Take a deep breath, because this fustercluck of corruption and idiocy is about to make your blood boil.
First, the contextual facts:
Last week in Portland, a 36-year-old homeless man named Andre Gladen showed up on a stranger’s doorstep around 1:00 p.m. and began banging on the front door. According to the tenant, he was dressed, but shoeless and claimed that someone named ‘Ernest’ had told him to go to the home for help.
Gladen also said he’d just been released from a hospital and someone was after him, trying to kill him. (In fact, Gladen had been staying in Portland with his cousin for the past few weeks. That morning, he’d walked out the door saying nothing to his cousin besides “I’ll be back”).
Instead of slamming the door, the tenant, named Desmond Pescaia, gave Gladen some water and offered him $10 to get some food. However, Gladen refused to leave Pescaia’s stoop. By 2:00 p.m., he’d fallen asleep with a blanket in front of the door. That’s when Pescaia alerted his landlady of the situation, after which they both called the Portland police.
When an officer arrived, Gladen got upset.
“The officer’s standing where you are now [on the porch],” Pescaia recounts in the interview video below (via Oregon Live). “[Gladen] is pounding, literally pounding on the front door, and he’s asking me to protect him from this n**** a** f***ing cop whose badge is fake, and this, that, and the other.”
The officer told Pescaia, who was still standing in the doorway, to get out of the way – at which point Gladen lunged inside.
Inside Pescaia’s living room, the officer grappled with Gladen, trying to subdue and handcuff him. When that didn’t work, the police officer turned to his taser.
“The cop tased him,” Pescaia says. “He was right back up again, and I tried to hold him back, telling him, stay down, man, he’s gonna shoot you. Somehow, he grabs his knife out of I don’t know where; he’s rushing the cop; the cop backs up against my wall here, tells the kid about 6 or 7 times, ‘Stand down or I’m gonna shoot you, stand down or I’m gonna shoot you.’ Then, all I heard was three pops… and I ran outside.”
By the end of his story, Pescaia can’t hold back his tears.
“It’s mind-blowing, it’s overwhelming… all he had to do was leave with the $10 I was gonna give him, and he would still be alive.”
Here is the knife Gladen pulled:
Gladen’s cousin also volunteered the information that Gladen “smoked marijuana, drank alcohol and wasn’t on medication.” In 2015, he was arrested by police in Portland for disorderly conduct and interfering with police, but those charges were dismissed. In 2006, he’d been convicted in California for possession of a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.
This story was reported by Oregon Live with the headline: “Man shot by Portland police was legally blind, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, relatives say”.
After managing enough reading comprehension to sound out that headline, 2016 Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone condemned the Portland police, calling them a “deadly paramilitary force” with the following tweet:
Lars Larson, a conservative radio host based in Portland (no, really), noticed the glaring discrepancy between Ms. Iannarone’s tweet and the facts in this case. So, he decided to point out her mistake, tweeting: “Gee @sarahforpdx you think the cops make PDX dangerous? Read the story and you find the dead man was 1) paranoid schizophrenic 2) invaded a stranger’s home 3) fought with the officer 4) pulled a knife. What’s your millennial snowflake solution to that situation without the cops?”
As punishment for that corrective tweet, Twitter banned Larson for 12 hours under its “hateful conduct” policy.
So, to sum up: A guy invades a stranger’s home cursing and pounding on the door, engages in a violent altercation with a police officer who attempts to subdue him first bare-handed, and then with a less-lethal taser. The guy then pulls a knife on the cop, gets shot… and Twitter penalizes a talk show host for suggesting that the officer isn’t at fault.
If Uncle Joe Stalin were still around, he’d be inviting Jack Dorsey over for dinner right about now.
P.S. God bless the Portland police (in this case, anyway). Those men and women earn every damn penny they make.