Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 24, 2010 1:00 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland "clean money" goes to work -- in California. The next post in this blog is How Portlanders sell streetcars in Connecticut: Lie. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blood on the streetcar tracks

The story that finally emerged from the tightly circled wagons of the Portland Police Bureau yesterday about the shooting in Hoyt Arboretum more than 20 hours earlier appears to be holding water so far. The shooting victim was a crazed 58-year-old homeless guy -- so marginalized that he doesn't have a name attached to him even now, more than a day after his death -- who was running around the park menacing people with a razor knife. The police officer commanded that he drop the knife, and he refused. Four shots were fired, and the guy was struck and killed.

Confident that they have a winning case, the police chief and police union are now going to milk the situation for all it's worth. Process, process, process, transparency, transparency, process, transparency. It will help cushion the blow of the coming Chasse verdict, which should be a big one.

Before we forget about another departed "transient," though, we should all reflect for a minute on the fact that our city and county have a pitifully inadequate mental health "system" -- one that a prior Portland police chief cynically, but accurately, labeled "open air treatment." Our streets, parks, and libraries are populated by all sorts of people who are simply crazy, some of whom are dangerous to themselves and others. The police have to deal with them, and it's now painfully obvious that the boys in blue are going to execute them if they are incapable of understanding or obeying commands.

It's sad, but for all the money we have in Portland for bike paths, bioswales, and soccer grandstands, we have plainly abandoned the insane people, leaving them to a police force that often seems to regard them with a mixture of disgust, resentment, and fear. Add in the police union's mean streak and code of silence, and you have a tragic story that will seemingly never end.

Comments (27)

Maybe Victoria Taft and Lars Larson could present us with the conservative solution to this issue?

Afterall, wasn't it Ronald Reagan that pushed the mainstreaming of the mentally ill by pursuing the closing of the government run facilities that generally incarcerated people like this as harmful to themselves and society?

Regardless, I'd still like to read their solution to this problem? I know at least one of the above has posted on this board, so in the interest of bi-partisanship, I think it would be of great value to see what they have to say. Seriously...

How quicky you forget the public outcry about the bad conditions of those government run facilities that generally incarcerated people like this.

He responded to the public outcry!

Shame on you!!! To link the tragedy of a person with mental illness, delusional and threatening to series of positive improvements for the general population of our city is so wrong, so lacking of compassion. This is a great problem of not funding mental health of ignoring people who can not take care of themselves. Portland is better then most at providing services, this problem needs to be addressed on a National and state level

Thank you, Jack, well stated.

With the advent of remotely readable UHIs, the police should be able to handle these events more efficiently.

The state has pulled back all forms of funding and beds for those in crisis, leaving families or the community to deal with the problem. When a person gets into crisis and becomes violent the cops are called. Hundreds if not thousands of these calls are resolved every year in police around the state, without injury or death to anyone. But odds are they will not all turn out well.

Previous Oregon facilities for the mentally ill were in deplorable condition. Can you imagine what could have been done with all the OHSU tram money if it had gone to say.. opening Wapato as a MH crisis center instead. I have no problem in challenging the priorities of public monies that have been spent on "positive improvements"

I've always contended that 99% of tax payers are for helping those people that are incapable of helping themselves due to mental illness or handicap. Unfortunately, there isn't enough money left over to do so after wasting it on a million things that 50% or fewer are interested in funding. There are thousands of faces of this mis-management of our money and this man is one of them. Walk around downtown and you'll see more.

"Four shots were fired, and the guy was struck and killed" is a weird way to describe a cop pumping four bullets, one after the other, right into someone's body. To use the passive voice in describing a police shooting like this is as manipulative as a lie.

At issue is whether the cops think there is any alternative to shooting to kill. Because lately it's clear they don't - they are unwilling to take even the slightest risk that, say, a guy with a box-cutter shot in the leg would somehow be able to continue attacking an officer armed with a .38, a tazer, a nightstick, and twenty buddies arriving in about thirty seconds.

The police reported that the man carried an X-acto knife with a 6-inch handle. This is apparently a more deadly version of the 5-inch handled X-acto knife I keep on my desk.
The more relevant measurement for these "weapons" is their 1-inch blade, but that doesn't sound so menacing.

Rescue stray cats and dogs (the Humane Society, et al), kill the crazy people. Even if they're just distraught (Aaron Campbell), kill them and keep us all safe. Why did I feel safer traveling in Jordan and Syria?

Fahrt mit der Strassenbahn!

The blade on a utility knife is about an inch long. It can't be thrown accurately, breaks easily and there's no haft on the handle to use with any effectiveness.

How many times have I walked into a bank, a hardware store, a restaurant, a park with one of those in my pocket after working around the home?

I will bet that was the 'weapon'.

To call the police in Portland 'pussies' would be too easy. To call them poorly trained and reactionary is a kinder word choice.

'Razor knife' my ass.


#1 - I wonder if the default is deadly force because the police don't want to appear like they were afraid.. Because the altenative I would think, is to back down, back off, run off or shoot with non-lethal weapons..? But the non-lethal weapons option if only applicable if there are two or more cops and one has the non-lethal drawn..

Coordinating which option will be launched first has to be very difficult in a situation that can change from in control to very deadly in seconds, for all involved..

#2 - I wonder if its an ego thing amongst cops that they don't want to in their minds and in front of their peers, to look like they were afraid or in a more derogatory term, but commonly used among men and woman, look like a pussy?

So they shoot'em and they make sure the person is killed because if they survive, they could play on the sympathies of a jury more than a dead person could...

Im just thinking out loud. Im trying to understand why deadly force seems to be the first choice of response...

Assassin de La Police!!!

Nique Ta Mere! flics de merde

quoi ca un cop de merde n'est pas capable de se battre avec un viellard de 58 ans
come on this is worse than amateur people getting together and acting as police....

Robert, take a close look at a patrol policeman on duty. They are so laden and festooned with weapons, communications equipment, armor and restraining devices that they can hardly move. Physical engagement with another person, even a quadriplegic, is pretty much out of the question. A Portland police officer is a walking tank. Shooting is pretty much all he or she is good for. Keep that firmly in mind when you call for help.

It is pathetic that people who did not witness the incident claim to know the details.... BTW the Med Examiners report stated death was attributed to a gunshot to the leg with the shell nicking the femoral artery and he bled out. The other GSW's were to the arms and shoulder.....

Over Seattle way things are handled differently:

Officers found the 35-year-old man standing at the front door of the business with a large sword in his hands, Lt. Sue Shultz said. He had multiple scrapes and cuts on his body.
officers also allegedly found several throwing knifes and other sharp weapons.
The male had been approaching customers and staff displaying and demonstrating his sword and throwing and knifes."


Concerned about their safety, police took the man to Harrison Memorial Hospital for evaluation. He remained at the hospital late Tuesday afternoon.

The ME's report is telling, in that the likelihood that the police shot to disable rather than kill was the goal.

Or, they were poor shots!


According to the article you linked to, THE MAN DISARMED HIMSELF WITHOUT INCIDENT. You see the difference in the two situations?

so Rosie/Saltzman/Westerman/PPB/PPA are now spinning the tale that Jason Walters is a hero because he stopped the would-be X-acto Knife Killer dead in his tracks? What a team of idiots these sorry people are! If Jason Walters is really the heroic person they try to make him out to be, then he'll refuse to partake in this silliness and will donate his time and efforts to helping solve the "mental health crisis" that is besetting Portland while our elected and appointed so-called "officials" make craven fools of themselves. We shall see...what kind of a man he really is...???? (a toady for the idiots at City Hall & Central Precinct or a man of the people of Portland)

It's simple. We have no mental health care system. If a person is crazy, kill them. Seems like the old fashioned Insane Asylum would be more humane. This is why it was called asylum...

I think there's another key word in the Seattle example: "Officers."

I question the logic of having a policeman handle this call by himself.

The occifer probably believed the man also had a gun, and felt a life was in danger.

Catch-22. Do the police immediately available show up or wait?

Yes mp97303, I also see the difference between a hobby knife with at most an inch blade and this guys sword and throwing knives. So is this what its about, or should we argue about bullet foot pounds or quick draw parlor tricks?

Maybe this is all about something far beyond that.

A good read for you would be this article.

Pay attention near the end when they talk about adulthood, and compare the behaviors with the PPD and the few on the force that certainly fit this profile.

Having worked at Multnomah County for a number of years, I agree with Gibby that mental health services have been decimated in this state.

The goal many years ago was to close the large, centralized facilities and move those needing treatment to smaller community-based facilities. Only problem was, the money kept getting cut and cut and cut. Over one hundred people were laid off from Multnomah County's Human Services department in July of 2003, along with funds for mental health contracts. Remember the debacle with Cascadia - along with their own, self-inflicted problems, they had merged with/absorbed a number of poorly-funded community agencies, and then funds continued to be cut.

We have no triage center in this community - many of those in jail have mental health issues - and many of those with mental health issues also have drug/alcohol issues. Ditto many of the homeless. Couple the lack of any sort of treatment with trigger-happy, untrained police and the outcome is not in doubt.

Anyone here watch "Lockup" on MSNBC? Almost every episode has a several minute segment with one of the investigative officers within the prison that will show a collection of collected shanks - many of which are pretty close to an X-Acto knife and have been successfully used on assualts on corrections officers. So I do not blame the officer for taking a defensive position on the weapon.

Could something have been done better? Could the officer have simply waited for backup? Did the man actually lunge or attempt to attack the officer? Were there bystanders whose safety was at immediate risk? I don't know that. I wasn't there. I'm not the officer waiting for backup dealing with a psycho man with a weapon in a confined area. I can't hold two weapons (pepper spray or taser, and gun) at the same time. I can't turn my back on this guy and there are civilians around.

This officer can't solve our mental health problems. He's responding to a high risk 9-1-1 call and needs to diffuse the situation NOW. He doesn't have a psychologist with him to talk this person down. He doesn't have anyone else but himself. And a psycho with a knife.

Unfortunately here in Portland, the investigative process will no longer focus on the facts. It will no longer look at the officer's choices. Of course, the grand jury is going to find that legally the officer had every right of self-defense, and was reasonable to believe he was in danger. And of course, the police critics are going to attack anyone and everyone who doesn't agree with them, even though they don't have the facts. All they care is that here's a homeless guy, here's a cop with a big gun, 'nuff said. It's time that officer involved shootings no longer be investigated by anyone in Portland, and a grand jury should be called from the furthest reaches of Oregon - people who do not live in the metro area - actually review the situation.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics