People's Police Report Updates: August 2000

Man Shot By Cops for Holding Machete Goes to Trial

Duane White, who was shot by police because he was holding a machete in mid-1999 (see PPR #19), faced criminal charges of "menacing" in June. To avoid two-and-a-half years in prison, he pleaded no contest to menacing a police officer and was sentenced to anger managment and two years' probation. After the D.A. put pressure on for the plea bargain, White now stands convicted and it is unlikely that he will be able to file a lawsuit.

As a result of the shooting, White is now paralyzed and can no longer work. His wife told Copwatch that White had picked up the machete to split apart a broken table, and that he never expected the police to actually shoot him. According to White's wife, Officer Charles Anderson, who shot White, has had 11 complaints in five years.

Damon Lowery's Family Seeks Justice

Picture Of Damon Lowery In PPR #20, we briefly reported on a young man, Damon Lowery, who in December 1999 jumped out a window, then was shot by lead-pellet-bag guns and pepper sprayed by police, and died. Since then, we've learned a lot more about the case: Lowery had 80% hearing loss and was probably not able to hear most of the police commands; police admit they beat on him when he refused to comply with their commands; and one of the "beanbags" was fired from a shotgun directly at Lowery's crotch from close range. (The manufacturer of Portland's "less-lethal" bags, MK Ballistics, told Copwatch that the bags are "not used" from closer than 10 feet because of their "potential to cause an injury"; in May, Chief Kroeker said the PPB considers use of the bags from under 10 feet to be lethal force.)

After he had been injured and pepper sprayed, Lowery was strapped face down to a gurney, which may have ultimately caused his death.

Damon's parents have not given up in seeking justice in this case, even though the officers were not indicted with a criminal charge. To contact them, email his mother at or his father at

The Trials and Tribulations of Craig Rosebraugh

Craig Rosebraugh won another legal victory on June 27 when Judge William Keyes found him "not guilty" of disobeying an officer -- charges stemming from an October 1999 demonstration in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal (see PPR #19).

As the demonstration neared its end, notorious rough rider Sergeant David Pool ordered Rosebraugh out of Chapman Square Park. Rosebraugh, who had been observing the arrest of another demonstrator, questioned the basis for the order, and was arrested in turn. Lieutenant Scott Winegar grabbed Craig from behind and threw him to the ground, severely breaking his arm in the process. Rosebraugh's leg was also injured when it was stepped on by "Skippy," Pool's horse.

Rosebraugh was charged with a violation in this incident. After one mistrial, he was re-tried on June 19, and subsequently acquitted. Keyes rendered his decision after determining that Pool's order was unlawful.

Rosebraugh has filed some charges of his own, in the form of an Internal Affairs complaint against Lt. Winegar. On May 1, he received a letter stating that Winegar had been "exonerated" by the Portland Police Bureau. Rosebraugh expressed outrage, but no surprise, at the finding. "Gangs of thugs usually protect their own," he said.

He has since filed an appeal with PIIAC, currently scheduled for October.

On June 20, Leslie Pickering went to trial for an arrest at a February demonstration against grand juries and in support of Rosebraugh. Pickering stepped briefly off the curb in front of the Federal Courthouse, and a short time later was arrested for this dangerous offense by a team of cops in full riot gear (see PPR #20). Sgt. Pool and fellow mounted patrol Officer Gregory Mack testified that Pickering had managed to block all traffic on the street for several minutes. Pickering was charged with "disorderly conduct," a misdemeanor; the jury acquitted him.

Iraq Demonstrator Arrests and Spy Scandal Update

In early May, Judge Michael Marcus separated allegations of police spying from consideration of criminal charges stemming from a December, 1998 protest against the U.S. bombing of Iraq (see PPRs #17 & 20). One of the protesters pleaded guilty to his charge, on the condition that he not be compelled to testify against any other person arrested at the protest. Others await trial in October--nearly two years after the original incident.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for Dan Handelman and Peace and Justice Works has filed a brief outlining the materials he will need to determine whether the Bureau's Criminal Intelligence Unit is keeping files on PJW illegally. If they are, they may be subject to a civil charge of contempt of court.

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