The small but suddenly newsworthy town of Clatskanie, Oregon describes itself as a "strong, independent community with small town values and support," with a self-curated list of examples of these distinctions including a community swimming pool, a new library, and the purchase of a "trained drug dog." However, the city's website fails to mention its most consistent contribution to its citizens: insulated racism.
In June of this year, Clatskanie police officer Alex Stone debriefed Police Chief Marvin Hoover on his arrest of a black woman who stated that police in the area considered black residents to be nothing more than "animals." Hoover reportedly wasted no time launching into the incident that would eventually force him to resign (i.e. he wasn't fired), as witnessed by both Stone and fellow officer Zack Gibson and detailed in their complaint:
"Chief Hoover placed his hands in his armpits and began scratching them. Chief Hoover also started making loud monkey sounds: ‘Hooo... hooo..... hooo....hahahaha...hooo.....haaah. While Chief Hoover was scratching and chanting, he started to move around the room, in a dance or jumping fashion. While jumping and moving about the room Chief Hoover momentarily beat his chest like Tarzan.
Chief Hoover then started to sing the words to Dixieland: 'In a land of cotton...old times they’re not forgotten...look away...look away...look away.'
As the chief sang the song, he kneeled down and began to make a punching motion with his right fist.
While making a punching motion, Chief Hoover held his left hand in front of him in a gripping motion, as if he was holding a person by the shirt collar. In addition, while singing the words “look away” Chief Hoover moved his head back-and-forth to his left and right as if he was looking over his shoulder."
According to the Daily Kos, Hoover then laughed before exiting the room. When the officers attempted to file a complaint with their immediate superior officer, strong suggestions were made that both officers would receive some form of retaliation if Hoover's actions were made public. As quoted by KOIN 6, Mayor Diane Pohl bafflingly described Hoover as "an honorable man" upon his eventual resignation in light of an investigation.
Though previously noted on multiple occasions, the point sadly bears repeating: