People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Oregon Maintains Average of Two Police Shootings Per Month
Over the last several months, police around Oregon have continued to discharge firearms toward civilians at the rate of about twice per month. From late April to late July, in addition to the one officer-involved shooting in Portland (with no hits- article here), the following eight incidents occurred:
--Two incidents involving Gresham police. The first, on April 27, involved 40-year-old David Allen Charlton, who crashed a van and was chased by gang enforcement team officers. Fairview Officer Scott Shropshire, and Gresham Officers Michael Brooder and John Heer shot and wounded Charlton in an exchange of gunfire which also wounded Shropshire (Oregonlive, April 29). On May 24, Gresham Officers Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson shot and killed Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, 22, after Phelps' girlfriend allegedly screamed for help from inside a car. Police say Phelps ran away and then confronted police with two knives (Oregonian, May 25 and 27). Phelps' girlfriend said his death was unnecessary. Family, friends, and activists organized public protests.
--On May 31, State Trooper Richard Brannin shot and killed Nicholas Berger, 36, who was holding a woman hostage at knifepoint at the High Desert Museum in Bend (Oregonian, July 8).
--On May 21, Oregon City Officers David Plummer and David Edwins shot and killed Travis Moore, 38, when he allegedly fought with them as they tried to bring him into custody for failing to appear in court. They also used a Taser on Moore (Oregonlive, May 24).
--On May 30, four officers in Tualatin shot and killed Robert Wickizer, 70, who was reportedly armed with a gun and attempting to chase members of his family into a neighbor's home, and two other officers fired "less lethal" shotguns at the man (Oregonlive, May 30 and Oregonian, June 8). The four officers were from the Washington County Sheriff's Office (Sgt. Chris Schweigert) and the Police Departments in Tualatin (Eric French) and Beaverton (Charles Wujcik and Aaron Oberst).
--On June 26, Keizer Police Officer Esteban Perez shot and wounded suspect Andy Gibson, 50, during an incident involving a reported robbery in a convenience store (Statesman Journal, June 27).
--Polk County Deputy Casey Gibson shot and mortally wounded Joshua Bolster, 29, at a July 5 traffic stop in the Salem area at which multiple officers tried to get Bolster to surrender on earlier allegations of trespassing and menacing. An Oregon State Trooper used a "less lethal" weapon after Bolster was wounded; Bolster died of his injuries afterward (KGW-TV, July 12).
--Members of a multijurisdictional SWAT team shot and wounded Jeffrey Carl Giddings, 45, after he shot and minimally wounded a Gladstone police officer who tried to stop him for a moving violation on his bicycle on August 8 (Associated Press, August 9).
Including the Portland Police incident on May 24, five of the 9 incidents happened between May 21 and May 31. With the seven shootings we reported in PPR #68, that's 16 shootings in the first 7- 1/2 months of 2016.
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.