work or you didn’t! You didn’t have a taser with a 25 foot long dart on it so you could shoot somebody from a mile away!
DD: You know they just need to go back to doing police work. And they don’t need to do that in Jack Boots and jump suits and bald heads and tasers! They got more--if you look at a policeman now--they got more shit strapped around their waist--then a woman has in her purse!
TK: Okay. (laughs). When considering what has been termed the “huge disconnect” between the publics understanding of police work, use of force and police procedure, and what police officers actually have to do on a daily basis, what do you think can be done to help facilitate this lack of understanding between police and those individuals and/or community members who are routinely critical of police?
DD: Well, for one, they need to stop with the shaved heads! They need to stop looking like the Gestapo! The shaved heads and black jackets and the Jack boots. You know back when I was at it we had hair! Police officers should have hair!
TK: (laughs)…what are Jack boots?
DD: (motions to below his left knee).
TK: Oh! The ones that come up to--oh okay--like military boots or something?
DD: Military boots! Gestapo-ish appearances!
TK: Okay. Alright.
DD: We didn’t look like that! The uniforms weren’t like that in those days.
TK: I remember the uniforms in the early 70’s, they were just blue and pretty simple.
DD: Blue and simple!
TK: Yeah, okay.
DD: I wouldn’t want to wear a jacket that had “Police” in 6 inch high letters on the back! I mean what a target--and how stupid!
TK: What are police doing now in 2011 that they were not doing 35-40 years ago and how is the training different?
DD: Well, the training is a lot more formalized because they have to go down to Monmouth…where the college is and go through all that training. I don’t know how many hours they have and I don’t know what they do down there. When I went to the police academy it was here. It was held locally. It was 320 hours long and I graduated number one in my class.
TK: And when was that?
TK: Five years before I was born. (laughs).
DD: Got out of the Navy in 1959, joined the police department in 1961.
TK: Is the training better or worse in your opinion now?
DD: Well, it’s hard for me to say because I don’t know that they’re training them in. All I see is the results and I don’t like the results of what I see. I don’t like the way they bring out the tasers. I don’t like the way they look. I don’t like their attitude. They’re not friendly; most policemen are rude. That’s one of the biggest complaints that citizens have--is that the cops are rude--and they got no business being rude! There are a lot of nice people in this town!! If I was the chief of police and someone complained to me about a cop that was being rude--he’d be in my office!
TK: Do you think police departments should go back to the old way of recruiting officers with height requirements and more training in physical combat with more stress on actual physical strength? Because there have been a lot of instances recently where police officers have been overpowered by criminals because a lot of male police officers are 5/3. And it used to be in the 70’s there were height requirements. 5/10, 6 feet, you know nothing below about 5/9 or 5/10.
DD: You know I’ve always agreed that they should be taller than that. They did the same thing when they first put women in the police car. No height requirement either. I thought that was dangerous. I still think it’s dangerous. I still think it’s too dangerous a job for a woman. And you need to be big enough to take care of yourself, otherwise you resort to…
TK: Right. The pistol?
DD: The pistol, the taser, whatever.
TK: Okay. And that leads me to my next question. (laughs). What are your thoughts on women and police work?
DD: Women have a valid place in police work but not in police cars doing patrol work. They need to focus more on the social aspect of the job. More about taking care of…preventing. Being involved in things like gang enforcement. But women shouldn’t be in police cars doing police work. It’s a man’s job. Why should they be out there? On the front-lines? I think there’s a role for women in police work…as social workers but not out there on the streets, not doing what men have to. Not out there on the front-lines anyway. I’m sorry if that sounds sexist...
TK: Oh, no, not at all, not at all…I think…
DD: And I’ll tell you something else! When this first came around in the early to middle 60’s, there were a lot of policeman’s wives that were not happy about them spending 8 hours in a car with another woman! There was a lot of that mumbo--mumbo political shit going on. “Oh they're putting women in--who’s your partner this week?” So…
TK: That’s funny. Yeah, I know I’ve talked to a couple of other officers, (men) who because of the political climate of today… they have to say “Oh yeah you know…women are fine in police work” and I often wonder what their real thoughts are. Whether or not they would really prefer having a woman partner sitting across from them or if they would actually feel safer having a male partner sitting across from them in the car.
DD: Of course they would feel safer having a male partner!
TK: Uh huh?
DD: They’re done a lot of things wrong! (PPB).
TK: Uh huh?
DD: They used to send one police car with two guys in it who would take care of the problem. Now they send-because they’ve only got one person in each car--they send four or five cars. What’s the safety or what’s the savings or--what’s that all about? Increasing your patrols? I’d get rid of marked cars too for the most part. Because marked police cars just tell the public where you are and stop you from doing your job. They need a few marked cars for traffic work. They need some marked cars but they don’t--they need very few of them I think.
TK: Okay, use of force seems to be an integral aspect of any and all police work, especially today. Do you think the public is naïve when they complain about an officer using any form of physical force when use of force is integral to contending with violent criminals?
DD: Well, use of force is the same as it’s always been. Enough to do the job but not enough to hurt em; after that then its assault…
TK: So it’s a hard balance to kind of…
DD: Uh huh. After that its assault.
TK: Recently, there was an article in the Portland Tribune Newspaper in July of 2010 that stated “The US department of justice has taken the first step toward reviewing whether the Portland police bureau has engaged in a pattern of discriminatory policing against minorities.” What are your thoughts on that development?
DD: It’s nothing new, they’ve always done it. From the first day I joined. The first day I joined the police department-my partners name was Pete Peterson.
TK: Pete Peterson?
DD: Pete Peterson.
TK: Boy, you can’t forget that name. (laughs).
DD: And we were driving down Mississippi Street and I didn’t even have my uniform at that time I was that new. And we saw a black guy jaywalking about a block and a half down the street and he said, “Well, let’s go get that Nigger.” There’s nothing new about it or anything. Racial profiling will never stop.
TK: Okay. Statistics show that large numbers of police are unable to reconcile the stress of police work due to the brutality of the job. Though police department’s nation wide offer at risk officers’ help most officers don’t approach their superiors for help. How does the thin blue line or an officer’s fear of exposure affect the average officer who may become dependent on a controlled substance or alcohol?
DD: They just let it go for the most part--unless it gets so out of hand that the guy can’t work--I mean, if they’re coming to work drunk. When I was a cop, they used to drink on the job so…
DD: Yeah. So I’m not sure what they’re doing now. When I worked out at North precinct, after roll call, my partner would go to the Twilight Room. Get a cup of coffee; have them pour a shot of whiskey in it. Drink that down--ask me if I wanted one. I said “no.” Get in the police car--drive out to the middle of Pier Park--open the trunk to the car--get his blanket and his pillow--lay down in the back seat and go to sleep.
TK: If he was having a bad day or just on general…
DD: That’s just the way they did it! They never worked at night. Because they all had day jobs. So, they slept at night, usually out of sight someplace.
TK: You mentioned the first time we met about the old police chief and how he wanted you to go and get a girl? A little--a little hooker or something? Was that you or someone else?
DD: Well, he was…
TK: McNamara--was that his name?
DD: No, his name was Purcell.
TK: Oh Purcell. Okay. Okay.
DD: He was the chief of police who got kicked out of his job for corruption.
TK: Kicked out of what?
DD: He got kicked out of his chief’s job for being corrupt.
TK: Oh, okay. Okay.
DD: But we could only reduce him to the--to the rank--to the lowest rank. So his next rank down was Captain. So, they had to keep him as a Captain. So they put him out in North precinct is what they did--back in those days. That was 65, 66, around in there.
TK: So, did he have you or other people go and do things like that for him?
DD: I didn’t do anything for him! I did nothing but harass him.
TK: Oh okay, you harassed him? (laughs).
DD: You know he had--I knew where his whore houses were and I’d just sit in front of them and write my reports! And that would keep people from coming in or going out, either one--which got me into a lot of trouble with him! So, he retaliated by having me direct traffic at the end of the St Johns Bride every day.
TK: (Laughs). That’s interesting to hear about some of the things that happened back then, you know.
DD: Fortunately for him he died a natural death not too long after that. And everybody knew I hated him…
TK: Uh huh? And you hated him because he was corrupt?
DD: I hated him because he was corrupt! He was running all the whore houses in the North precinct!
TK: Uh huh?DD: I was gonna kill him! (Long Pause).
TK: Really? You hated him that much?
DD: Yeah! He was trying to DESTROY me! He was trying to destroy my career! (Long pause).
TK: So, if you hated him that much...how were you going to kill him?
DD: I was gonna have him pick me up on the end of the St John's bridge, drive up to German town road. Do you know where German town road is up there, beyond the St. John's bridge?
TK: Oh yeah, I know where it is...
DD: And then I was gonna have him shoot himself and then...(pause)...just walk away! (smiles).
TK: Uh huh?
DD: But I didn't have to, because he just died! He died of natural causes!
TK: Wow! You really hated him then.
DD: Oh yeah I hated him!
TK: Uh huh?
DD: So I volunteered to be his pall bearer! (Long Pause) and they said “Well, why do you want to be a pall bearer? Everybody knows you couldn’t stand the guy.” And I said “because I wanted to help carry the bastard to his grave”!
TK: Ha, ha, ha, ha!--and did you? (laughs).
DD: They wouldn’t let me be a pall bearer. (Smiles).
TK: Oh, that’s funny! (laughs).
DD: No, he was one of the biggest crooks. You see, that’s one of the problems with the police department--is the day you join--you find out--you join the police department to put the bad guys in jail and then it doesn’t take you too long to figure out that the bad guys are the cops! What do you do then?
TK: Do you think that the Portland Police Bureau is corrupt today?
DD: Yes, absolutely.
TK: What do you base that judgment on?
DD: Because they’ve never investigated that murder/homicide of Zebedee Manning.
TK: Zebedee Manning…right. I was going to ask you about that but I’ll get to that…um let’s see--where are we?
DD: As long as they don’t take care of unfinished business like that--you know--then they’re just--the same old bullshit.
TK: So, as a former homicide detective who is involved in the medical marijuana movement, how has your perspective changed with regard to those people who you may have arrested decades ago for marijuana use and your current involvement in the MM movement?
DD: Well, its true, back in the old days, I was just like everyone else. I thought if you used marijuana, you were a crook. I was just as brain washed as everyone else. I arrested many people for using marijuana and for possession. It took me a long time to learn that its one of the least destructive things out there. You know, the Good Lord gave us marijuana and other plants to use! For people in pain, with chronic pain and other issues it’s the only thing that works sometimes. You see, for example if I don’t smoke marijuana? I won’t eat. I won’t. I’d starve to death. I need it just to be able to have an appetite--just to be able to eat. To those people that I did arrest, I apologize because of my ignorance and my idealism. I fell for the same old stories that everybody else does. That marijuana was not good for you--was illegal. You know, I was naive and until I started smoking it--that’s only when I realized that that was all a bunch of bullshit.
TK: Okay. I think you mentioned something before when we met about going on a prowl? What’s that? That’s kind of like old school terminology? I’ve never heard that used before?
DD: There was prowl and traffic. Traffic was accidents; traffic enforcement. Your job was traffic. A prowl officer didn’t do traffic. All they had to do was get their quotas. And back in those days…
TK: And what was a prowl?
DD: And the quota back in those days was 12 moving violations a month they had to get. So, they’d find a stop sign someplace and then write 10 or 12 tickets--so they got their tickets in for the month but that was all they had to do. Their job was to take care of the beefs--the thefts--the robberies and all the other stuff.
DD: But! any policeman’s a policeman! The first one there is in charge.
TK: The first one there is in charge? The responding officer?
DD: So, if I’m a traffic cop and I’m responding to a robbery and I’m the first one there, I’m going to get the robber, I’m not going to wait for the guys to show up.
TK: Okay. What are some of the things that need to happen here in Portland to help patients in need get access to medical marijuana? What are some of the things policy makers need to do to help facilitate this process?
DD: They need to just deprioritize is as soon as possible. In other words forget about it.
TK: Forget about it?
DD: Just forget about it. Medical marijuana is what it is--marijuana is what it is. It’s on the first page of the Bible and after that I don’t care what they say about it. They’re wrong!
TK: Due to three recent deaths of homeless or mentally ill veterans by police in the past few months in both Oregon and Washington, what do you think needs to be done to ensure that these kinds of civilian deaths don’t continue?
DD: There is no need to shoot to kill in situations where someone has a knife! Back in the old days, we were taught when someone had a knife, you grabbed a pillow, a mattress or a chair and you got the knife away from them that way but we did not shoot them! There’s no need! For example, if I’ve got a chair and you’ve got a knife, you’re not going to be the winner!
DD: Policemen shoot people because they’re afraid.
TK: Policemen shoot people because they’re afraid?
DD: They’re afraid.
DD: So if a guy comes out the door with a rifle over his head or whatever it happens to be. It takes about that long to pull a gun and shoot. And they’re not gonna take any chances. So, if you present yourself in a threatening manner like that--then you’re gonna get shot--because the policeman is afraid. That’s why they shoot people. They want to go home!
TK: They want to go home? Right, okay. That makes sense. In your opinion, how has law enforcement changed in the past 35-40 years?
DD: It’s entirely too militaristic. It’s too much we the police--they the criminals and anybody that doesn’t have on a uniform is suspect! That’s the problem. Waaay too militaristic. Police work has not changed significantly. The only changes have been technologically based. They have tasers and bean bag guns. They have new gadgets now that’s it! Police work is still the same as it was 35-years-ago.
TK: Do you think that the public or local city commissioners understand police better now than in the past?
DD: As long as Internal Affairs exists, they’ll never get it.
TK: What was that?
DD: As long as Internal Affairs is allowed to exist--the police will always be able to do what they want. That’s the blue line!
TK: So, I wanted to ask you about Zebedee Manning. You came on the scene and you found four glasses and two whiskey bottles in the kitchen?
DD: No, on the kitchen table there was a half empty whiskey bottle and four glasses.
TK: Four glasses. Okay.
DD: Upstairs in the bedroom was his body laid out on the…out on the bed with his arms folded across his chest.
TK: Right, which wouldn’t have happened if he had committed suicide.
DD: With a sawed off 22 rifle…
DD: And a bullet hole right here (motions to center of forehead) and it was just--you could see the impact was just…
TK: And there’s no way that it’s likely that he would have been able to do that to himself?
DD: No, the gun was too long--he couldn’t have held it.
TK: Right. Right. And generally suicide victims don’t have their arms crossed across their chests.
DD: Hardly ever.
TK: Okay. So your theory is?
DD: Well, he was killed by a policeman who was trying to get the dope he wanted.
TK: Okay and this happened in 1975?
DD: Yeah, you can look it up.
TK: Actually, I did look it up.
DD: Willamette Week did quite a story on it a while back.
TK: Okay. Alright, and um…
DD: And I have brought it up to every law enforcement chief since then! And nobody has ever done anything about it.
TK: So, it’s an unsolved murder and no one wants to…
DD: It’s an unsolved murder and nobody wants to do it.
DD: Phil Stanford, the newspaper columnist, he was all over it and has been all over it for years. And between he and I we figured out who the killer was so…
TK: Can you tell me who the killer is? Or would that be slander?
DD: Ask Phil Stanford.
TK: Okay, alright.
DD: But he was a--a common--he was a policeman that was working at North precinct at the time--he worked vice for awhile. He got in a whole lot of trouble and finally got kicked off the police department.
TK: Yeah, it seemed to me that whoever--if it was an officer who did that--whoever did it wasn’t very bright. Because I just had--from reading on the Internet what you have written about it and said about it--it seems to me that if this was law enforcement then this wasn’t an officer who was very bright. And he was probably murdered in anger...and because of the location of the gunshot wound and the whole staging of the suicide and the arms being crossed--it does seem very, very suspicious that it was not a suicide but rather a homicide.
DD: Yeah, they never did find the heroin. It was in a crawl space in the wall and the mother found it and flushed it all down the toilet.
TK: And this was a 16-year-old boy?
DD: I think he was 16 or 17; he was enrolled in school at Benson high school but never went…
TK: And he was a small time drug dealer on the side?
DD: His whole family was drug dealers!
TK: His whole family? Okay.
DD: His whole family! I mean that was their occupation.
TK: Wasn’t there some kind of issue about cars?
DD: Well, in his dresser drawer were the titles to several cars
TK: That’s right--the titles to several cars…
DD: The titles to several cars--which was a common way you know…"If I owe you money, I’ll keep your title for collateral until you pay me. So, since there were several titles in there--I knew he was dealing dope. It took me awhile to figure out that the whole family were dope dealers but they were.
TK: Okay. I’ve read some of the things you’ve written on-line. I read the short essay about your memories about some of the horrible things you’ve seen. Those are hard to get out of your mind?
DD: Uh huh.
TK: And you went to the autopsy of Zebedee Manning?
TK: What was it about that case that was so hard for you to let go?
DD: Because of the power structure--that said that your death isn’t important!
TK: Right okay. So basically empathy for him?
DD: Basically I didn’t sign on for that! I’m not gonna do that! If you’re so powerful that you can say I can’t investigate this murder?! I’m not going to work for you! And I thought about it for about two weeks…(Long Pause) They kicked me out of homicide when I started writing reports about it. They sent me back to the burglary detail. And then when I went down a few years later to get the reports--they’d shredded them all.
TK: They had shredded the reports that you had written?
DD: There’s no record of them occurring. The law requires them to keep--to keep records of any death indefinitely. But they’d shredded them.
TK: So, this man that you believe is responsible--is he still alive?
DD: I think so.
TK: Does he live here in Portland?
DD: I don’t know if he lives here or over in Idaho.
TK: Okay. (Long pause). So, when you were a young officer--did you--the first couple years did you have a lot of fun--was it fun?
DD: The first three or four years were a lot of fun! Because I was working in an exiting neighbored…
TK: What was your…
DD: It was the ghetto! 15th and--my district was from the river to 15th and from Fremont to Killingsworth. And this was during the 60’s. Things were really going. The Watts riots were down in CA. So, it was an interesting time and I had--I had a lot of fun.
TK: What are your thoughts on the recent increase in police deaths? Basically police being executed by criminals?
DD: People are tired of it. People are going to get revenge. The cops have to soften up or they’re all going to wind up the same way.
TK: There are some people that think that because police are held to such a high--because they’re held under kind of a veritable microscope now--their behavior can be monitored--some people think that they’ve gotten soft and that criminals are taking advantage of that--which is why a lot of criminals have been killing police. Do you think that police should change their…
DD: They better watch their back!
TK: Uh huh?
DD: They’re killing people because they’re sick of the police. They are sick of the abuse of power! They’re sick of every time some black kid gets shot it was never any body’s fault. They’re sick of that! And until that changes--which it never will--more and more policemen are gonna get shot. So, you better watch your back! Like I say, I wouldn’t want a six inch “police” thing on the back of my jacket--too good a target!
TK: Okay, what was it you had said before? This was concerning your short essay that I found on that website about your memories. Some of the harder memories that you have--that are hard to forget. What are--what are some of the worst for you?
DD: The lady that was raped and killed at the plaid pantry on 60th and Burnside.
TK: When did this happen?
DD: I was a homicide detective, so it must have been in the late 70’s. Uh, there was the guy that got shot. He was leaning up against a building talking to his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s other boyfriend reached down over the edge of the building with a 357 Magnum and he was going to shoot him in the head. But when he pulled the trigger the gun came slightly to the left and the bullet came right on top of the dude right through his heart. Blew his heart completely up. After he was shot, he opened the door to the tavern, walked inside and walked around three pool tables and walked back to where the restroom was before he fell on the floor.
TK: Hmmm, that’s strange.
DD: I had to go to the autopsy so I know he didn’t have a heart.
TK: Uh huh.
DD: It was completely destroyed.
DD: But its one of the reasons that the police say (Long Pause) “shoot until the threat no longer exists.” When does the threat no longer exist? Not until he fell down.
TK: And he was shot by?
DD: He was shot by his girlfriend’s boyfriend.
TK: So, he wasn’t shot by a police officer?
TK: Do you sometimes feel--you obviously can understand--because you were a police officer you can understand these issues regarding force and weapons and having to--the training--do you sometimes feel like you’re pulled back and forth between being frustrated with the way the PPB is run today and yet also understanding what police officers have to contend with? Do you know what I mean?
DD: Nothing has changed. Police work has not changed. All the kids are still carrying guns. They were carrying guns when I was a policeman. It’s the police that have changed! Shooting kids in the back with a rifle? It’s gonna get more cops killed!
TK: Right and that’s what happened with Aaron Campbell over in NE.
DD: So, until somebody finally does something about Zebedee Manning, I’ll never--I’ll never change my opinion on them. I don’t care.
TK: Uh huh?
DD: I went down to City Hall and talked to Vera Katz’s chief of staff and gave him the whole layout about Zebedee Manning. It didn’t take me long to figure out that he was part of the problem.
TK: And who was that?
DD: I used to know his name but I can’t remember it now. (current mayor Sam Adams).
TK: And he was?
DD: He was Vera Katz’s chief of staff. I think he’s still on the police pension board.
TK: And did he try to--what was his attitude towards you?
DD: “Oh I’ll take care of the problem right away!”
TK: But he did nothing?
DD: Nothing--he did nothing. He was part of the protection.
TK: Part of the protection? So, I hear from Phil Stanford that he’s writing a new book and you’re going to be mentioned in it.
DD: Is that right?
TK: That’s what he told me.
TK: In reference to the Zebedee Manning case.
(LOUD TRAIN HORN)
TK: Lord, lord, lord! Man alive! (laughs) And there is Union Pacific! That is pretty close! So! I believe he’s mentioning you in his new book in relationship to the Zebedee Manning case and some of the things that you’ve told him.
DD: He said that he was going to write another one. Concentrating in the 70’s…a follow up on the first one.
TK: Oh you mean like LA Confidential?
TK: Yeah okay. That will be interesting; I still need to get LA Confidential.
DD: It’s Portland Confidential! (smiles).
TK: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah! I meant Portland Confiden…HELLO! (laughs). I meant to say "Portland Confidential!"
DD: Yeah, it would give you a lot of insight into the police--35 or 40 years ago and all that’s happened since.
TK: I looked at it briefly once in a bookstore but I haven’t actually read it from cover to cover. So, do you know about some of the more well known police officers like CW Jensen?
TK: Did you know him or did you work with him?
DD: I can’t remember ever working with him. He was a patrolman at North precinct and I think I was a detective at the time. He shot and killed a kid out there- one one shift and that kinda changed his life I feel. I always thought he was a good guy.
TK: Uh huh, yeah.
DD: Always thought he was a good guy.
TK: He’s got some interesting opinions--very old fashioned opinions on use of force. (laughs) He’s actually really funny. He’s funny--he’s pretty outspoken.
DD: Well and he should be--and he should be! He’s got the pension; they can’t take it away from him.
TK: Right and they were trying to. So, what do you think happens to an officer who is forced to take the life of a criminal?
DD: I don’t think they should ever have to go back to work. It should be the end of their career. Once is enough.
TK: A lot of times an officer who does end up having to take someone’s life--a lot of times they do leave the force, they become depressed and…
DD: Yeah…killing people’s not good and they don’t let em--they keep them too long anyway. Policemen should retire in 15 years.
TK: Yeah, I was wondering about that.
DD: Because they’re no good after that. Once they--once a policeman realizes that he IS the law? Then they need to go. Because they have become the judge, the jury and the whole system. And once that happens in [your] career--it happens to different policemen at different times--and when that happens to them then that’s when they need to go. They start to forget what they were hired to do--which was to enforce the law, not become the law. And when you become the law?...time to go.
TK: And that has to do with power?
DD: That has to do with power.
TK: And is it easy to become corrupt like that?
DD: It’s the power that corrupts them! It’s the power that corrupts them! Power is the worst drug in the world. And then they give em a gun and a taser--it’s too much.
TK: I was going to ask you some other things. I’d like to get this up to--an hour! (laughs) Fortunately you’re not really a fast talker and that’s good.
DD: Yeah (smiles).
TK: I’ve interviewed some people--one young man in particular--of course he was like 34 at the time--taking a mile a minute! I was--whew! It took me forever to transcribe that interview. But yeah, I was wondering about your thoughts about police officers who have been forced to take a life because I know one in particular. I interviewed him previously and I had done some Google searches on him and all I could find on Google were two photographs; that was it! And I found out several months later that he had had to kill a man some years before and then when I asked him if he wanted to talk about it--he--he was not interested in talking about it. And during my initial interview of him--he just--I never would have guessed! You know? And I think I even asked him a question about extreme violence and--and he just--he was really good at just totally diverting me and I just would never have thought--and then I found out later and so it made him more...intriguing--because um..oh yeah you mentioned that you've only had to fire your gun one time and it went through the shirt or the sleeve?
DD: It went through the coat-tail.
TK: The coat-tail okay of a guy? What-what was that all about?
DD: Well, back in those days there was a night club out here on Sandy Blvd about where the freeway is now, called Elmo’s.
DD: And it was a gambling joint and a whorehouse, a drug house and just a--just a mess! And one of the body guards that worked there--his name was Nelson and he was a semi-professional fighter. Called himself Battling Nelson--I don’t remember what his real name was.
DD: Battling Nelson. And one night I’m working by myself--traffic out in SE 72nd and Duke and this Cadillac comes flying through the intersection at like 50 miles an hour without stopping. And so I pulled in behind him, pulled him over and got him out of the car and I could see he was drunk and then I realized who he was.
TK: He was the bouncer?
DD: He was a bouncer--a boxer! And he had gotten into a beef and stolen his bosses’ girlfriends Cadillac, so he was in all kinds of trouble anyhow--so I tried to handcuff him but he was really strong! Stronger than me. So, he pulled out a knife--you know out of nowhere and he just took a swath at me! And I backed up, got out of the way of the knife and then he just turned and ran across the street. So, I fired one shot at him and it went through his coat right here. (Motions to his left hip) The next day when the detectives picked him up-because they knew who he was--we had the car--that’s when they found the bullet hole in his coat.
TK: I think I read on-line, you were talking about a sleeper hold and how it was really effective? And you used it and officers in your day used it and it was effective. Have they outlawed that because of that one guy that was killed?
DD: Well, I hope not.
TK: But do you know what I mean, the sleeper hold?
DD: The choke out!
TK: Oh, the choke out?
DD: The “choke em out.” (Demonstrates on self with his hand) You just stop the blood there on both sides for about a minute and you pass out--and it was easy! It was an easy tool for guys that worked alone like me. If I could get my hands around your neck, you’d be out in two minutes and I got you rolled over and handcuffed.
TK: Uh huh?
DD: There’s a difference between doing that and strangling somebody though!
TK: Alright. I do remember a few years ago, the man that died. And then the officers made the tee shirts that said “Smoke em, don’t choke em.”
DD: Yeah. “Smoke em, don’t choke em.”
TK: And I think that was in the 80’s right?
TK: You’ve also mentioned the fact that it’s not necessary to shoot these homeless and veterans and how when someone like that had a knife, in the old days, you would get a pillow or a mattress or a chair and get it away from them.
DD: Yeah, or a couple more cops.
TK: Or a couple more cops?--and basically…
DD: You can’t watch--if you’ve got three or if you’ve got four policemen you can’t watch behind them (the suspect can't watch behind all the officers) so it’s more a matter of tactics. Yeah, if you’ve got a pillow or a chair or a mattress great! Stuff em in a corner. But that’s when they pull out the beanbag, that’s when they pull out the taser--instead of--just taking care of the problem!
TK: Or just a gun?
DD: Or just a gun…
TK: Like the last what, three times now? People have been killed? The last incident that really surprised me was the 60-year-old man that had a knife and he was shot and killed. And I often wondered, was he really a threat to that officer? He was 60, he was alcoholic--you know?
DD: He just wanted to commit suicide. That’s what he did.
TK: Yeah. I was gonna ask you about that...suicide by cop. Yeah. So, this kind of goes back to officers being better trained in hand to hand combat. Do you think officers today are more inclined to use their guns than they were?
DD: I think so. I think so. Simply because there’s more shootings. Guns hold a lot more ammunition--that’s why you find victims with 15 or 16 holes in them--three guys shot at em.
TK: What kind of a gun did you use when you were…
DD: Well, in those days we could only use a revolver, which holds six shots. Which I’ve always thought they should go back to--because it makes you a lot more careful.
TK: Uh huh?
DD: You don’t have a “Phhbbbbbbbb” you know? To spray the neighborhood with. You know we were taught to make the first one count and to hell with the rest of em.
TK: Anyway, I’m glad to be able to sit down and talk to you about these things.
TK: You were telling me about a prowl, what is a prowl again?
DD: Anything non-traffic.
TK: Okay so a prowl is anything non-traffic?
DD: A burglar, a robbery, something like that. Anything non-traffic is a prowl call. I don’t know what they call them now.
TK: Yeah because I don’t remember hearing that. I kind of like that, its kind of indicative of the old lingo.
TK: Did you want to talk about when the officers came and confiscated some of your marijuana plants?
DD: Well, that was the DEA.
TK: Okay and did they confiscate any weapons?
TK: Do you have weapons in your home?
TK: Uh huh. Because you want to be safe?
DD: Because I want to be safe and secure! Yeah.
TK: And kind of like once a cop always a cop? Do you believe that? (laughs).
DD: Yeah, sort of. (smiles).
DD: But that was the DEA--that wasn’t the Portland Police so…
TK: Did they want you to cooperate with them--did they want you to be an informant?
DD: They wanted to put me in jail is what they wanted to do! Because I was on television and I was quite vocal about some of their tactics.
TK: Of the DEA?
DD: Yeah. The district for the government attorney in Yakima with this other DEA guy from headquarters subpoenaed my personal medical records!
TK: Your personal...
DD: My personal medical records--along with ten other people!
TK: Wow, that’s not legal.
DD: Of course it’s not legal! So, they tried to subpoena my medical records and they told Paul Stanford, the director of the clinic “don’t tell anybody that we’re asking for these records.” So the first thing he did was call me up and tell me “Hey, you know the DEA is trying to get your records!” And it was sooo outrageous that the American Civil Liberties Union got involved in it and they sued the DEA and squashed it.
TK: And this happened in?
DD: 2006 I think--6 or 7. I ran for Sheriff in 06. So, what the DEA did was take offense to the fact that I called one of em a “bald headed punk.”
TK: I remember I read that. I read that.
DD: Yeah, well I said it on Television too.
TK: Oh okay. You have that right (laughs).
TK: You have that right.
DD: I have that right. (smiles). And--because that’s exactly what he was--he was a bald headed punk. He was like 25-years-old--26-years-old. He wasn’t even in diapers when I was a cop! And here you come at me with a search warrant that’s obviously made up! Because there was no way they could have gotten any evidence against me because I wasn’t doing anything illegal!
(LOUD TRAIN HORN)
TK: Oh my Lord! Oh! (laughs). I love the trains. I grew up in NW Portland. You know where the Esco Plant is?
TK: I grew up a block away from that. I heard the trains every day but never this close. (laughs).
DD: This one’s right here…
TK: I don’t mind them--I love the sound of the trains but it’s still kind of surprising, it’s so close!
DD: What were we talking about?
TK: We were talking about the DEA but was he--did he anger you because he was disrespectful to you?
DD: He was angry because I called him a “bald headed punk.” And so they came back with a made up search warrant…
TK: Okay so you called him that first and then he came back?
TK: Okay, alright.
DD: He came over to my house asking for information about...somebody. And I wouldn’t talk to him--told him to get away, leave me alone and don’t ever come back. And that was the first time I called him a “bald headed punk” And then I said the same thing on Television on the next show. (referencing a news program) And then he came back with this made up search warrant. But at that particular time, I lived on about an acre and a half that was totally fenced in. And there were four addresses there; each one of them was a separate full address. Separately legal in its own entity. So they had the addresses for three of them but they didn’t have the address for the fourth one. So, they just took the door off the hinges anyway! Took all the plants out. Collected them all together and put them in one spot. It turned out to be 136 plants. And they took pictures of those--so that was staged. I never had 136 plants because that’s illegal. I had a few here--a few here--a few here and a few here. Well, eventually--they never charged me with a crime and they never indicted me. They just went away. And the ACLU attorney told me that she thought that the reason they tried to get my records in the first place was because the DA up there just wasn’t very smart or he wouldn’t even have tried it!
Interview May 2nd, 2011
TK: I had meant to talk about this before and then I forgot. There was a half empty whiskey bottle in the kitchen and four glasses and the significance of the four glasses would have been that Zebedee Manning had three visitors and himself.
TK: So, your theory was that three officers came over to visit with him to get drugs or the titles to the cars?
DD: To get the drugs.
TK: To get the drugs?
TK: And so he was kind of like--to be a good host he was serving them whiskey or some alcohol and the situation didn’t pan out and so then they took him upstairs maybe to see if the drugs were up there?
DD: Yeah. It’s an old--old house with an upstairs bedroom. You know, a skinny story or…
TK: An old house?
TK: And so when he didn’t cooperate--which makes sense if he was from a family of criminals--and you mentioned that they were all drug dealers?
TK: So, he was 16 but he wasn’t a naive 16; he was hardened.
DD: He was hardcore.
TK: And so they’re threatening him and your theory is that they shot two warning shots into the wall?
DD: They shot one in the wall and one through the ceiling.
TK: And one through the ceiling--until they--until he was shot?
DD: Yeah, they shot him in frustration I think.
TK: So, when the house was swept, were fingerprints taken?
DD: I can remember that the whiskey bottle and the glasses were fingerprinted. So, I know that that happened. I know they come upstairs and they took pictures of the body; I remember that.
TK: Uh huh…The criminalists?
DD: Yeah. And then they took the body down the stairs and out the door and I went back to the room to search--to see what else I could find. And that’s when I found--you know, the titles to the cars that he was using as inventory, so…
TK: And that was common for drug dealers?
DD: It was then. I don’t know what they do now but it was then.
TK: Do you remember how many titles there were?
DD: He had three.
TK: So, regarding your theory that the police were after the drugs; what do you base that on? Is it because there were a lot of police officers who were using drugs?
DD: Well, now, years later it’s pretty common knowledge among a few people what happened. So, I know what happened--Stanford knows what happened--they know what happened. They’re still alive, so they’re still dangerous.
TK: The whole family were drug addicts and drug dealers?
DD: Well, drug dealers for sure. Zebedee was an addict.
TK: You said earlier that you had gone on to investigate this on your own time for two years following his death?
DD: Well, not for two years; a couple months.
TK: A couple months? Okay.
DD: Henry Johnson was a dealer and the cops put him in jail, to get him out of the way so they could go over and intimidate Zebedee and find the dope and they never did.
TK: Was it a lot of dope?
DD: Yeah--a lot of dope--especially for those days. Probably an ounce or two ounces of heroin. So, mama found it and flushed it down the toilet. I continued to talk to her. She said that she didn’t realize that her son had any drug problems or alcohol problems and that she thought he was a good student. And uh, then she got a couple of telephone calls from...a male that said “You better call the police off or we’re gonna get you too!” So, now I know for dead-damn sure, if they’re gonna get you too? They got him one! So, she probably very wisely flushed it all down the toilet. That’s what Kimberly Campbell told me. That it all got flushed down the toilet. And after the threats from whoever called, she left town and moved back to Texas and died there.
TK: That was his mother?
DD: That was his mother yeah. I can’t remember her name now either.
TK: So, why do you think they wanted the dope? Why do you think the police officers wanted the drugs?
DD: They were involved in the entire process. They were just part of the dope ring.
TK: So, they were selling? Were they using too?
DD: Uh, I pretty much can say that all the guys in the Narcotics Squad were using cocaine before they went out on any raids. They’d get high and they’d go out and fuck with people.
TK: Uh huh?
DD: I don’t think they were using heroin otherwise they’d just fall asleep on a corner or whatever.
TK: Right. Right. I was reading recently about the problem with narcotics agents, the narcotics officers--they often become addicted and it’s a fact.
DD: It is. Because it’s very addicting stuff. Cocaine is very, very addictive. So, it’s easy to get addicted to it. It’s easy to get addicted to the money. So, there was a lot of money and it went straight to the top.
TK: You wrote on-line that you got Hepatitis B from shooting cocaine with your partner? Did you know of a lot of other officers that also shot cocaine? Back when you were…
DD: No, I didn’t know any of them, no.
TK: Just your partner?
DD: No, not even my partner. Nope, just me.
TK: I think you mentioned on-line in that website I saw that you had gotten it from him--from shooting with him?
DD: No, her.
DD: Her. No, the only one I ever shot dope with was Artent.
TK: Was who?
DD: Her name was Artent; she was my black girlfriend at the time.
TK: Oh okay.
DD: So…she was later killed in Seattle…but that’s another story.
TK: How long did you do that? How long did you…
DD: How long did I shoot cocaine? Probably close to a year. Long enough to get Hepatitis.
TK: And then you stopped?
TK: Why did you stop?
DD: Because I was freebasing one night and I got really, really, really high! I got so high I thought I was going to die…and my wife was pregnant at the time. And I told God... “If you let me live I will never do cocaine again” and so far we’ve kept our agreement. (smiles).
TK: How old were you?
DD: Uh--45--I was 45 when my son was born.
TK: How many kids do you have?
DD: Just one.
TK: Okay, but you don’t know of any other police officers that were using drugs when you were a police officer?
DD: Well, you know looking back it’s hard to say--because I was so unsuspecting. You know I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t realize it--I didn’t have a clue.
TK: You were just inexperienced?
DD: Yeah, yeah. I just didn’t know.
TK: Yeah, so anyhow, I just wanted to ask these questions to kind of tie in more of your theory on what happened with Zebedee Manning. And so he was an addict?
DD: An addict--he was drunk when he died. Way over .8 percent. Dr. Brady said he was "illegally intoxicated" and he was also high on heroin.
TK: Uh huh?
DD: Phil Stanford told me he that he got a hold of Dr. Brady and talked to him and he kind of--he doesn’t remember the case. I got a hold of Dr Brady too a long, long time ago and he didn’t remember the case--but you know how can you expect the man to really?
TK: But you remember seeing the autopsy report?
DD: Oh yeah!
TK: And it said that he was?
DD: “Suicide pending further investigation”! That’s what it come out as.
TK: And you don’t believe that because of the whole staging of the body and the warning…
DD: The rifle was too long for the--so that wasn’t going to work.
TK: And was there any blood splatter on the wall?
DD: No, because the bullet didn’t come out. It was a 22 short; a very small cartridge. And it went straight in and went straight through his brain and cracked the back of his skull, just like a chicken had been pecking from the inside? That kind of a protrusion and when Dr. Brady cut the top of his head off, that’s where the bullet was, it was right there.
TK: So, it couldn’t--the bullet…
DD: There was no splatter--it didn’t come out.
TK: It was a 22 bullet?
DD: It was a 22 short. It was from a short--a sawed off rifle. A 22 rifle. Just a regular old 22 rifle. Shoots one bullet at a time. And they chopped the barrel off, so the barrel was--the whole thing was about this long. (postures) So…
TK: So, he was shot with the rifle?
DD: He was shot with the rifle.
TK: But--but he couldn’t have held it?
TK: Do you think it could have just been other drug dealers that killed him?
DD: (smiles broadly, laughing). No! I know better than that! So to speak--you know? They were all drug dealers. Some of em had badges. That’s the trouble with joining up--that’s the trouble with joining the police department. You know back in those days when I was a young idealist I thought if I put enough people in jail--you know--the world would be a better place. Little did I realize that most of the bad guys were wearing uniforms. So…(Long Pause)...it’s a tough job.
TK: Okay. Well, I guess that clears up some of my confusion because it’s all pretty confusing to me. So, did you ever talk to any other officers about it? Did you ever hear any scuttlebutt about what might have happened from any other officers?
DD: No, they wouldn’t talk about it because they were in on it!
TK: Did you have a reputation among other officers as being--someone that they couldn’t trust because…
TK: And why did you have that reputation?
DD: Because I never went along with the bullshit ever.
TK: You weren’t interested in going along and breaking the law with them?
DD: No--well...there was a lot of illegal search warrants being made up in those days. An officer would come in and he’d say "I want a search warrant for here" and he’d give me the information and I’d say “Well, you don’t have enough information to get a search warrant!” and he’d say “Oh fuck you! I’ll go get a search warrant from Detective so and so” and he’d go three desks down and get a search warrant.
TK: So, you had a reputation as being very by the book?
TK: And incorruptible?
DD: Until I started smoking pot--then they started getting suspicious of me. So…
TK: And did you start doing that while you were still an officer?
DD: Oh yeah.
TK: Did you do it because it was the only thing that could help you relax?
DD: Well, that was one of the reasons because I was drinking a lot of whiskey before that but what it did was it helped me realize that I’d been duped! As well as the rest of America. I’d been lied to.
TK: About Marijuana?
DD: About Marijuana. So, that disillusioned the whole law enforcement thing. Now I didn’t believe anything that they said! Especially after I saw what was goin on! I didn’t believe anything that they said!
DD: What you want to ask is why they shredded everything!
TK: Yeah, why did they shred everything?
DD: Yeah, why did they shred everything?! All my notes! All the pictures! All the fingerprint records!
TK: Uh huh?
TK: And they shredded everything? When did you go back to get all that?
DD: Probably four or five years after that.
TK: Uh huh and there’s no…
DD: They’re supposed to keep records of all deaths though indefinitely…
TK: Uh huh--like cold case files always have the records...
DD: Yes, exactly! And they didn’t! In any death they are supposed to keep the records!
TK: And do you remember who you talked to asking for the records?
DD: Just the records clerk.
TK: And they said they weren’t there?
DD: They weren’t there; they had been shredded.
TK: And did she know for a fact they had been shredded or could she just not find them?
DD: No, they had been shredded, they weren’t there anymore.
TK: That’s terrible.
DD: Sure! That was the evidence against them. It was the reports that I wrote!
TK: Okay. I was wondering if you have any photos of yourself of when you were younger? Do you have any photos that you’ve kept of when you were an officer?
DD: I’ve got an old ID card from when I was a detective.
TK: No others? Like…pictures that were taken?
DD: No, no.
TK: So, you have--could I see that old ID photo?
DD: I don’t have em on me. I don’t carry em. But I can show it to you next time you want to come around.
TK: Okay. I was wondering if I could um--actually if I could borrow it--so I could scan it and put in on the website.
TK: Do you have any other photos?
DD: Really, I don’t. All I have is the picture of me when I was the director of security at the Benson Hotel.
TK: I think I saw that, yeah.
DD: And I have a picture of me from one of my detective ID cards.
TK: And that’s all?
DD: That’s all.
TK: Awww…shoot! (Laughs).
DD: I stayed out of ‘the eye’.
TK: So, you were the director of security for the Benson? How long did you work there?
DD: Uh, a little over five years.
TK: Yeah, I did see that photo. I liked the one, the homicide ID badge I saw; the black and white?
TK: That’s the one I saw. That’s a really good one. I have a really good scanner at PSU, I can scan that with. Even though it’s so small I can scan that and have it enlarged and it will look really good. Yeah, I liked that one a lot!
DD: Okay. (smiles).
TK: Anyhow, I want to thank you again for agreeing to meet me for these interviews, I think it’s really important to try to document some of the experiences and history of people just like yourself because I think you’re part of a dying breed. I appreciate this so much.
DD: Yes, no problem. (smiles).
Interview transcribed by Theresa Griffin-Kennedy
Perhaps most eloquent of all are the words Dupay has written himself about his years in law enforcement and how those experiences effected him in the long run. One particularly direct essay will be included here, to show the special personal sacrifice anyone working as a police officer may experience and most particularly those working homicide in any major metropolitan police department. This short essay speaks for itself. Further explanation here is not needed as the power of Dupay’s descriptive words speaks a language of bitter honesty and lingering pain that anyone can recognize as essential truth.
This is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
By: Don Dupay
Don Dupay Special to Salem-News.com
Thoughts on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a former 17-year police detective in Portland.
PORTLAND, Ore. – This article was originally
Published in 2005 in Don Dupay’s Portland
Oregon blog: A View from the Street. MAY
NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG READERS
OR THE FEINT OF HEART.
If you tell someone you have PTSD, folks, the usual reaction is "What the hell is that?" Or "I thought only women had that monthly problem." Combat veterans know what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder feels like, as well as victims of violent crimes, particularly rape victims and sexually abused children...and COPS!
Sure there's a medical definition for PTSD but this is my definition: PTSD, a lot of crap consisting of bloody horrors, sounds, sights and smells you never wanted to see in the first place and now you can't forget. Let me share with you some horrors I'm stuck with...
I want to forget the murdered naked dead body of the female store clerk at the 7-11 store at 60th and East Burnside. Her throat was cut and she was raped. I found her face up, bloody, open eyes staring at the ceiling.
I want to forget the sight of Zebedee Manning, murder victim, being gutted on the autopsy table with a linoleum knife and the top of his skull being cut off in search of the bullet still in his brain.
I want to forget the sight and smell of a murdered man found in a house in Sellwood, found after a week of 80 plus degree weather. His flesh had putrefied and turned green. It took a half hour to clear the air in the house before we could go in.
I want to forget the sight of a piece of raw hamburger trying to talk to me, the only thing left of the man’s face after taking a shotgun blast in the face. He didn't live!
I want to forget the sight of a man sitting in a chair in his front room, dead from the shotgun blast that blew his brains all over the ceiling.
I want to forget the sight of a dead man that committed suicide by locking himself in the garage and running a hose from the exhaust pipe into the front seat. The smell of exhaust lingers in my nose...
I want to forget the naked woman blown apart all over the bathroom by her boyfriend with a .30.30 rifle. I still see her brains and blood oozing down the bathroom tile attached to bone skull bone splinters.
I want to forget the three dead bodies, literally blown apart by a violent high-speed car crash. Blood dripping down on me from brains splattered high on a power pole still freaks me out!
I want to forget three more dead bodies, two of which were cut in half in the front seat of a car in another violent car crash. Do you have any idea folks how much blood is contained in two cut-in-half bodies splattered all over the front seat?
I want to forget the dead man, shot to death at close range in his kitchen, an argument over a $5 dollar debt. A look of surprise frozen on his face, eyes staring at something he could no longer see.
I want to forget the homeless man who died on the street, vomiting up his life's blood on the sidewalk. I still see his hat fallen from his head floating away in the blood as it ran down the gutter mixing with the hard Portland rain.
I want to forget the old woman that died sitting on the toilet at home. I see her slumped forward, her panties down around her knees. I was embarrassed!
I want to forget the skeletal remains of Bessie Staley, left to die and rot in her bedroom. Her dead body hidden for four years by a crazy man that lived with her.
I want to forget the sight of a dead kid that rode his motorcycle into a power pole in St Johns at 80 mph. A cracked helmet held the bloody remains of his head, nothing but crushed pulp.
I want to forget the sight of a murder victim Donald Holbert, laying on the autopsy table, cut open, revealing that his heart had been blown away by a .357 magnum, victim of a jealous girlfriend.
I want to forget the sight of a murdered man, stabbed to death and dragged down the sharp rocks to the Willamette River's edge and left for the fish to eat.
I want to forget the agony of the old woman that awakened next to her dead husband, and realized she had been sleeping with a corpse all night.
I want to forget the sight of a teenager that hung himself in the closet of his apartment during some strange sex ritual gone wrong. I found him with a pop bottle sticking from his rectum. His father didn't understand. Neither did I.
And how does a cop deal with these bloody memories after getting off shift? I could never just forget about it and go to bed. I dealt with it with alcohol and later on pills too. Drinking enough to pass out was often the only way to forget and get some sleep. But passing out is not the same as sleeping and escaping with alcohol caused its own problems.
To any cop or loved one of a cop reading this now, my advice is to quit the force immediately. Step back. Get out of the line of fire...because twenty years from now it will still be haunting you!!...
*Note to reader: The views and opinions expressed in this interview regarding law enforcement past and present are exclusively those of former PPB Homicide Detective Don Dupay and do not represent my views or opinions regarding either the current Portland Police Bureau, its administration, policies or the integrity of its officers.
ABSOLUTELY NO PORTION OF THIS PUBLISHED INTERVIEW MAY BE REPRODUCED OR DISSEMINATED WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM THE INTERVIEWER, THERESA GRIFFIN KENNEDY, UNDER PENALTY OF COPYRIGHT LAWS!!