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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Usual thick fog around latest Portland cop shooting

Portland police have arrested a man and charged him with murder in connection with the New Year's Eve killing of a bouncer at Club 915 downtown. If that indeed is the trigger man in the fatal shooting, it was pretty prompt police work.

But the official story about the police officer who fired his own weapon at the scene reeks as only a Portland police shooting can:

The second officer began trying to communicate with a group identified in connection with the shooting and "discharged his weapon," according to a statement from police. A traffic sergeant is being investigated for accidentally discharging his weapon at the scene, officers said.

Scheffer said the officer "did not kill anyone" but was placed on administrative leave, a normal step in an officer-involved shooting. She would not specify whether the officer shot at someone.

"He didn't shoot the victim. In the course of what he came upon and what he saw going on, he discharged his weapon," Scheffer said. "There was no one person attached to the incident."

Scheffer would not go into additional detail about the officer's involvement in the incident and would not confirm later why the officer fired his gun or whom he was targeting, citing the ongoing investigation.

"We can't clarify anymore (other than) this is an officer-involved shooting but this is not an officer-involved shooting in which someone was struck," she said.

So, was it an accident that the gun went off, or not? Is the traffic sergeant the only officer whose gun went off? Does he have a name? Guess we'll find out when everybody in blue has another day or so to get their story straight.

But surprise! Mayor Creepy showed up at the scene yesterday morning and did his best Vera Katz imitation. Must have been a slow New Year's Eve by his standards. Ya gotta love his "We need witnesses" bit; that one improves every time he does it. Yeah, rat out some guy shooting up a rap club, turn in your neighbors who have illegal handguns -- Sam Adams will protect you.

Comments (17)

Looks like it's time for Nick Fish to give the police bureau a try. I'd recommend Amanda Fritz, but she'd blow the budget on pizza.

Now that Fireman Randy has his pal in the chief's office, I suppose he'll be next. But why would he take the gig when he can run the bureau now through his puppet, Mr. Hypno-Glasses?

Imagine taking a gun to a gunfight? Absurd.

"We can't clarify anymore (other than) this is an officer-involved shooting but this is not an officer-involved shooting in which someone was struck," she said.

They need to investigate further to answer your questions. Simple enough.

Translation: "No harm, no foul."

Not good enough.

Don't police weapons have safteties? How does a cop "accidentally" fire a gun?

Maybe the officer was trying to disperse the rowdies, but realized this use of his weapon was not permitted under departmental guidelines? Hence, the accidental discharge coverup. If we learn the shot was aimed towards the sky, this theory gains credibility.

And if it was aimed at the sky, where did it land? On Mars? Maybe the moon, It's closer.

If I recall correctly, the police carry Glock pistols, which don't have a safety in the sense I think you were referring to, Max.

The safety is mounted in the trigger. Which means that the officer had his/her finger on the trigger and therefore either intended to fire, or needs to go back to remedial gun safety. Or lay off the caffeine at the very least.

The safety every gun should have engaged is the one called training, discipline, and training. Oh yeah, and training is important.

The officer is extremely lucky that round didn't hit anybody.

I won't get tedious about the whole gun thing, but anybody who ever took a hunter safety course, or this state's CHL course knows the rules: Finger off trigger until sights on target, know your back stop, and never ever point a loaded gun at anything you don't want to put a hole in. Guns are not crowd control tools, nor should they be.

I have a co-worker who is a former cop, who has relatives currently employed in our police bureau. He hasn't very much nice to say about the professionalism of the bureau, nor do his relatives.

Excellent work on the Glock safety.

But here, I have one question:
"The officer is extremely lucky that round didn't hit anybody."

Where is the evidence that the officer did not kill the victim? Who says so?

Oh, the Portland Police say that....

What does the autopsy report say?

From KATU:
"At the conclusion of the autopsy, investigators learned a gun shot was the cause of death," the Portland Police Bureau reports. However, it does not tell us whose gun made that fatal wound."

I believe that the officer did not kill the bouncer, but given the lies the PoPo have been telling on police killings the last few years, I would like some hard evidence befoe I just go ahead and believe what PoPo and (admitted liar) Sam Adams say.

Anyone remember when a certain shooting range up in Clark County told the Portland Police they were no longer welcome, as a result of all the accidental discharges and atrocious marksmanship ? The way I heard it, the PPB would show up from time to time and literally chew up the wooden target frames with dozens of wildly inaccurate shots...it was a financial decision as much as a safety one. They couldn't afford to replace the stuff the cops kept ruining. And they never stuck around long enough to learn to hit stuff...they just dropped by to wreck the place and left.

How many rounds a year does a Portland police officer have to fire to qualify with his or her duty sidearm ? 50 ? 100 ? It would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous to innocent bystanders.

I remember another incident up by Emanuel Hospital a few years back...some idiot was brandishing a firearm at the cops, so they shot at him. So far so good, right ? Wrong. They let loose dozens of rounds, the vast majority of which never went anywhere near the guy. This woman was on the news, pointing out the bullet holes in her wall, near her kids' beds.

Unfortunately, I have to carry a pistol at night, because my job, according to the FBI's uniform crime stats, is roughly three times as dangerous as that of a police officer, with 21 deaths as a result of violence in the line of duty per 100,000 per annum as opposed to 7. I wouldn't dream of doing this without taking the minimum of time, and then some, that it takes to become proficient with my sidearm.

Guns are not magic talismans, they are only tools, and very difficult tools to use properly at that. It takes hundreds and hundreds of rounds to become even minimally proficient with a handgun. Every study done on the subject shows that under tremendous stress, operator accuracy degrades an incredible amount. Thus, you train, train, and train some more.

I would like to think that the cops know this, and thus spend a considerable amount of time doing the same, but all the evidence I have seen indicates that 90 percent of them do not, and that scares the hell out of me. Frankly, if I see cops, no matter what it is they are up to, I get away from them as fast as I can...given the utterly abysmal level of training they repeatedly demonstrate, coupled with their proclivity for gleefully riding roughshod upon the citizenry in the manner of an occupying army, it is simply not safe to be anywhere near them any more.

I know a couple of ex-PPB cops too, and to be honest, I feel sorry for the ones on the force that are truly dedicated to public safety. CoP has lowered the hiring standards several times, city leaders are embarrassing to work for, and the public they serve are largely ingrates.

You couldn't get me to touch that job. But hey, no worries mon! We have trolleys and earth-friendly public toilets! WooHoo!

And they never stuck around long enough to learn to hit stuff...

The other Portland Police shootings we've witnessed suggest otherwise.

A modern firearm cannot discharge itself, it must have human interventions. Gun's don't 'just go off,' the trigger must be manipulated by a human.

In the shooting community, 'accidental discharge' doesn't exist: only deliberate or negligent discharges occur.

If it ain't one, it's the other.

And how can the "authorized journalists" print this tripe?? Began trying to communicate and the discharged a weapon? What the hell happened in between? I love the poor excuse- at least he 'did not kill anyone.'

"Yeah, rat out some guy shooting up a rap club, turn in your neighbors who have illegal handguns --"
If some folks did this, possibly their neighborhoods might be a little safer.

Incompetent leaders. Worst management of public safety ever. Lucky us, while we ARE inconvenienced by a stray bullet here and there, we do have really important public safety goals in the works like a "Food Initiative Action Plan". I feel better now.

Pistolero makes an excellent point...my choice of words was poor. Negligent discharge, not accidental.

John Rettig: my point was not that the PPB and other agencies don't seem to have an affinity for continually shooting civilians...which of course they do...but the ridiculous amount of shots it takes them to hit their target in many cases. If three cops dump 45 rounds at a "suspect" a couple are bound to hit their mark by sheer law of averages, kind of like when German gunners in the Second World War would fill the air with flak, hoping to hit an enemy plane with 2 or 3 percent of the total.

When I lived in Austin before, in the 90s, I noticed a difference in training and equipment between the rookies and the grizzled old sergeants on the rough, always active 6th Street beat. The young cops all carried "Wonder Nines" with large magazine capacities, whereas the older ones tended to carry 6 shot revolvers like S&W Model 19s. They dated from another time with different training, when highly accurate shot placement was key, shootouts were rarer, and shootings were more of a last resort than a first or second one.

Now, I'm not saying that cops should carry antiquated equipment and be undergunned, don't get me wrong. There is a reason why high capacity semi-autos were developed in the first place. But too many people...many civilians among them...think that dumping an entire magazine is the end-all-to-be-all solution, and neglect to learn to hit something with the first or second shot. This is why I have a 1911 with an 8 shot capacity. It's the most accurate pistol I've ever tried, and if God forbid I ever have to defend myself with it, in the heat of the moment when my motor skills are totally degraded, the shot or shots that I take will hopefully land where they are supposed to.
You really have to stop and think about where all those stray rounds are going. Do you really want the death or injury of some innocent kid in their bed on your conscience ?

Perhaps some people...such as certain folks in the PPB...never even think that far to begin with.

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