EUGENE, Ore. (BN) — Sidney Moist was walking home with his friends down Broadway Ave. in the West Eugene neighborhood on a Friday evening in the spring, only a few blocks from the Beermuda Triangle, when they approached the dark intersection and noticed the unlit police vehicles. As they neared, they saw three officers handcuffing an obstreperous homeless man, holding him face down in the street. Moist took umbrage to this, and decided to step in and say something.
What happened next is disputed.
“They kicked the ever-loving sh— out of me,” Moist told Brimborion News. “I was unconscious by the fourth or fifth stomp. I woke up hours later in a cell. They told me I was going away for life, that I’d never see my girlfriend or cats again.”
Three days later, Sidney emerged from Lane County Jail, bleary-eyed and not quite certain what had transpired. He had been booked on assaulting an officer and resisting arrest, but had been released without charge. His friends had feared the worst, and were frankly amazed that he was still alive.
“They looked like they saw a ghost when I showed up for work Monday. They seriously thought I was dead. I realize now I never should have said anything, but it looked like [the police] were hurting that dude, and I was too drunk to operate a cellphone. So were my friends, apparently. Which is unfortunate.”
When asked if he remembered assaulting any of the officers, Moist replied, “Man, I didn’t touch any of them. The cop scraped his knuckles on the pavement trying to give me a double axe-handle blow. Assault, right there. And by the time they cuffed me and dragged me to the car, I was too comatose not to resist, you know? I was basically six sacks of whole grain sewn together. That was how they got me.”
An analysis into the hiring of officers in the last ten years shows a disturbing trend—older offices retiring, younger ones leaving the force, and new ones coming in from larger metropolitan areas, a significant number of them with blemished records.
“It’s something we’re seeing in departments all over the country, and Eugene is no exception,” said Jarvis Oglethorpe, professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Oregon. “An officer is fired for reckless or criminal behavior, or quits in the wake of an investigation, and they wind up in another, smaller municipality, whose department is desperate for seasoned veterans.”
The police department didn’t respond to requests for comment in time for the publication of this story.
“I see cops all the time cruising by junkies and hookers they know are out selling, copping, turning tricks. They know what goes on, and where,” said resident Bill McSloshed, “but they don’t do nothing about it. But if you’re a rich kid down on campus who gets his stereo or PS5 stolen, they’ll be at your door in minutes.”
“They get these tripwire clockers, pot thieves and skull-busters in here from like LA and New York, and they aren’t using their bully rage to beat up people who actually commit crimes,” said an employee at the Lane County District Attorney’s office, who refused to give their name for fear of being reprimanded or losing their job. “Plus, at our end, we just don’t have the time or the space to put as many offenders away as people may want us to. It’s all about the resources. Which, sometimes, we got dick of.”
“My friend from Portland got pulled over the other day, she told me, on suspicion of possession of paraphernalia,” Moist said, still with marks on his face from the arrest. “She sat there for, like, an hour while the cop searched her car, and right across the street she swears three dudes and some girl smoked meth in a tent and had a gang bang. I guess you just can’t enrich yourself at the expense of a tweaker the way you can someone who drives a Subaru. Not in this town, anyway.”