Pubdate: Thu, 02 Aug 2001
Source: Eugene Weekly (OR)
Copyright: 2001 Eugene Weekly
Author: Kai Ariel


I work two jobs in downtown Eugene, which has me spend a lot of time on the 
Broadway mall. I'm appalled at the harassment of youth by police I see 
there almost daily. People are frequently hassled and fined for hanging 
out. I'm told this is because of the "big drug trafficking problem" in the 
area. News flash: people get high to escape their pain. Harassing and 
intimidating them is giving them more pain to escape.

Maybe these kids need something to do. Next time we're asked to vote for 
more dollars for more police, perhaps instead we could use that money to 
open a recreation center on the mall, or support a free arts program. 
People have been getting high since the beginning of time and will continue 
to. I urge the Eugene community and police to rethink youth relations. From 
what I see today, you're creating enemies. Try making friends.

Kai Ariel

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