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Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's cop shooting no accident

The Portland police sergeant who pulled the trigger outside Club 915 the other morning has been identified -- his name is Mike Fort -- and investigators suspect he was shooting at the murder suspect. Some of the new information comes from the police union -- heaven forbid the police bureau should let the public know what is going on.

There were reportedly hundreds of people around at the time of the shooting. It's a good thing that Sgt. Fort didn't kill anyone.

Comments (16)

And, of course, it was a tweet from our inept mayor that started the miscommunication in the first place.

He is a very "hands on" police commissioner, but not so much a "brain on" leader.


KATU said on their news at 4 that Moffett (the murder suspect) has hired Stepen Houze as his attorney. How do all of these different people afford this guy. If its a blazer (jailblazer) I get it but what about what appear to be everyday ordinary citizens? The Horman case he could be doing pro-bono for the publicity but what about the others? My household pulls in a good income, above average, but could I afford Stephen Houze and his retainer fee to take on a case, I don't know.....


I left you an invitation for a ride-along on another thread but I haven't seen a response. I'd be honored if you'd come out. Feel free to send me an email when you would like to join me. Weekends are usually best and Spring and Summer are usually busier, but any time you'd like would work.

No, thanks. I hate p.r. shows. And I don't want to get caught in the crossfire. Try real hard not to kill anybody tonight, o.k.?

Ohh come on that's a low blow. An officer is being cordial and inviting you to gain perspective and then you give such a surly response?

Quite uncouth Professor, an apology is in order.

Officer, I'm sure you know the people of Portland who actually pay the bills appreciate your services. Thank you for putting your life on the line for me and mine.

Sorry, no apology coming. I don't want to ride along with the Portland police, and I don't like them stalking from post to post on this blog with their "invitation." They are a sadly unprofessional lot, and playing along with their p.r. just empowers them. They've got real problems. They need to face up to them and stop trying to convince people like me that they don't exist.

I've ridden along several times. Often I didn't like what I saw, but given the variables of the situations that the PPB encounters their responses were authentic.

Get in among them for a while. Sit in on some training if you can, too.

Instead of car rides, couldn't we just address the issue of mentally ill epople being on the street?

Sam seems incapable of anything besides gouging taxpayers on developer's behalf, it'd be nice if he actually did something constructive.

I agree with Jack. The police department needs to acknowledge that it has problems. Yet another "nothing to see here" letter from the union doesn't actually solve anything.

Besides not shooting at anyone tonight officer, try not to take any steroids.

I have to agree with Jack. If the PPB is offering any critic a ride along, it's going to be one major dog and pony show. And as for PPB Officer, are you posting to this blog while my tax dollars are paying you to do an honest day's work? Just curious. Because I can think of far more productive things for you to be doing while on the dime.

No problem, Jack. I agree it would be a P.R. show of sort, although nobody put me up to offering. I just wanted to extend the invitation to show you around the police bureau a bit, show you how things operate and maybe talk about our differing points of view in hopes of maybe offering you a first hand perspective instead of the one seen on TV and in newspapers. I think if you did come out for a shift you would see that we are far from unprofessional, we go out every shift with the best of intentions and we take actions in good faith.

I apologize if you think I was "stalking from post to post". I didn't think making two attempts would be seen that way. I do read your blog quite often because it offers a bit of perspective from what I am generally exposed to.

As for trying not to kill anyone tonight...I'll do my best. I've been doing this job for long enough to have seen quite a bit and I have been put in positions where I have to make that life or death choice several times. Fortunately, it has always worked out without having to resort to that, but several could have easily gone the other way. So, I have experienced "trying not to kill anyone". It's not a good feeling and I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had I been forced to do so.


Thanks for the kinds words. We always appreciate being appreciated.


No. It's my day off. We get those too.


Never taken steroids and I haven't known anyone who has since my college football team.

I appreciate the invitation, but I'm going to decline. Good luck out there.


Being a cop is challenging job under the best of circumstances: even more so for patrol officers who mostly deal with good people at their worst, or the worst kind of people who are trying to evade detection or arrest.

Cops don't have the luxury of just walking away from a confrontation with a knife wielding suspect and hoping he chills out. If you called 911 because you were being threatened, you wouldn't expect the police to just let it slide if the perp was manifesting markers of mental illness. The city would certainly be liable if he went back into the grocery store and started fileting the security guard.

Does that mean they deserve a blank check? Certainly not. And they certainly haven't been operating without plenty of critics and oversight. But when your client base is largely drug addicted, drunk, mentally ill, or amped up on andrenalin, bad things are going to happen that will never look real pretty the next day. Try reading Night Dogs (by Kent Anderson) if you would like some background on being a cop in Portland.

Or I can introduce you to some retired cops, including several lawyers and/or Vietnam Veterans, that are much more like you than they are different.

Can regular folks that don't know anyone get in on ride alongs? Is there some official process? Where do I sign up?


Just go in to or call any precinct and ask them about the process. All you need to do is fill out some paperwork and they'll set you up.

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