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6:10P ACROSS FROM PIONEER PL, 8 POPO ATTEMPT TO SHOOT AN INCAPACITATED, DEFENSELESS MAN

Unbelieveably, EIGHT popo surround a man clearly in need of medical attention, all with weapons pulled (including at least two rifles), stand within FIVE FEET of him, and aim all of their weapons at him at once. He was unarmed, lying on the sidewalk and practically COMATOSE!! This was in broad daylight and such a sight even for all the yuppies and shopaholics, that A CROWD OF 100 PORTLANDERS HAD GATHERED IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES. Yuppies were yelling "Don't you think that's a little overkill!" and they never did shoot him.
Tonight, at 6:10pm, a man was lying on the sidewalk on 5th Avenue, between Morrison and Yamhill, in between the busstops. At first I thought he may have been hit in a fight and knocked out, then that he may have been sick, then that he may have a serious medical condition in effect, or that he may be dead. I was sure that someone had seen him before me, and had called for an ambulance already. I saw a cluster of popo at the Meier & Frank end of the block. They looked really wierd, because they were like a group of children getting excited about sneaking up on Santa Claus, while at the same time looking like a bunch of people coiled to hunt down a rabid tiger with bubonic plague. I thought this is just unexplained, it doesn't fit, and I didn't even connect what was going on. Then, from their cluster around the construction fence corner at the end of the block, they started yelling orders at the people at the busstops to leave. At least one woman said that she wasn't doing anything wrong and that she didn't have to leave. They became verbally abusive of her, scared her, and she left. They had what I first thought to be large sticks. I thought they were really in caveman mode now!! Then I saw they were rifles. My first thought was that this was some kind of rubber bullet thing. Then, with weapons aimed, they advanced on the man, who appeared to be asleep. They spread out and made a half circle in front of him, all the while keeping their guns aimed at him. They were between THREE TO FIVE FEET AWAY FROM HIM, and they were aiming their lazer at him. All the while, he was just laying there, in need of medical attention. Two back-up cars arrived, and the crowd of popo then sweeled to around 13. The insanity of it hit me and I realized that nuts like this would only have real bullets, and that they were trying to kill this harmless man in need of medical help! I said out loud, "Those are real guns!" in the same way one would declare that a tornado is about to hit. I thought of seeing this poor mans blood flying everywhere, while he didn't move any more dead than alive. I thought "What defense in the world does he have, when he doesn't even know that EIGHT bloodthirsty murderers were chomping at the bit to kill him?!" I thought if God is in that space between his child and the death machines of these "others," please SAVE THIS INNOCENT MAN NOW. Don't let those bastards take another person like this!
It was broad daylight, in the midst of all the shoppers and people out to enjoy the weather. The sheer canned hunt and wolf pack imagery of the way the popo brazenly descended on this harmless man in the midst of the white middle class, was nothing less than SURREAL. I don't think Portland has quite seen anything this STRANGE and out of place.
Ultimately, an "officer" poked this man with his weapon, and the man talked a little. We could hear him saying from his obviously compromized physical and mental state, "Don't be mean, I'm not going to fight you." AS INCAPACITATED AS HE WAS, AND WITH SUCH MEAGER ABILITY, HE WAS ACTUALLY THE MATURE ONE, DE-ESCALATING THE SITUATION. He didn't even know they were poised to end his whole life at any moment. Is human nature not DIVINE, or what!!!!! (The popo are not human, so they are of a very different nature...) The next thing I knew, this man, still lying face down on the ground, had both arms out, in the surrender position. All 8 popo were still aiming at him from within 3'-5'. A popo handcuffed him, he never showed one iota of resistance--and they STILL kept aiming at him with their guns cocked. Finally, they just gave up and dissapated. They put him in a squad car, and kept their car illegally parked in a bus zone for at least 1/2 an hour. Their liscence plate number is E213809. (I didn't get any of their names because they were too far away, sorry.) That's about where it appeared to end--it was over as quicly as it began.
Did anyone else see it?
Just a little advice 25.Apr.2004 08:32

Static

You might really think about toning down the rhetoric and name calling and just reporting in a straight forward way what you see. It seriously undercuts the valid points you may have when you make such a point of bringing obvious bias to the story. I am no fan of cops myself but the tone of your article gives me the impression that you would find fault with any police action regardless of how it went down and this makes you unconvincing. As in "wow sounds like the cops overreacted here but then again, the author is so obviously anti cop, calling them sub human and bloodthirsty murders, that it is hard to believe anything he says"

it could be 25.Apr.2004 12:08

igloo

a friend told me about an incident that sounds like this...the arrestee was someone I know...a kid drunk on his ass as is typical of him....sleeping, or drunk unconscious, a toy gun falls out of his pocket...as we all should know by now, such things do indeed cause the police to become very excited.

You have no idea 25.Apr.2004 13:07

PPBCopwatcher

what information the police received in their radio call to respond. For all we know, this man could have been threatening someone with a weapon earlier in the day, or been involved in an armed robbery, or an armed bank robbery!

The Portland Police do NOT respond to a situation in that manner unless the call they are responding to is a HIGH THREAT situation (i.e. based upon the information they have been given by the 911 caller).

So, before you freak out, think about ALL the possible scenarios that could have occurred prior to their approach and arrest of the man.

One more thing 25.Apr.2004 13:12

PPBCopwatcher PPBCopwatcher@yahoo.com

"A popo handcuffed him, he never showed one iota of resistance--and they STILL kept aiming at him with their guns cocked. "

The guns carried by the Portland Police Bureau are not such that they can not be "cocked". They carry semi-automatic Glocks.

Yes, their weapons were certainly ready to fire, but being "cocked" as you stated is simply impossible!

Stop the static 25.Apr.2004 16:28

to "static"

This article is refreshingly firsthand. For those weaned on the corporate media, they like their information strained. They like to labor under the illusion that the person writing it has no biases, is "objective." But once you step out of that dream, you realize EVERYONE has biases and opinions, and it's good to get them clearly along with the information shared. That way, you can judge for yourself. Why do you want to be fooled, static? Why do you feel more comfortable if the person reporting an incident like this pretends they are just regurgitating the voice of God rather than speaking for themselves?

Further, to other commentors who note that we should just realize the cops must have had some reason for their behavior...what on earth do you base that on? For God's sake! Haven't you been listening for the past month? Year? The cops are killing people. Unarmed, innocent people. People who posed no threat to anyone.

Any time you see the cops targeting someone, ANYONE, at ANY TIME, get off your ass and bear witness to it. Film it if you can. Don't let them get away with this. Hold them fucking accountable. This is the last vestige of hope we have before we will have to just start shooting at them in self defense. It would be good if it didn't come to that, if we can make them stop killing people before it comes to that. But you know, that's on a lot of people's minds. No one wants this to continue.

simply possible! 25.Apr.2004 19:06

Dio

For those of us who are not police-apologists "cocked" means "ready to fire".

after that guy was in 26.Apr.2004 06:42

original author, Friend

his medical condition could have worsened. Paramedics always make a person lie down, like this man originally was before the popo got him, and I'm sure that being handcuffed and stuffed into the back of the squad car could have been dangerous for him.
Thanks Dio, "ready to fire" is the only thing I meant.
Every sentence in this article is factual. It has the tone of a moment by moment account of what happened, and the popo practically wrote it for themselves. I am surprised that anyone would percieve it as someone having bias.
If this was during the age of Neanderthals, and these guys were wearing Fred Flinstone like clothes and hunting down a fallen object from the sky that glowed and played Lawrence Welk music, no one would have thought anything unusual. The fact that they were wearing blue doesn't change their mentalities from Neanderthal to "peace officers."
Sure, I am "biased" against primative and violent behavior. We all should be.
It seems to me that for someone to have a negative reaction to a very specific account of an 8 popo, half-block man-hunt on an incapacitated person, that this person is the one with the unexplained bias.
Please move to a prison somewhere, or Guantanimo, so that you can be treated in the way that you seem to condone and support so well.

what gives with the 27.Apr.2004 13:02

PPBCopwatcher?

His two responses seem to justify and excuse the cops! Was he there? What gives?

Ridiculous stereotypes 27.Apr.2004 13:06

ME

I am amazed at how people onthis site stereotype, I was under the false impression that the site users wre more educated thanthat. Blood thirsty murderers? How about Husbands, sons, fathers??? THOSE are the cops I know.

Important distinction 27.Apr.2004 13:10

ex-cop

There may not seem to be a great difference, but there is. Were these guns rifles, or shotguns? (the way to tell the difference is the shotguns are long, thin, have no handles other than behind the trigger, no magazine, and are usually fitted with wood at the back and the midpoint for grip).

It seems like a stupid question, a gun is a gun when it is pointed at you, but the reason I ask is shotguns are "standard" police weaponry, and rifles are "tactical" police weaponry. If the cops are carrying shotguns, that is something almost every cop has in his car and they are very common (and can be fitted with "less lethal" rounds, but usually are not). Thus it could just be a bunch of bored cops grabbing the big guns to over react.

Rifles on the other hand, are mostly a SWAT/TAC team weapon. If they were carrying those, that means this group of cops was a special unit, called out for high risk situations (or situations the dispatcher thinks are higher than average risk). Still possibly an over reaction, but one that is a dispatcher/supervisors fault more than the individual officers.

Another thing to consider is the aiming you mentioned. Long guns (rifles and shotguns) are extremely dangerous for cops to carry because they are so much more likely to be wrestled away. Thus, we are trained to basically aim them straight at any potential threat until the cuffs are on, in case that person bolts towards us. Unlike hanguns, which have a restraining holser that prevents them from being pulled by the "bad guys," there is no way to store a long gun safely until you get back to your patrol car. Thus, when you are that close to an arestee, you keep it pointed at him for a while.

Based on what you said, I think these cops were over reacting, but it is hard to tell. Just because the guy was laying down does not mean he is a threat, but also does not mean he is unable to be a threat (how hard is it to lay on a pistol, and pop off a round from a gun the cops can not see?). It all comes down to the radio call, if they got a call of a sick guy sleeping in the street, they over reacted. If they got a call of a dangerous fugitive, this was within common practice (even yelling at the people to clear the area).

The easiest way to tell at this point is to watch the corporate news, and see if the cops brag about nabbing a big fugitive. If they don't, they were being putzes. You can also file a formal open records request by e-mail with the portland police, and they are required by law to give you access to the 911 tapes, officer reports, arrest reports, criminal history of the arestee and any other documents. Then, make an informed choice on this incident.

You may find that you are not only correct, but correct with more data and evidence to back you up. You may also find you were wrong.

Re: important distiction 27.Apr.2004 13:39

jimmy

Some PDX cops carry rifles in the trunks of their patrol cars.

The fact that rifles were used - not shotguns is not indicative of a high risk situation. A cop who has a rifle can bring it out of his trunk anytime he wishes, there are no regulations that determine when using that weapon is appropriate.

My guess is this is a typical instance of psychopath boys playing with deadly toys. I hope that helpless man is oK.

What Gives 27.Apr.2004 14:09

PPBCopwatcher PPBCopwatcher@yahoo.com

"What gives?" - anonymous

"police apoligist" - dio

==========

"What gives" is that I am a "reformed", retired cop, who believes VERY strongly in police accountability at ALL levels within the Police Bureau/City of Portland/Police Commissioner/Mayor.

Having worked the job for many years, I understand that there ARE reasons behind actions taken by the police. Did you know that on a daily basis an officer will respond to numerous (most!) calls in which the information provided to them is only partially correct or even completely incorrect! But they don't know that upon their approach to the scene.

Now, we certainly won't all agree on whether those reasons are sufficient for the level of force used, but the point remains that without knowing the nature of the call you don't know the level of the potential threat to the community (you) or to the police. Did you ever think that maybe this guy even KILLED somebody before the police came to respond???

All I am saying is think about the possibilities first.

I probably would have reacted similarly to you had I witnessed the event as you described it. One, or maybe two weapons pointed at the subject once they were within feet of him is more reasonable, and is more in line with the training they receive. ALL weapons out at that point appears to be overkill (it's paranoia on their part!). 13 police for one guy, on the ground, in obvious need of medical care and clearly NOT a threat...total overkill!! It must have been a slow day for them!

The part where the officer poked the guy with his weapon??? I assume it was an officer with a rifle?

Now THAT goes against every notion of "officer safety"!(which is their reason or excuse for all use of force), and against everything they are trained to do! If this man was TRULY a threat, why would they do that? They wouldn't. He could have easily grabbed the gun, and the situation could have escalated needlessly, probably to the point where they WOULD have killed him! Any officer in their right mind knows that!

You are 100% in your conclusion that the man clearly was NOT a true threat, or they would not have done that. And even if he wasn't a threat, they STILL shouldn't have put their weapon within reach of him.

"Police apoligist"??? If you knew anything about me, you would know that I am hardly a police apologist. Why the name calling? Why such defensiveness? If my post came across as sounding demeaning, that was not my intention, and I apologize to you.

I believe in accurate reporting, and all I did was try to report more accurate facts, because I happen to possess more knowledge on the subject.

Most people, when hearing the words "cocked gun" envision a revolver with the hammer cocked. Most people know that a "cocked gun" fires extremely easily, which is why it is so dangerous. When we carried revolvers on duty, we were trained NEVER to cock our guns prior to firing, if we had to fire, because of that fact.

I realize these are technicalities that not everyone knows or even cares about, but: At that point, a "cocked gun" takes very little pressure on the trigger to make the weapon fire. That is not the case with Glocks. They have an even trigger pull, each time, and it would be like pulling the trigger of a double action revolver without it first being "cocked" (which takes much more pressure on the trigger to make the weapon fire). Most semi-automatics are double action on the first trigger pull, then are single action on the rest because the gun does automatically "cock" a trigger.

We will NEVER achieve our common goal of true police accountability and INDEPENDENT civilian review with actual POWER to take corrective measures, if we start name calling over semantics, and become divisive.

After all, we clearly DID agree on the fact the officers guns WERE "ready to fire".

husbands 27.Apr.2004 15:22

.

husbands and fathers ,yes these cops might be.but does that make someone who isnt a husband and father less valuable or worthy of living? no, according to wasp police state ,unless youre middle class 'all america' you MUST be a traitor

Husbands and Fathers 27.Apr.2004 16:21

ex-cop

I should point out that several of the worst cops in portland are married with kids. Having a wife and reproducing does not, in any way, make a rotten cop into a good cop.

Mark Kruger is married, and he was voted "most rotten cop in portland" by mercury readers. He is also on the deck of cards, as an Ace!

As for the rifle/shotgun question, yeah, a lot of cops carry rifles in their trunks. They are just a lot more rare than the remington 870 shotgun most departments carry up front. Since the poster is not a gun expert, I didn't ask if they were armed with MP5s and AR-15s, mostly because describing them would be a pain in the neck. Few, very few, cops outside TAC carry MP5s because they cost many thousands of dollars. Thus, my guess was if they were mostly armed with shotguns the odds of it being a spur of the moment over reaction were greater. Still not proof either way, but worth thinking about. You can tell a lot from the gear people carry and the clothing they are wearing.

complete insanity 27.Apr.2004 23:32

loki

not a cop, not an ex cop, don't play one on tv, but let's apply some common sense here. If this suspect were reported to be armed and dangerous to the responding officers, why would EIGHT of them just walk up to within five feet of him? Wouldn't that be kind of dangerous or something? If you've got 8 to 13 rifles and shotguns trained on one guy, couldn't you just stand back a ways and yell at him to surrender? If he didn't respond to this, maybe one brave officer could sneak close enough to him to tase him, pepper spray him, or whack the hell out of him with a baton under the cover of the others' rifles? If the suspect wasn't such a threat, why would 13 cops need to be summoned to subdue him? Does anyone here realize that even if they were using beanbag guns or rubber bullets, these are most likely to be lethal at a range of five feet? Apologists, please explain what sort of threat response protocols might apply to a situation such as this. I mean, other than the obvious tactic of having 13 "public peace officers" holding various types of lethal weaponry at point-blank range on one suspect laying on the ground, while one of the officers pokes him with a weapon in an attempt to elicit a response.

Tactical comment - loki 28.Apr.2004 02:16

deputy sheriff, not in multnomah

You are right on some points, off on others. Yes, it is dangerous to walk close to a threatening subject (not that I have no idea if this particular person was a threat in any way, I am jus tcommenting in general). It is considered more dangerous, however, for only one brave officer to approach, due to escalation issues.

Basically, if eight cops are close by and the guy starts fighting, the theory is that eight guys can overpower him by sheer force of numbers, pin him down and not cause permanent damage (not that we care if the guy gets damaged for attacking us out of criminal intent, but if he is insane or just stressed out we don't want to hurt him even if he fights us). If one guy starts fighting with only one cop, that cops is way more likely to have to use lethal force.

So, strength in numbers is the reason for the group, and that amount of cops generally means that if a fight breaks out, there is less chance of injury (no matter who is the real bad guys, I am man enough to admit that sometimes it is the cops). I know it hurts a lot and causes injury when you are beanbaged, sprayed, batoned and have your arms twisted up, but it is better than getting shot. Statistically, large groups of cops do less damage than one solo cop (compare Rodney King, who was bruised by dozens of cops but in reality healed up quickly, to James Perez, who confronted only two cops and will never heal up).

As for the guns being lethal at that range, you are damn right. Even the "less lethal" beanbag rounds, rubber bullets and wood baton rounds will kill at five feet. Hell, blanks (rounds with no projectiles, just gunpowder designed to make noise safely) can kill from a 12 guage at that range. And long guns should never get close to someone you are trying to arrest, the ex-cop earlier pointed out that they are easy to wrestle away. Cops are supposed to keep the long guns back, while a group of cops armed with typical handguns/batons/OC spray walk up to do the handcuffing.

And the part about poking the guy with a rifle to get a response is just nuts. How the hell did DPSST (the academy) graduate an idiot who does that? There is simply no way that kind of action can come out well. Dangerous on so many levels, for the cops, for the suspect, for bystanders. Batons are for poking people, they don't have the risk of going boom, and if the get yanked away all the cops have to do is back up a few feet to get out of danger.

Husbands Who Are More LIkely To Be Abusers Than Non-Cop Husbands 28.Apr.2004 03:18

RJG

It's been one year since one of your cop heroes, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, killed his wife Crystal and himself after revelations of his long history of abusing Crystal finally came out in the media.

A year later, far too much mystery about David Brame

The News Tribune

What David Brame did a year ago Monday shocked Tacoma as it hadn't been shocked in decades. Tacomans wanted to know how they wound up with a police chief capable of shooting his wife and then himself. Yet after 12 months of investigations and recriminations, too much of Brame's career remains shrouded in mystery.

To this day, the public doesn't know how Brame got hired as an officer despite flunking the psychological screening. It doesn't know how he kept his job despite a credible rape allegation in 1988. It doesn't know why that allegation wasn't referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. It doesn't know how he rose so quickly - despite that allegation - through the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.

Much more is known about Brame's short and troubled tenure as police chief, his predatory management style and the personal disintegration that accompanied his bitter divorce proceedings. But unanswered questions still surround his final weeks. Why, for example, was nothing apparently done after Crystal Brame - two weeks before her murder - called 911 and told Pierce County's emergency dispatch center that her husband had been threatening her with death?

At least some of these mys-teries, we hope, will be cleared up when the Washington State Patrol completes its civil investigation of the Tacoma Police Department. That should happen soon. More answers may come when the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs wraps up its broader probe, which had been suspended in deference to the state patrol inquiries.

But, there it is. A year after the murder-suicide, the public still knows far too little about Brame and his rapid rise in the Tacoma Police Department. The department has so far proven remarkably impervious to outside scrutiny of the key personnel decisions that let a dangerous man reach the top of its command structure.

The Brame catastrophe has certain parallels to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In both cases, we do not know enough about the institutional failures that allowed them to happen. In both cases, the disaster was so unprecedented and hard to imagine - hijackers do not fly jets into skyscrapers; police chiefs do not shoot their wives - that the failure to anticipate and prevent them is perhaps understandable.

But it is still necessary to understand the failure so it will not be repeated. With the work of the 9/11 commission, the nation appears to be well on the way to identifying the blind spots and lapses that allowed al-Qaida to prepare and launch its murderous scheme below the radar screen. The Washington State Patrol and WASPC have yet to demonstrate that they can accomplish the same in their still-incomplete investigations.

We hope they succeed at shedding more light on the mistakes that gave rise to this tragedy. We hope that when they finish their jobs, the answers will finally outnumber the questions.


Get the BUMS off fo the streets 28.Apr.2004 05:41

Dude

Teh Portland Police have had their collective hands full for years trying to CLEAN up the streets of what USEd to be a very beautiful city. I moved away 6 years ago to OHIO, where conservatism FLOURISHES, and I have NEVER been happier in my LIFE.

Let the police DO THEIR JOBS and stay out of the way- GET THE RIFRAF out of the city!

TERRIBLY WRITTEN 28.Apr.2004 06:13

POST

Sympathetic to the situation,
but you sound foolish Friend.
We need facts, not preachers.
For what it's worth, I don't think
this should have been main-paged.

Get the DUDES off the streets... 28.Apr.2004 07:02

bum (hallelujah!)

...and send them ALL to Ohio.
Put a wall around it and move on.

corroboration 28.Apr.2004 20:25

igloo

in fact, I talked to my friend (the subject of the cops with rifles)this is what happened: At the square, he was pulling a lot of crap out of his jacket, among which, one item was a pellet gun...no attention drawn at that time. He decides to walk down to fifth, finds a comfortable place to doze off, only to be awakened by the cops with rifles pointed at him. They haul him off for awhile, take his stuff, including the pellet gun, and let him go. Someone at the square saw him, the pellet gun (imagining no doubt, that it might be a real gun), and did their civic duty by reporting what they saw to someone who decided to notify the police. It's a simple case of idle, bored cops with all kinds of fancy gear, time on their hands, deciding to have some fun and make an exercise of someone who they most likely imagined just some stupid drunk bum. But hey, looks like everyone posting in response to the article had a productive and enjoyable exchange of theories, philosophy, and opinion.

Excited 28.Apr.2004 21:29

End of story

yeah, seeing someone STONED with a GUN on a downtown street might make ANYONE excited.

Who overreacted MORE - the police OR the idiot who wrote this story?

End of Story

According to ex-cop, 29.Apr.2004 01:09

these

were rifles. They were all black, no wooden handles, and what looked like a barrel with a parallel black rod about 6" above the barrel and about the same length. The rifles seemed to be pretty close to three feet long.
To deputy sheriff, not in multnomah, you are wrong about using lethal force. Which makes you look like someone with bad judgement and a deadly weapon. Like I said, this guy was incapacitated and in need of medical attention. He was also of slight build, which was evident as well. A 120# woman could have came up behind him and put him in a full nelson and all "fears" would be dispelled.
To jjmcgo, okay, correction: "EIGHT bloodthirsty WANNABE murders".
To igloo, the cops pulled a bunch of papers and flat stuff out of one of his pockets or something. They put it into an envelope that was about 6" x 9", then held it around for a while while they talked for at least 20 minutes and the crowd dissapated. During the whole time, I never saw anything that looked like a pellet gun.
I was hoping more people would notice the part about how the guy, in his compromised state, showed far more integrity and honor--without even trying--than the eight full grown men (and there was at least one woman) who are supposed to keep us all safe.
All in all, it was probably the most bizarre and surreal thing I have ever seen, and the way that at least 100 people had gathered in about 5 minutes is testimony as to how shocking it was.

thanks 30.Apr.2004 23:52

igloo

to These: sorry to have made light of the dialogue with the last line of my post. As to the incident, you may have witnessed a different incident, but the time, description of the guy correlates with that of my friend who has a slight build. He also has pretty long stringy hair, unwashed. He would be passive too. As to why you didn't see a anything looking like a pellet gun, I can't explain. I could ask him again...maybe he told me and I don't remember something like he gave the pgun to a friend and so he didn't even have it down on 5th. things get confusing fast and little details are really important. got to work on being a better reporter. Whatever about the pgun. I think the police operate on some very mysterious procedural principles, whether he had it or not, their conduct is legitimately subject to some serious review.