02-22-2019  8:59 am      •     
By The Skanner News
Published: 17 May 2006


The overt reason for Portland Police Chief Derrick Foxworth's sudden ouster does not make sense. However, the covert one does.

Is this not a vicious retaliation for a perceived threat to a job? Foxworth had begun to replace civilian clerical positions in the department with disabled police officers. Add in an illicit affair, and there is plenty of fuel for the fire.

What about race? It was the White newspapers that gleefully dragged Foxworth's name through the mud by printing in great detail salacious — and heretofore private — e-mails between "two consenting adults." They showed no restraint, no dignity and jeopardized Foxworth's possible return by shaming his character.

The Black newspapers showed respect and dignity, only printing the needed information about the accusations and his departure via a leave of absence.

Foxworth, it appears, is being held to a much sterner standard — is there a double standard at play here? — and being asked to pay a very high price. His retirement is threatened, his reputation degraded, the police union — still White dominated — shows him no support and the Black community remains very quiet, perhaps due to his bureaucratic public response to high-voltage cases such as the shootings of Kendra James and James Jahar Perez by police officers.

Still, talk of how he has "violated the public trust" is hypocritical. Lots of people, including politicians and even former police chiefs, have been known to be philanderers. Do they stand to lose as much as Foxworth already has?

Linda Kanzinger
Northeast Portland

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