Killer cop backed Frashour in Campbell case
A few more details have emerged about last night's killing of a man by Portland police, and they're not encouraging. All the police can say so far is that dead guy, who is still unidentified, had pointed a gun at a hospital security guard earlier in the evening. They're not saying he pointed a gun at, or showed a gun to, the three police officers who together shot him to death. They're not even saying the deceased had a gun on his person when he died. All they're saying so far is that he had pointed a gun sometime earlier.
That's what they said the last time, and this other time, and no doubt plenty of other times. If the man was not actually armed when he died, the next thing we'll likely hear is that three cops who opened fire thought he was reaching for a gun.
We're hoping that this fatal shooting turns out to have been justified, but 23 hours later, it doesn't look all too promising.
And guess who was one of the shooters. One of the defenders of killer cop Ron Frashour in the notorious Aaron Campbell case -- Nathan Voeller:
According to court documents, 11 Portland police training instructors, and retired Portland Officer Mike Stradley, who was Frashour's field training officer, were ready to testify otherwise. All are, or have been, members of the same union fighting Frashour's firing, the Portland Police Association.
Officer Nathan Voeller, a lead defensive tactics instructor, was ready to testify that Portland officers are trained that they're not required to see a gun before using lethal force if the officer believes the suspect poses an immediate risk of death or serious injury. "They are trained they need to be preemptive," Voeller was to testify, according to a trial memorandum filed by Frashour's lawyer.
According to the document, Portland police are taught that if they wait to see a person pull or point a firearm, they won't be able to react fast enough before the suspect fires.
And now Officer Voeller has "pre-empted" someone himself.
But is it even worth knowing, really? Even if the killing was unjustified, the county D.A. isn't going to indict anybody. And the internal investigation within the police bureau won't be candid. The officers involved still have another day or so to get their story straight before they're interviewed by investigators, who will be fellow union members. Any discipline that gets recommended will be downgraded or rejected by the police chief. And any discipline that miraculously gets imposed will be overturned by some faceless arbitrator.
It's the Portland script. We've already seen it too many times. One more rerun might be too much to bear.
UPDATE, 10:06 p.m.: The O gets around to connecting another dot on Officer Voeller:
Voeller was involved in the fatal police shooting of unarmed fugitive David E. Hughes in November 2006. He fired seven rounds from an AR-15 rifle. Two other officers also fired their handguns.
Lather, rinse, repeat.