People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
POLICE GO ON SHOOTING SPREE IN EARLY JULY After a 99-day hiatus, Portland Police started shooting again. On July 9, Raymond Youngberg, a 50-year-old described by friends as gentle, though psychologically troubled, was killed by officers in SE Portland. Police claim Youngberg ran out of his house, shooting at them, though friends doubt he owned a gun. The police cordoned off a multi-block area, brought their "mobile precinct" near the site, and pointed a weapon at the house to get Youngberg's housemates to come out. They then "found" a gun under Youngberg's body. The cops who fired were Michael Kemp (#8582) and Christian Barker (#28069). In a surprising editorial, the Oregonian noted that the main reason there wasn't a great public outcry was that Barker suffered a gunshot to the hand (July 11).
Two days later, Bruce Browne of Vancouver was apparently trying to prevent a shooting at a Northeast gas station when police arrived and shot him. Brown may have taken the gun away from the would-be perpetrator; details are trickling in at deadline. Fortunately, Browne survived, and the store's video surveillance camera shows officer Kenneth Duilio (#34491) probably shot the wrong man (KATU Channel 2, July 12).
Meanwhile, yet another suburban cop has shot another person whose heritage is probably not west
European. Beaverton officers Richard Rayniak, Ty Hanlon and Scott Warren shot and killed
Sengsadaphet Phongavanh, 29, who allegedly charged at them with a knife (Oregonian, July 4).
Perhaps they were taking a page from the book of Lake Oswego police, who shot a Bosnian
refugee carrying a knife earlier this year (see PPR #23). Regardless, the Beaverton Police's action
may have "greased the wheels" for Portland cops to start shooting again, after they took heat for
killing Mexican immigrant José Santos Mejía Poot in April (see article).
We are #4, though, in police shootings as compared to the murder rate here, but only #18 nationally in police shootings per 100,000 residents. Number 1 in those categories are San Jose, CA and Washington, DC, respectively.
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.