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Friday, May 14, 2010

36 hours

It's been a day and two nights since the police killed a man in a shootout in Northeast Portland near Lloyd Center. If they had arrested him, his mug shot would have been made available in an hour or two. Why, when they kill somebody, does it take a couple of days before they even identify the deceased? I'm checking around, and the public doesn't even have a name or age yet.

The culture over at the police bureau is hard to understand, and sadly, I sincerely doubt that it's going to be any different under Fireman Randy's new police chief.

Comments (37)

perhaps he is African-American and they want to get the new chief ready before the firestorm.

this disturbing suppression

(this "is" disturbing suppression)

Is this the traffic stop where the driver pulled a gun and shot the cop in both legs?

Perhaps they want to notify the family first.

It can't possibly be something as simple as wanting to notify the family. No, it must be a conspiracy of silence begotten by the culture of the Police Bureau.

generally family notification takes less than a day, unless the person is unidentifiable.

I think they need to figure out an explanation for 40 shots fired in 7 seconds in a crowded area with a number of shots going astray. Not a very well handled situation tactically and lucky no bystanders got hit (this time).

Its not perhaps, they HAVE to notify the family first and can it can (and often does) take much longer than than 24 hours.Knock the cops all you want but pick a better argument than this one.....

Mayor Sam Adams has already notified and called the Albina Ministerial Assoc. The dead man is obviously a black male, who was known by the police. Maybe a gang member.

But there does not seem to be a valid reason to hide the details.

My only source of information is the t.v. news, but my understanding is that he was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. How does that escalate into an open gun battle a few minutes later? Just wondering, was this really a bad guy or an already angry guy pushed into dangerous situation?

I am not suggesting it is so, but with 40 shots fired by police (as someone commented above), is it possible that the officer was a victim of "friendly fire"?

I can't recall where it occurred, but earlier this week I saw a TV news story about a cop who was shocked by a comrade's Taser. One prong of the Taser hit the suspect and the other one hit the cop.

"I think they need to figure out an explanation for 40 shots fired in 7 seconds..."

I have read twice that the suspect "had a gun..." or "showed a gun..." or whatever. And then the next sentence says something like "shots were fired...".

But I don't think that I ever read that "The suspect fired two shots into the officers legs, and then died in a barrage of bullets."

Do we know for sure if the suspect fired first?

Do we know without a doubt that the two bullets in the officer's legs did NOT come from friendly fire, but instead from the suspects handgun?

Not trying to create a conspiracy, just trying to understand the exact sequence of events in a factual way. And just to be clear, based on the limited info I have, I think that this was justified, versus shooting the unarmed guy trying to surrender in the back from a distance.

Yeah man....maybe the cop shot himself in the legs just for an excuse for popo to kill another innocent human being.

BTW... it was reported on KGW all last night that they were have a hard time notifying his next of kin.

Simmer down now, John Q. Public. I'm certain that after they finish the shooting investigation in three years, all the information (that they want you to know) will be released. I'm sure that will be on or close to Chief Reeses retirement date too.

What if it turns out the leg shots were friendly fire and the dead man's gun didn't have any bullets...

(.....in which case sweat is pouring, just pouring, off of the police commissioner as he tries to figure out how to orchestrate the longest possible delay, and how to break it to the public when further delay becomes intolerable....)

gaye harris- you beat me too it. I'm zooming and slow-motioning the vid. And cross fire is a distinct possibility. There are shooters on both sides of the car!

What if it turns out the leg shots were friendly fire and the dead man's gun didn't have any bullets...

Then I guess the cops need to be clairvoyant as well as psychiatrists.

I'm zooming and slow-motioning the vid. And cross fire is a distinct possibility. There are shooters on both sides of the car!

You zoomed in on that Youtube video?
You cant see anything as it is. It looks like it was shot under water.

As far as cops falsely claiming they were fired on and then going over the top with their gunfire .... who (among us who is old enough) can forget this gem from Chicago in 1969....


The discourse on how the blue culture deals with rabid animals like Thumper is an interesting aside

"In New York City since the time of Giuliani, the Corporation Counsel has almost routinely paid out big sums in civil rights cases against police misbehavior, yet the behavior at issue continues unabated. It’s almost as if police accept a civil judgment or settlement cost for lawless repression as they would accept the cost for tear gas or clubs. "


"One of the most frustrating things for me as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago was to see that, after I sued a cop and obtained a judgment or settlement (which the city paid), the police officer continued to commit acts of brutality. Often, I would have a new client with the same complaint against the same cop. We called these cops “repeaters” and, although they were probably less than 10 percent of the force, they committed a much higher percentage of acts of excessive force and brutality."

Based on the video available on OregonLive, it appears the first two shots produced a much softer report than the flurry of shots which followed. Clearly, there were two distinct caliber of weapons in use, unless the Tasers could have produced the first two popping sounds.

If the deceased's finger prints are on the gun, and the bullets have the same ballistic fingerprint as a test bullet fired from the same gun, then Mr. Otis tried to kill a cop. Case closed.

You will never persuade a jury that cops are shooting each other with throw-down guns and then maintaining a conspiracy of silence. Even a justifiable shooting is a life altering event for a cop: they've all considered that fact and the majority won't unholster their pistols unless they perceive a threat merits lethal force.

Mister tee,

No disrespect here. It's just there is a lot of strange history in Portland involving white cops, black motorists, traffic stops, hails of bullets, and then, oopsie, no gun after all. ("I thought he was reaching for a gun"... which turned out to be the motorist's inhaler/driver's license/wallet, whatever..)

The video soundtrack seems to me like the sounds of two taser attempts, while the guy is yelling stop in a strangled fashion, then a zillion loud bullet reports one right after the other. Like when the pinball machine gets excited, but in the case didn't stop as usual.

I wonder if it doesn't turn out that guy was reaching for wallet/driver's license/inhaler, and gets shot at by a jumpy police officer from one side of the car, bullets travel through the two open windows missing the driver, hit a cop on the other side of the car, and then everyone just goes crazy shooting the guy as many times as they can.

Would not surprise me in the least.

Mister Tee - Only a fool would think that there have not been and are not currently criminals (meaning officers who break the law in the line of duty) working for the PPB. They are usually protected by the thin blue line.

And here's some history of one of the rare times a bit of justice was served involving rogue PPB officers.


As far as Shrunk, though, his old man didn't exactly have clean hands and apples don't tend to fall far from the tree. I've exchanged letters with him long ago when he refused to indict a middle class, middle aged, white woman who assaulted a black teenaged girl and it's my conviction, he doesn't give a rip about justice. He's a one political snake.

The only reason cops don't get convicted by juries in Portland is because the toadies in the DA's office make sure they never get indicted in the first place. That and of course, if you've ever spent time in a jury waiting room in Multnomah County, you'd know that they are exceeding white in comparison to the actual population, unlike the jury holding are in the local federal court district.

I need to back away from the keyboard.

I wonder if it doesn't turn out that guy was reaching for wallet/driver's license/inhaler

Well, since there is all this speculation...what if he was told explicitly NOT to move, and he reached for something? I mean seriously, if a cop has a gun pointed at you and says not to do something, would you do it anyway?
Particularly after all the people they have killed in recent memory?

I have been pulled over in Portland a few times. Once even when my car matched a description of a stolen car. NEVER has a Portland cop approached my car with a gun out. What are these people doing that starts things off this way?

Mister Tee

The first two popping sounds I heard on the tape sounded like taser rounds.

Right now there's a police officer helping someone. A police officer is working the streets (day and night) to keep you safe. A police officer is missing their family while caring for yours. It's Police Officer Appreciation Week, post if you are a police officer, love a police officer or appreciate a police officer!

...pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. = B.S.

I have no doubt that Shrunk is dirty. I also have no proof. If a cop is reportedly shot by a perp, and three other cops witnessed it, I am highly confident the perp was the shooter.

It makes a great movie script (aka "Copland") to have many cops conspiring to frame an innocent man with a throwdown gun. But it's hard to keep a secret between two people, let alone four.

The boys in blue are the good guys. The guys who shoot at them are the bad guys. It's a very simple world I live in: good guys and bad guys. The police officers have a great deal more credibility than most of their detractors. They certainly have more credibility than Jesse Jackson.

Does racism exist? Sure. Are all cops racist? I doubt it. Do they treat most minorities they encounter with deference, knowing the race card can always be used against them? The smart cops do. I'm always rooting for the good guys, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few bad apples in the barrel. They tend to weed themselves out.

Jon to answer your question about what these guys are doing anyway, the answer is DWB. That's who gets shot in cars by the cops in PDX town.

Mister Tee, seriously, there is no weeding out of bad apples in the PPB. The union will not stand for it. Let me know when Thumper or his buddies are weeded out. I am not holding my breath.

As for cops being good guys, in my view, they are the minority in this city. Someone I used to work with was once married to a PPB cop. In the beginning, she expressed a lot of concern for how hard he had it because he complained a lot. By the end, she was divorcing him because he was a wife beater (and wives of cops of that have no other recourse but divorce, it's rare that wife beating cops get prosecuted) and a drunk.

And the fact that the bureau has lowered the educational standard doesn't really help with the quality of its workers either.

more like SWB...SHOOTING WHILE BLACK. Do you guys really doubt that Otis was just driving along and 4 or 5 cops decided they would stop him for fun? Then, when he calmly suggested they were violating his civil rights, they Tased him, then shot him 40 times, then used a throwdown gun to shoot their buddy before placing it in his hands? Really? Because they're white, they must be murdering racists?

I just noticed my typo above: his name is Michael D. Schrunk (not Shrunk).

"We want to bring light to the limited options and restrictive laws preventing families from intervening earlier," wrote Felesia & Joseph Otis. "In the future we want to expand the law’s definition of harm to self or others for a civil commitment to include additional significant symptoms."

Found this non-sequitur on KGW.com's story about "Officer's mother describes tense minutes" It sounds like KGW received a letter from Mr. Otis' parents suggesting he suffered from mental illness and they had tried to have him committed. I haven't seen the above quote anywhere else.

If he was mentally ill, I certainly feel more compassion for his family. That said, it doesn't justify the brandishing of a weapon or attempting to inflict harm on a Police Officer.

Parent's say he was diagnosed with a "mood disorder" which (per the DSM IV) includes: Depressive disorders, Bi-Polar disorder, and Substance-induced mood disorders.

Full text of their letter linked below:


Next time, I hope the Police will retreat a safe distance when they see a gun, then we can send in the Mayor to negotiate. The buck stops with him, right?

I hope a smart reporter will get 1) a copy of the victim's criminal record and 2) a copy of his mental health record, which his family and their attorney can now obtain and share.

Publishing these two things would give the public a chance to decide the likely scenario for themselves what sort of an event happened.

The police might also prepare a print-out of the last year's data on the number of mentally ill in this city who they transport from it's streets and homes, in fairly safe and compassionate custody, to various hospitals. The data on the fraction with untreated paranoid delusions is significantly large, BTW.

This entire new shooting tragedy is easily understandable if one simply assumes the victim was a disorganized, terrified young schizophrenic who was cornered and thus protecting himself w/a gun against shape-shifting aliens disguised as PP, or what have you.

He acts & drives suspiciously. PP accurately recognize the suspicious behavior. His car stops. Escape appears futile. What will he do now? His behavior is illogical and irrational. He is frantic and ranting. He expects unthinkable torture ending in death or worse. So on and so forth.

Nearly anything would be better than rushing him and using the taser. Right? But it is protocol. Then, he doesn't respond to the taser. Isn't that a clue that he's psychotic? But everything is past the fail-safe point.

If you push anyone (police officer or not) with a weapon into a psychiatric seclusion room holding a fearful, suspicious, parnoid, tense psychotic, someone will probably be killed.

It is silly to expect the police to discriminate "bad" from "mad" in a pumped-up,real-time crisis, which is why the system generally finds police not culpable for the inevitable tragic outcome, and the public enjoys vilifying them so much.

The problem is that not all police bureaus are as addicted to violence as the solution to every situation as the PPB are.

The problem is that PPB has a long history of bad behavior around race and some of you either haven't lived here that long or just haven't been paying attention.

The problem is that there is no accountability within the PPB to remove bad officers or to improve their training. They are allowed to get by just they way they are. But they sure as hell have room for a lot of improvement.

The problem is that in a lot of jurisdictions there would be hell to pay for bullets flying that far a field (or should I say missing so badly - I wouldn't want to be near anyone on a firing range who is that crappy an aim (and yes I do know how to shoot and have done so though not at human targets).

The police apologists don't seem to get it at all. Until there is any kind of real accountability in the cop shop, people will have every right to question most of what the cops do around here.

And I'd love, just love for one of you apologist to explain how it was alright for the cops who lied on their overtime a few years back and who suffered no penalties for doing it (normal employees get fired and some even get prosecuted). And while you are at it, explain why should we trust cops who feel justified in falsifying their overtime. Because I haven't seen any of them get weeded out.

I'm with Mojo. Driving erratically, failing to signal, blah blah- total BS. All of us occasionally drive erratically who have not cut our own humanity off at the knees.

The cops should not pull people over unless they have a REALLY GOOD REASON (they know the person is a bad actor, uses and sells drugs, pimps, belongs to a gang, etc.)

That would radically drop the death-by-police-while-black rate. A rational policy that takes a philosophical live-and-let-live approach would have spared Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, and now Otis Dupree, for starters....

But in the world of tough and macho brotherhood of the strong, life is cheap.
And ultimately, many cops are bored. And truth to be told, some officers hold a fascination for the fact that in the end, they are the only people with a license to kill and get away with it.

"mp97303" says "Right now there's a police officer helping someone. A police officer is working the streets (day and night) to keep you safe. A police officer is missing their family while caring for yours. It's Police Officer Appreciation Week, post if you are a police officer, love a police officer or appreciate a police officer!" and I wonder if that "helping"includes a poor delusional mentally-ill person who in a lapse of mental faculties wants to just end it all and up pops a PPB officer who is willing to "help"?

As for "working the streets" to keep us "safe", isn't that what they're paid to do, and paid quite well at that, plus extra benefit of being able to kill anyone they so happen to and get away with it.

As for "missing their family" while at work, that seems to be rather universal as I can imagine even a mob hit-man missing his family while he's out "taking care of business".

Finally, as for the Police Officer Appreciation Week, I just don't think that's something
what will be celebrated here in PDX all that enthusiastically thanks to PPB and their Rogue cops.

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