Wheeler: Cliff Robinson ‘absolutely deserves apology’

Civic Affairs

Ex-Blazer was racially profiled in 1997

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ex-Blazers star Cliff Robinson asked for an apology from the City of Portland. Mayor Ted Wheeler delivered.

Robinson asked for an apology from the city after he said he was racially profiled and detained at gunpoint in 1997.

Robinson said he, his brothers and some friends got into his Humvee with paintball guns. Someone called the police and said they had assault rifles. He said they were surrounded by a paramilitary blockade on Portland’s waterfront.

The issue was brought to light this week by Robinson’s social media manager, Chris Young.

“Yes,it’s an old story, but that’s kind of the point of why I pushed the petition,” he said earlier this week. “It’s never been remedied, the record has never been cleared. As far as people know, Clifford Robinson got busted for a small amount of cannabis and that’s not the whole story.”

On Friday, Wheeler issued an apology in a note sent to Young:

An apology from Mayor Ted Wheeler to Cliff Robinson over a 1997 racial profiling incident, June 12, 2020 (KOIN)

Good afternoon Chris,

Thank you for reaching out to the Mayor’s office about this We appreciate your concern on this this matter. Please see a response from the Mayor below.

Clifford Robinson, like so many black Americans around the country, absolutely deserves an apology for any and every racial profiling incident experienced. While I was not Mayor at the time of the incident, it’s still important for me to acknowledge those deep wounds that racial profiling incidents cause. I am working with urgency with our police bureau and our new police chief to make sure we reimagine the way policing has historically been done. That starts with training and awareness on racial bias.

KOIN 6 News has not yet heard from Robinson.

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