A triplet of letters (Nov. 4) on the arrest of the woman bicyclist a couple weeks ago. The writers appear to be baby boomers who grew up watching Andy Griffith's friendly sheriff (though many police in that era were busting heads of civil rights and war protesters and ignoring — or participating in —lynchings). These writers insist that citizens must "obey" police officers. Corvallis Chief Jonathan Sassaman said "control must be established" during arrest. This despite the fact that the law does not require pedestrians and cyclists to produce ID-that only applies to drivers.
So Oregon State officer Kelly Katsikis detained an African American woman on a deserted Northwest 16th Street on a quiet Sunday afternoon, for "riding on the wrong side of the street." Until I see Corvallis police citing fraternity and sorority members for jaywalking on Monroe, I must conclude that officer Katsikis targeted this woman specifically. Too bad we don't have video of how the interaction started.
The woman may have been afraid to give her name and address. Police and crooks have been known to prey on women and minorities who never get very far with complaints or in court. Maybe she or someone she knows "obeyed" once to a sexual predator who then tracked her down later.
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What is quite clear is that Katsikis and Corvallis officer Donald Sheldon were out of line and had no business harassing and arresting this woman on a trumped-up charge. There was nothing there — otherwise all charges would not have been dropped.
Corvallis (Nov. 4)