558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Protesting against Prineville police
On Saturday, demonstrators gathered on Third Street to protest alleged police brutality
These are just a few of the nearly 50 protestors who gathered along both sides of Third Street on Saturday to protest against the Prineville Police Department.
November 12, 2012
On Saturday afternoon, amid the crisp air and residual snow on the ground, a growing number of protesters began to form along Third Street by Pioneer Park.
Approximately 40-50 demonstrators attended the event, and many held up signs that said, “Ryan Cole is innocent,” “The police are corrupt,” and “I cry for Curtis Hooper.” Participants were lined up on both sides of the street by the 7-Eleven and the park, and many protesters shouted, ‘Honk if you agree,’ as cars drove by.
Prineville Police Department Chief Eric Bush said that it was uneventful from their standpoint, and there were no real issues.
“(There was) One complaint of people walking into traffic, but it was quickly resolved,” said Bush.
One protester said that he was participating because of the Nov. 6 arrest of Ryan Cole, the owner of Crook County Compassion Clinic/Club in Prineville. He thought that the charges were “trumped up,” and that the police were harassing him. Another group of contributors to the movement said that they were protesting the alleged brutality of police against Curtis Hooper —who recently sued a group of law enforcement personnel in Crook and Jefferson counties. Hooper alleges that he endured abuse and torture while in their custody, and is seeking more than $5 million in damages associated with multiple incidents that occurred in both counties during the past two years.
Cole commented on Sunday that he thought the protest went well.
“It stayed peaceful,” he remarked. “It needed to send a message and stay peaceful. I think that happened.”
Cole noted that he feels the recent arrest has hurt his business. He alleges that the juvenile named in the arrest charges was coerced into making false allegations against Cole.
He added that he feels that he has been harassed and charged falsely, in regards to the arrest made on Nov. 6. Cole also believes that the arrest was a way to destroy him publicly. He doesn’t intend to sue, but wants a public apology.
No arrests were made as a result of the Saturday protest, which lasted for approximately three hours, and disbanded at 2:45 p.m.
An employee in the 7-Eleven remarked that many patrons had come in with their speculations on both sides of the debate, and “Weren’t afraid to voice their opinion.”