This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 19, 2006 10:14 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tram meltdown!. The next post in this blog is Dim the lights on funky Broadway. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kendra and Squeaky

The Portland police officer who fatally shot Kendra James has won his aribtration against the city. The arbitrator has ruled that he should not have been suspended for five and a half months without pay. Police Chief Derrick Foxworth, who at the time recommended to his predecessor that the officer be fired for the shooting, says he'll live with the ruling, which requires the city to pay the officer his back pay, plus benefits.

Meanwhile, there's been a deafening silence in the local media about the fatal shooting of another Portland resident, Dennis "Squeaky" Young, a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure the official investigative wheels are turning, but there's been surprisingly little coverage of the case in the O or on TV since the tragedy occurred in the wee hours on Jan. 4. Without a race angle, I guess, a fatal shooting by police doesn't sell much soap.

What makes the more recent case interesting to me is the fact that, partly in response to cases like James's, and that of James Jahar Perez, the police bureau had issued regulations last summer which essentially told officers not to shoot at a vehicle coming at them if there was any chance of getting out of its way. Based on the limited facts that the police have released in the Young case, it is not clear that the officer who fired the fatal shot complied with that directive. Who knows whether he did or didn't? At this stage, I sure don't. But I do hope that the local press will pursue the truth as vigorously in Young's case as it did in the case of James.

UPDATE, 1/20, 7:28 a.m.: Ask and ye shall receive. This morning's Oregonian reports that the grand jury has cleared the officer in the Young shooting of criminal wrongdoing. Maxine Bernstein's story has a new detail -- the officer didn't know the car was stolen until after Young was dead. And it refers to the new bureau policy adopted last summer. The departmental investigation continues.

Comments (10)

I worded this post very carefully, and any comments that aren't similarly careful will be removed.

Thanks for helping to keep this story alive - local media outlets certainly haven't given it anything more than token coverage.

It's a shame, but it's hard to come to any conclusion other than yours: that the lack of the "race angle" is the reason why we've hardly heard a peep in over 2 weeks.

Personally, I think that the fact the Portland police shot and killed an unarmed citizen, in apparent violation of internal regulations dealing with this very scenario, is newsworthy in and of itself.

But hey, maybe those who pass themselves off as 'journalists' here in pdx know better; as long as there is the hint that the victim was/has at sometime been involved in meth use, then where's the story.

The police off'd someone who probably wouldn't get invited to dinner at my house, so who cares right?

If the fishwraps and chinwags ignore it, maybe we'll all just forget about the incident, and not concern ourselves with that tricky task of improving our local police force, and seeking to improve the safety of our citizenry.

Where's "community policing"? Paging Mayor Potter...

I'm pretty sure McCollister has not resigned from the force. Jason Sery did, but last I heard McCollister was still a Police Bureau officer, still at East Precinct.

Interesting. Last night, KGW had him as resigned. I'll have to check around. Meanwhile, I'm taking down my reference to his resignation.

I'm pretty sure Chief Kroeker resigned...

Okay, here's a go at careful wording. First, there's an O aticle this morning saying the officer has been cleared by tbhe grand jury. Such action isn't surprising. It now goes to PPB's internal process for review. Unfortunately, if you ask them how long such a review will take, it will be months and maybe even as long as a year before they get around to it. Me personally, I'd like to know whether officers shooting those they are hired to protect broke or disregarded policy (and receive suitable punishment) before they have a year on the job to do it again.

Speaking of those charged with carrying out this community policing, the Trib's got an interesting story about the, um, open culture of the bureau:


By the way, Jack, you can get a full roster of Portland cops from the Records Division of the Police Bureau for $10.


Thanks to the few who are keeping us updated and are concerned with the lack of comment on Squeaky's case. I'll not add more for fear of not "being careful" and keep my personal fire to embers. This case isn't over. It just cannot be. It saddens, sickens and terrifies me that those who are supposed to assist...fire. My friend Squeaky; a beautiful human being - his light extinguished.

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