The owner of a Cafe told 911 dispatchers that he did not want police on the scene of an overdose, but requested that only the paramedics and fire fighters respond to the call.
By: John Vibes,
A business owner in the US made news this week because he called 911 for a medical emergency at his cafe, but told the dispatchers that police were not going to be allowed on his property. John Langley, a co-owner of the Red & Black Cafe on Southeast 12th Avenue in Portland, Oregon, found a man overdosing in his bathroom and wanted to ensure that the man got the help he needed without getting busted.
Langley told the 911 operator that “We don’t allow police in here so we can totally accommodate the fire department and other emergency personnel, not police, though.”
When the dispatcher told him that they were required to send police, Langley said “OK, well, if the police try and come in here, there’s gonna be another problem.”
When asked later by reporters why he didn’t want police on his property Langley told them that “EMTs and the ambulance driver could’ve handled it, I kind of feel like I don’t know what they were doing there except maybe waiting to see if they could bust the person on something, and I’m not down with that.”
When emergency responders arrived on the scene, the business owner was standing out front with his arms crossed, prepared to stop any police officer that attempted to enter his property.
This particular cafe actually has a long history of refusing to do business or associate with police. Langley has even been in the news on other occasions for refusing to serve police, and for kicking police off of his property. He told reporters after the incident that he was an anarchist, which among many things, means he does not believe that people should be caged for nonviolent actions.
“It’s nothing personal against an individual officer, but I have a fundamental disagreement with police,” Langley said. “The anarchists oppose domination. Naturally, we oppose the police and the government.”
As a result of Langley’s heroic efforts, the police kept their distance and did not follow the patient to the hospital. He was taken in at a local hospital and was released a free man, clear of any charges or police abuse.
Police who were interviewed believed that Langley’s request was suspicious. “It actually generated more of a police response than it normally would have because you know, we’re going to an unknown situation with a person potentially overdosing on heroin in a bathroom,” said police department spokesperson Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Simpson did not explain why police decided to stand back, but it is likely that they were trying to avoid bad publicity. The tides of the drug war are turning and the police are rarely ever perceived as the “good guys” when they are seen violating the rights of nonviolent people.