Around 4:00 am on September 2, Fred Marlow was startled from his sleep by the sounds of “multiple bombs blasting and glass breaking,” as his apartment shook from the impact. He ran outside with his iPad and saw “five or more tanks”rolling down the street and a man shouting orders into a megaphone to heavily-armed soldiers in military fatigues.
Does Marlow live in Baghdad or Damascus? Nope. This happened in his neighborhood near Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon — a small city of 100,000 people — as police conducted a drug raid on a house across the street.
Things went from bad to worse that morning when the police saw Marlow — who was filming the raid — and ordered him back inside. Marlow refused.
Police Officer: You’re interfering, you understand?
Marlow: No, I’m okay out here. It’s not past curfew. […] I can’t see nothing.
Police Officer on megaphone: This is police. We’re serving a search warrant at 2825 North 23rd Street […]
Police Officer: Go inside right now, or [inaudible] okay?
Marlow: No, I’m fine…
Police Officer: Go inside now (reaches for his iPad).
Marlow: I have no weapons, I’m fine.
Police Officer on megaphone: […] Stay inside and away from windows […]
Police Officer [either smacks Marlow, grabs for iPad, or both]: Go!
Marlow: F*ck! This is my place…
Marlow: [as the two police offers start to walk away] HEY! This is on iCLOUD!
And that’s when they turned back and things got rough. Because, apparently, being forced to float around “on iCloud” was the last straw.
Marlow writes in the summary for his YouTube video, matter-of-factly titled “Gresham Oregon Police assaulting me for filming drug raid that woke the entire neighborhood 9/2/2014“:
Gresham OR 9/2/14 4:00am I was laying in my apartment sleeping an I heard multiple bombs blasting and glass breaking and my entire apartment shook repeatedly. I grabbed my Ipad and ran outside as fast as I could to see what was going on There were 5 or more Tank/Military Trucks just cruising through my neighborhood. 503 Gresham/Portland Oregon right across the street from Mt.Hood Community College. I was assaulted multiple times and I feel like it was Gresham Police Abuse and my rights were violated.
In an interview with Photography is Not a Crime, Marlow also revealed that the officer — whom he named as Sergeant Jared McGowan — body-slammed him and then handcuffed him. When his girlfriend came out as he was being dragged into the squad car, police ordered her back into the house under threat of arrest.
To add insult to injury, Marlow adds:
“He [McGowan] wrote in his report that I was probably drunk because I was walking funny. But I was walking funny because I have a titanium rod in my leg.”
Marlow demanded to take a breathalyzer to clear any doubt on that count, but McGowan refused.
A news report from KOIN 6 confirms the SWAT-style drug raid took place, but doesn’t mention Marlow’s arrest.
Now, Marlow’s in legal hot water.
And now, for engaging in the perfectly legal act of recording a drug raid on video, Marlow’s in at least $5,000 worth of legal trouble. On his GoGetFunding page, Marlow writes that he was charged with ORS 162.247 (resisting arrest) and ORS 162.315 (interfering with an, um, “peace officer”).. Marlow refers to problems in the past, saying he’s worked hard to “clean up my life and get on the right track,” and fears that without a lawyer his past may work against him:
I need a fair chance at this i am being charged with two crimes and $5000 that’s just like someone lifting me up from my leg upside down and shaking all the money i saved over the years. For what? video taping an incident that woke up the entire neighborhood? I need to raise $5000 plus legal fees. If there is anyone out there that can help please leave a small donation to me and I will appreciate it very much.
Marlow also writes that he found the highly militarized police raid disturbing because the neighborhood was full of families with young children:
The public safety concern is that right across the street is East Wind Apartments which is filled with family’s and little kids sleeping at 4:00 in the morning. What if someone started shooting and a bullet struck an apartment and killed someone while they were sleeping. There officers are not marked and are wearing military camo and carrying what appears to be fully automatic weapons. Is this safe to be carrying out such an extreme military procedure with bombs and machine guns right next to an apartment filled with woman and children as well as in between two schools
This writer finds Gresham police’s treatment of Marlow disturbing because filming something that’s happening right in front of you on the street is perfectly legal and morally justifiable. If what Gresham police are doing is perfectly legal and morally justifiable, then they shouldn’t have any problem with Marlow’s recording. And if they worry that the footage may give people the impression that police in the country are excessively militarized… well, gee, if the camo hat fits, wear it.
Watch the grainy but still-terrifying video with Marlow getting assaulted by Gresham, Oregon police.:
Photo: Video screen grab/Fred Marlow.