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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Portland cops kill another guy

The dead man, who lived along the MAX line at East 122nd, had a real-looking fake gun, and a caller said he was threatening the caller with it. The suspect reportedly pointed the air pistol at the police who responded to the emergency calls. If indeed he did that, it was the last thing he ever did.

It took a while for the official version of the story to include the fact that he pointed the gun at the police. Early reports said merely that the police had heard that he was armed, and that the handgun was recovered from his apartment.

The police fired at least 16 shots, according to a witness.

The deceased fellow had some serious problems. But don't most of the people that the Portland police kill? If our count is correct, this is the fourth one this year.

Comments (14)

In the comment section, the sister of the man killer talked to the girlfriend on the phone, this girlfriend being in the apt at the time of shooting. The sister said the GF told her the deceased did NOT point the gun at the police when he answered the door. IFF* true, then you can no longer answer your own door (inside your own house) while holding a firearm for self protection.

*I personally have a very hard time believing he was killed by two PPO without pointing his weapon....but what do I know?

If you are holding anything resembling a gun when the police arrive -- and you refuse to follow their commands (or you demonstrate hostility) -- the odds of getting yourself hurt or killed rise exponentially.

Cops are empowered to serve and protect the majority (who are law abiding) from the minority of the population who are law breaking. We do not train police officers to reveal themselves as targets to crazed gunmen, or negotiate patiently when their lives are threatened.

The first objective of the police department is to protect the public. Their second objective is to protect themselves from harm. Their third objective is to follow their policy, procedures, and training to resolve conflict as quickly and safely as possible. If a rapidly escalating situation forces them to focus on their primary and secondary objectives, then tertiary objectives may suffer.

Most criticism of police behavior before, during, and after the use of lethal force is centered on these tertiary matters. Most police officers (and their unions) feel disdain for civilian oversight (or media) who seem preoccupied with these tertiary concerns to the detriment of how well the cops achieved their primary and secondary objectives. To put it bluntly: the perpetrator didn't hurt any cops, and he didn't hurt any innocents. That's a Win.

Given the number of police/civilian interactions in Portland, I am surprised that lethal force isn't deployed more frequently. When you consider the number of these interactions that involve the mentally ill, or individuals who are drunk and/or high, and/or pumped up on adrenalin, you begin to appreciate that being a police officer is not an easy job.

They don't get paid enough to take a bullet.

Thanks, I needed to set my watch.

Busting 16 caps in a crowded particle-board apartment building seems a bit over the top.

There was a young man shot and killed last week in Long Beach CA while holding a hose nozzle! at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Unfortunately our police forces across the nation would appear to need more training and exercise more restraint.

I googled the gun:

Point that thing at me and I'll believe it's the real thing.

With all due respect Mr. Tee, the wild west days of hired guns to police the towns isn't the answer. In this case, we will have to wait for the reviews. His GF is stated to have said he didn't point the gun. I hope this gets resolved satisfactorily.

Portland Native

Calls for more training always follow such a horrible incident. A more responsible approach to preventing future occurences might be to (1) identify and deal with those folks who are simply not cut out for police work (2) focus attention to remove the very few cops who are bullies, are inept, or are problem children.

Mister Tee

There are tactical rules police follow when responding to dangerous calls to keep everyone safe. But there has also evolved a cultural shift in the way police respond, and in their attitude. A longer discussion we could engage in sometime.

It is about type I type II errors: false positives and false negatives. You either accept killing an innocent now and then, or you live with a cop taking a round now and then. Training decreases the number of the former, but can never eliminate them. Body armor and training mitigates the consequences of the second.
The unions have argued that police should not carry the burden of risk. This is how totalitarian regimes work. The armed forces are payed substantially less than our police to take bullets for the civilian population. The police are not supposed to be there to "take out" the "bad guys". They are there to SERVE and PROTECT. That's why they should be treated like heroes.
As long as they serve and protect themselves, they will be inherently corrupt, and instinctively feared.

Suicide by Cop in these circumstances is so messy but this method doesn't inconvenience others nearly as much as going out with a Bang while becoming a Freightliner grille ornament.

These cops are doing what I want them to do.

I hope this gets resolved satisfactorily.

We already know how this will be resolved:

(1) The officers involved will have a couple of days to get the story straight.
(2) The police union will stick with the officers, no matter what.
(3) The DA's office won't do anything.
(4) The family will sue the city for wrongful death, and win half a mil in an out-of-court settlement, because the city won't want to have officers take the stand under oath and reveal the holes in their story.
(5) The public pays the half mil.
(6) The officers involved go back to their jobs as before.

Yes, this is number four. Problem is with the first three, there were no witnesses except police officers. This time, there's a real witness. It suld be interesting.

the cops and their defenders like to banter
around the words "Suicide-by-Cop" and I'm
left wondering how they'd react when one of
our fellow-citizens shoots a cop first err
he gets shot first, and then we can debate
the newest fade..."Suicide-by-Citizen" and
see how well that plays on these forums?

Cops and their defenders like to banter around the words "suicide by cop"?

Really? What would you call it when a person in crisis with a death wish points a firearm at armed police officers. An act that has everlasting negative impacts on the the careers and personal lives of the cops put into that position.

Rumormonger, in words borrowed from the famous Forrest Gump movie...Are you just stupid or what?

Please clarify our "rules of engagement"
when threatened by a realistic weapon (toy or not). I thought that police use of guns is, first, to disable, not to kill. Sixteen shots suggest a different priority.


Police training across most United States jurisdictions teaches officers to aim at center mass (the torso), and keep shooting until the threat is neutralized.

Nobody shoots to "disable", because it's much harder to hit somebody in the leg or hand than in the torso. The deployment of lethal force is always intended to be a last resort, preferably after less-than-lethal alternatives have been exhausted.

If you were staring down the barrel of a realistic looking gun, you would appreciate the farce that is "shooting to disable".

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