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Friend of former Blazer Cliff Robinson asking Portland mayor to issue apology for 1997 racial profiling

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — It’s a big ask for the city of Portland – and it has to do with a former Portland Trail Blazer and a run-in with police that happened more than 20 years ago.

A friend of Portland icon Cliff Robinson is asking the mayor to issue an apology for what he calls a case of racial profiling.

Chris Young is Robinson’s friend and social media manager.

He came up with the idea to start a petition to ask Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to apologize for a highly-publicized police stop from the summer of 1997.

Robinson was in his car with friends near the waterfront, when he was stopped by police after someone reported that he had assault rifles.

Robinson actually had paintball guns and said he was on his way to play in a paintball league.

Police blocked his car and several officers surrounded him. They found marijuana inside and that sparked a national news story at the time.

Young believes it was a case of racial profiling, and even though it happened long ago, he says Robinson deserves an apology.

“As days turn into weeks and weeks turn to months and months to years, or Cliff’s case, decades, unfortunately people forget about it. But the person it happened to doesn’t forget about it. People bring it up and and say it was a long time ago and you need to get over it and move on, but the person it happens to doesn’t move on. It’s traumatic and stays with them for their life. Whether it happened last Tuesday or 20 years ago, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Young said.

Young says he believes we are finally at the point as a society to address cases like this, and he hopes Mayor Wheeler will see it that way too and issue an apology on behalf of the city of Portland.

At last check, the petition had more than 900 signatures.

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