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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More shame for Portland

The man the police killed on Friday was in fact unarmed, and he was shot in the back by an officer with a history of unjustified violence.

The police bureau in this town is really pathetic sometimes. Now watch the D.A.'s office look even more pathetic.

I can't wait for the Chasse verdict. Can't. Wait.

Comments (16)

There are so many mis steps leading up to this killing...

... no detectives called who specialize in hostage talk-em-down, de-escalation types were called in (even though the kids were held inside for over 20 mins, before being released)

... no SERT until after he was shot

... no ambulance until way after he was shot

And the whole story about him disobeying verbal commands (that he might not have heard?) while also being shot at with bean bags. Why shoot him with bean bags if you don't want him to flinch? And then 9 seconds afterward you shot to kill?

I think this one case is much more like the "BART stun-gun opps, I used my Glock" fiasco than a justified shooting. I hope he at least gets a letter of repremand in his file (since he will get no real punishment) but hope springs eternal.

PPB has the toxic mixture of a combative organizational culture with paramilitary training and equipment. They are at war with everybody.

Why do street cops even have access to an "assault rifle?"

Not only is a .223 round overkill in comparison to what might have been a pistol, but if the officer missed his target, that bullet would have surely traveled through someones apartment or house, possibly killing them.

There is no reason a street cop needs that kind of firepower. I would even argue that most officers need no firearms whatsoever.

And still no comment from the city commissioner within whose portfolio responsibility for the PPB was placed long enough ago for him to know that he really should be acting like a city commissioner in whose portfolio responsibility for the PPB lies.

Never thought I'd say this, but maybe it's time to give Leonard the police bureau. If Rosie has a fit and wants to leave this time, let her. She's proven herself as just another insider riding it out until she can collect her PERS. Don't get me wrong, Leonard is still a despicable human being, but the state of law enforcement in this town calls for a serious shake-up.

I'm surprised that the cops forgot to get the "throw-down" gun out of the trunk. That's the usual solution for this kind of incident. The perp always had a gun, even when they didn't.

If those worthless putzes in the DA's office don't at least take this to a grand jury they probably deserve a bar investigation.

"There is no reason a street cop needs that kind of firepower. I would even argue that most officers need no firearms whatsoever."

Anthony, I hope you are using hyperbole, otherwise you don't deserve a seat at the grownups table.

By the time this comes to trial, the cops will have their story straight: The officer mistakenly grabbed the rifle instead of the fire extinguisher.

Anthony, remember that bank robbery down in CA? You know the one on video everwhere where the cops were shooting the bad guys but they were not going down due to the body armor? Yeah, that one. Those cops were using handguns. The bad guys didn't go down until someone showed up with a rifle. That's why most police departments supply rifles to the cops on the street. We really don't want the bad guys out gunning the cops while wearing better armor.

That said, this shooting stinks pretty bad. Hope we get an honest investigation out of it but what are the odds?

So because someone "might" have body armor, its safe to assume that everyone is a highly sophisticated bank robber with military grade equipment and treat them as such? I hate to say it, but most gun wielding crooks don't have the cash to buy a $2500 armored vest, a $1500 kevlar helmet, and/or a $1800 AR-15 rifle + ammo. Even if they do, most of em don't have a death wish like those in that CA video.

That being said, I don't feel comfortable with our police having that type of equipment, especially if they can't tell the difference between someone drawing a handgun or someone grasping an area of their body in pain because the cops just shot them.

Not saying there shouldn't be some police who do, but your basic "community" street cop should not be armed to the teeth.

A number of years ago (5 maybe) a fellow on my block had too much to drink, argued with his wife and started waving a hand gun around. She called the cops. PPB showed up with not one but two SERT teams. The SERT officers were dressed in full camoflage fatigues, body armor, helmets and I am not making this up face paint. They had back packs, and all manner of very large guns. They arrived in two gigantic armored cars. They looked like they were ready to flush Che Guevara out of the jungle. They blocked off the entire block with crime scene tape and locked everyone down. My wife and kids were terrified. A SERT team member insisted on entering our home. He went to the kitchen window and aimed his AK whatever at the perps apartment. We watched him come out in his bathrobe to get his cat. Shortly afterwards he surrendered to police without getting shot! They took him downtown, dried him out and let him return home that evening. They even gave him his gun back! Boy did I feel safe.

I personally would prefer the first responder to show up and have the firepower on hand needed for the situation. Having to wait for that one cop to show up with their AR can cost lives.

Now as for pulling an AR, that's a training issue. They should not be pulling one if the situation doesn't call for more firepower.

I like how they can get all the big guns out in a hurry, but can't seem to get the trained crisis team that supposedly exists (and an ambulance) on site until much later. Gotta love those priorities.

Sam Adams is the Mayor of Portland. The actions of Portland Police ultimately rest with him. He should be held responsible by the media and the public. Don't fall for him abdicating responsibility to Dan Saltzman -- Sam Adams is the Mayor and should control the police.

Afraid he had body armor? He was shirtless! Please.

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