April 15th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts

Listen to the Tape: Westerman Road Rage Victim's Call To Police


Portland police have released a recording of Virginia Thompson's phone call to the police bureau the day after her Jan. 28 road-rage encounter with Sgt. Scott Westerman, head of the police union.

Contrary to statements attributed to Thompson in a Washington County Sheriff's Office memo obtained by WW, it appears the Portland officer who answered Thompson's call was responsive to her complaint and gave her phone numbers to police Internal Affairs and City Hall's Independent Police Review Division. He also made some very candid observations about Westerman's behavior, as described to him by Thompson.

As we reported this afternoon, the sheriff's office memo indicates Thompson said the police bureau "refused to service her complaint." The memo also says a Portland police investigator told a sheriff's sergeant that Thompson's complaint "was turned away somehow" by the police bureau.

The sheriff's office memo came after Thompson's second road-rage encounter with Westerman, two days after their first encounter and a day after this call was recorded.

Some gems from the recording include comments on Westerman's behavior by Officer Doug Oliver, the cop who took Thompson's call. Thompson reported to Oliver that the then-unknown officer exited his car, flashed his badge, yelled and threatened to have her arrested for allegedly flashing her car's high beams (which she insists she didn't do). Oliver did not know at the time that the cop involved was his union president.

Oliver's comments to Thompson include:

• "If you're gonna make yourself look stupid, don't expose the badge. That's just not smart."

• "That's uncalled for. If I did it, I'd deserve to be yelled at at least."

• "There's not a law that says you can't act like a jerk. But as soon as you show the badge, then your standards have become a little different."

• "If he's that irritated to risk being punished — or his job or days off — then he's pretty much a problem."

Listen to the audio clip here. The police bureau redacted some personal information from the recording.
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