Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pig In The Eagle's Shadow


I have no idea how this slipped past my radar until today (except for the fact that I live in total oblivion to almost everything) but back in 2008 Portland Grindhouse founder and unwavering champion of exploitation cinema Dan Halsted was mistaken for a graffiti "tagger" while walking home from a pub and unceremoniously tackled from behind by police on a dark Northeast Portland city street.  The cops failed to introduce themselves or even ID him before throwing him to the ground and tasing him five times (FIVE TIMES!  The generally recommended maximum use of force with a taser is no more than three times).  Naturally, after the beating Dan was arrested for resisting arrest.  Read the story here. Yesterday the City of Portland quietly agreed to pay Dan $250,000 in damages under the condition that Dan not pursue any further action against the city.  In court the City of Portland's attorney attempted to use Dan's love for kung fu films and his Portland Grindhouse events as evidence that he is prone to violence.  If you've ever met Dan you know the only person he's ever threatened are the assholes who heckle the movie screen during Don't Go In The House (1980).  Portland Grindhouse just got about $250,000 richer! By the way, don't miss Squirm (1976) when it returns to the bigscreen on May 29th!    

7 comments:

Metalmitch said...

Goddamn that's fucked up. I would sue the hell out of those fuckers. Glad he is alright. Don't Go In The House rules by the way.

Rian Nielsen said...

First time I ever googled Dan that image/story popped up. Ever since, I just assumed that the settlement is how he afforded the purchase of the Vancouver film trove. Seeing as though the settlement is just now being reached, I stand corrected.

Dennis Dread said...

Rian: Actually, the story of how Dan launched Grindhouse is way more interesting and AWESOME than getting beat up by cops. Most of his films were salvaged from the basement of the former Shaw Brothers theater in Vancouver, BC. It's any film collector's wet dream. Check out the story: salvagingshaolin.blogspot.
Cheers!

Neil O. said...

Too bad he didn't hold out for more. I guess 250 large is hard to turn down when it's in your hand. Good story. Squirm huh... I remember that on TV back in the late 70's, on a Saturday afternoon. Ahead of its time.

Limpey said...

I guess I can understand why a cop who gets in trouble for having attacked someone at random makes up a story to try to cover his own ass (I don't like it or accept it; I just understand why it happens), but how do you make the initial mistake that led to the tasering and beat-down?
The idea that the cops are tasering and beating people for painting on a wall is indefensible --- but the idea that they say that they tasered and beat him because they thought he was someone who had painted on a wall --- where is the logic in that?

Dennis Dread said...

The most sinister aspect of this story for me is how the attorney attempted to present Dan's interest in violent/exploitation cinema (i.e. art) as a character flaw that somehow justified the police officers' totally inappropriate use of excessive force and wrongful arrest. Remember, this dude didn't actually break any laws. He was walking home from a bar.

Limpey said...

The idea that the victim likes movies is used to attempt to justify the fact that he was beaten for no reason makes it much worse... it would have been much less scary if they just said, "We messed up." But after I heard that a woman in Florida was arrested for 'child pornography' because she took a photo of her husband giving their infant daughter a bath, I guess I'm surprised that the mendacity of people in power still surprises me.