Former West Linn Police Officers who Participated in Racist Action Finally Get Their Certifications Revoked
An ancient adage in the law proclaims “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”
It took way too long, but the former West Linn police officers who took part in racist actions against Michael Fesser have finally received some measure of justice.
Due to the wrongful and racially charged arrest of Mr Fesser in 2017, former West Linn Police Sgt. Tony Reeves and West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus have officially had their police certifications permanently revoked.
A unanimous vote just this Thursday amongst the Oregon State Board on Public Safety Standards & Training finally deemed these ex-police officers’ discriminatory actions towards Mr Fesser unjust, and thus their certifications have been stripped for good.
Just a month prior to this final decision, the same panel voted to have these revocations finally take action, as Timeus and Reeves’ involvement in Mr Fesser’s case proved to be a specifically racial targeted issue. The Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office also suggested Timeus’ and Reeves’ certifications be revoked due to their deplorable conduct.
West Linn resident Eric Benson, who was previously Mr Fesser’s boss at A&B Towing, sought out to have Mr Fesser arrested in retaliation against his complaints of there being racial issues at his work. Benson happened to be friends with Timeus, and thus a favor was asked of him to get Mr Fesser unjustly arrested.
This wrongful act of singling Mr Fesser out, a Black citizen, was shameful and widely condemned. These rogue police officers targeted Fesser simply because of Benson’s complaints. Reeves’ involvement was discovered through deleted text messages between him and Benson on the night of Mr Fesser’s arrest that were full of racist and discriminatory remarks towards Mr Fesser.
Though both former police officers have long since been fired from their jobs due to their misconduct towards Mr Fesser, it would only be years later that their certifications would fully be nullified. The City of West Linn faced a heavy hit due to the racist actions of these former officers. As the world continues to progress, unjust behaviors within the police force are finally being recognized.
Though justice does not always erase the harm done to citizens of color, it does ensure a safer future for minorities, knowing that it won’t simply be ignored anymore.
We applaud Oregonian reporter Maxine Bernstein for exposing this sordid story, Mr Fesser’s attorney for championing the cause of justice, and all those who made sure the responsible parties will never work in law enforcement again.