How can the city council acknowledge this Police Chief when he allowed a black man to be shot fatally and get away with it? The deceased man referred to was “brandishing” a pellet gun when he was shot and killed last Saturday.
That was one of the chants of about a dozen protesters at the Portland city council meeting during its opening minutes tonight. Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck was recently recognized as Maine’s Best Police Chief for 2107 and the City Council honored him this evening for that designation. “Respect us, respect who we are,” they chanted at the council and the Police Chief before them.
With the fatal shooting of Chance David Baker, 22, on Saturday still fresh in their memories, demonstrators were having no part of the recognition of Police Chief Sauschuck and they wanted the city council to know it.
After a warning from the Mayor that he would call a recess if they didn’t stop the disruption, he did indeed call for a 3-minute recess because they did continue to disrupt the meeting. During that recess, the demonstrators continued chanting while holding their arms high in the air in the ‘don’t shoot’ stance that symbolizes questionable police action against black people. Following the demonstration, the protesters marched out of chambers. They had no comment and neither did the somber Police Chief Sauschuck.
(Since the fatal shooting, mhn.com has emailed the police department six times for clarification on the bare bones press release issued by Assistant Chief Vern Malloch the evening of the fatal shooting. MHN.com has never received a response to; what was the deceased’s race, how many shots were fired and to what part of his body they/it was directed? What was the distance between Sgr. Goodman and Mr.Baker? Was this a ‘shoot to kill’ strategy? If so, was that overreach?)
On another matter and as expected, the council unanimously approved historic protections that will preserve the sweeping view from Ft. Sumner Park on North Street on Munjoy Hill. Planning board chair Elizabeth Boepple gave the city council an overview of the protections that would prevent developers from obstructing the view. (See above right photo.) The protections were retroactive to February 6, 2017 – a deadline set by the city council months ago. About six members of the public testified in support of the protections – led by Carolyn Young, founder of the Friends of Ft. Sumner Park. “This is your legacy,” she told the city council. Councilor Brennerman praised the Friends for conducting such a positive campaign. He grew up on North Street near the Park and said that he valued supporting the sweeping view as well.