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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 5, 2012 3:59 PM. The previous post in this blog was Willy Week lets another one slip. The next post in this blog is Visit from a neighbor. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Portland, City of Lunatics

Portland's inability to cope with the epidemics of mental illness and gang violence within its borders is getting too obvious to ignore. For one thing, the dangerous crazies are positively coming out of the woodwork with the full moon this week:

On Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 11:08 a.m. Portland Police officers assigned to East Precinct responded to a call of a naked man in the area of Southeast 96th and Stark.

Officers have learned that the man fought with Gresham Police last night. The man was suspected to be high on Methamphetamine at that time and it took multiple officers to take him into custody. The man, later identified as 45-year-old Charles Auther Freeman apparently bit one of the officer's fingers as he fought with them. Freeman was taken to Portland Adventist Hospital.

Today Freeman was released from Portland Adventist Hospital but would not leave the hospital grounds. Witnesses indicated he was urinating in the bushes on hospital grounds. Eventually Freeman did leave and walked on Southeast 96th Avenue. Freeman walked into a business and when officers arrived they attempted to escort him out but he fought with them and ran. Freeman was only wearing a hospital gown.

Freeman then attempted to commandeer an occupied van. Again officers deployed the Taser but it had little effect and again he ran. One of the pursuing officers suffered a leg injury during the fight. Freeman then ran toward a homeless person in the area and again officers Tased the man but again the Taser had no effect.

Ultimately, three officers attempted to subdue Freeman at 97th and SE Stark but as they attempted to handcuff him he grabbed an officer's leg and would not let go. Freeman bit officers in the course of the struggle. One of the officers delivered strikes to Freeman so he would let go of the other officer so they could handcuff him. Only after the strikes were officers able to take Freeman into custody.

At this time Freeman has been returned to the hospital and three officers have suffered injury and the investigation is continuing. Attached is the audio file of the 911 dispatch tape.

But hey -- if only we had an education urban renewal district, a sustainability center, and an arts income tax, none of this would be happening. Eco-districts! Go by streetcar!

Comments (15)

Mercury is in retrograde.

The county is tasked with providing human services. How much does the county lose to Portland Urban Renewal zones? As of a few years ago, it was something like $18 million.

We can't have mental health services because connected developers need to build new buildings. That may sound simplistic, but it really isn't that far off.

When does the inquiry into the police conduct begin?

Doc: Do you feel like you are going to hurt yourself or anyone else?

A: No, not really

Doc: OK then, it's pretty obvious you're not a threat. Lets get the paperwork completed and get you the heck out of here.

I know about the horrors of mental hospitals past, and the need to get folks re-integrated. Once again however it is all too often taken to the extreme. Those who need stay in for treatment often get out way too quickly.

Its possible he can ride the MAX to Milwaukie soon and he can become their problem.

This is a chronic Oregon public health problem that begs Dr. Governor Kitzhaber taking the lead on in Salem. But, that might require him to work more than 40 hrs/wk. and some weekends, so he won't do it.

The naked guy should have been riding a bike. Just like bicyclists self-importantly ignoring stop signs, birthday suit bicycling in Portland gets a pass.

Why isn't this guy in the Oregon State Hospital? Is he on or off prescribed meds? Does he have a caseworker assigned and do they have the time and support to deal with his problems? How much did the last legislature take out of mental health services.

Gee, Leaving, what I wonder is when will the PPB's ginormous chip on the collective shoulder get noticed. Nobody had said the cops did anything wrong till you brought it up in that passive aggressive way.

But hey, you're right ... Maybe if we did a review every time a cop clubs and tazes somebody, we'd bury fewer of their victims. It's perfectly possible to think, hey, they're public servants with some pretty special powers, maybe we ought to just automatically look things over every time they feel the need to use them on somebody. A lot of times, such a review would show that the cops acted appropriately; sometimes it might show that they could have deescalated better; and sometimes it might reveal a murderous rager with a badge and a grudge against anyone who so much as suggests that sometimes the bad apple has a badge.

And people think those of us who carry guns in this city are crazy. I think you're crazy to leave your house without!

If three officers with tasers and restraint training can't subdue this guy I feel really sorry for the average Portland father trying to protect his family.

Public "Crazymaking" is inevitable since the Legislature began serious defunding of the Oregon State Mental Hospital in the 1980's, and the resulting solution to empty the place out was transporting van loads to Portland skidrow.
The "tax cutters" party just don't get it that there are deficient brains that just plain need to be housed in a mental facility, period.
The brightest minds go to the likes of Harvard, and the
hopelessly deficient should be housed and cared for in a facility for that purpose.

Posted. The mental health system is not as neglected as you think; they are in the process of building an entirely new State Mental facility as this is written. Much of it come from the state's Mental Health authorities that have chosen a community-based model, even with those found not guilty (by insanity) in violent crimes. As I have written here previously, many are put in public housing with various degrees of supervision. When they run away and go off their meds incidents such as this are the result.

HMLA-267, community-based mental health has been around in Oregon for over two decades, and especially emphasized in the last ten years. When do we get to see the improvements? Has there been any non-biased evaluations?

"At this time Freeman has been returned to the hospital"

I guess that means he can't run for Mayor?

These are some of the toughest challenges for cops, subduing a crazy - whether someone as high as a kite or someone flying a non-existent kite.

They don't respond to usual procedures and are completely chaotic.

And another reason why the taser is problematic. On some people it can be lethal, on others ineffective. But the cops have no way of knowing before they act.

And yes, we really don't think much of folks with serious mental issues. The only tool is to keep them ffff'd up on drugs and hope nothing bad happens.


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