People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Quick Flashes PPR #40 Sexual Perversion in Portland: Two Cops Plead Guilty, One on Leave for Misconduct
Three Portland-area officers made headlines for inappropriate sexually-related behavior. Two pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and the other is on administrative leave while charges are investigated.
The first to be exposed was Deputy Christopher Green of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO). Green came to prominence as one of two Portland-area cops whose testimony the District Attorney said he would no longer accept in prosecuting criminal cases. The reason was revealed in the September 8 Oregonian: Green had pulled over several women in 2004 and told them to partially undress (taking off their bras or pulling down their underwear) using the false pretense that he was looking for a suspect bearing a flower tattoo. No such suspect was wanted at the time. Although Green was disciplined, he was not fired for this outrageous breach of the public trust. Only after the story was made public did Sheriff Bernie Giusto transfer Green (to the training department!), then tried to have the officer's certification removed for "moral turpitude" (Oregonian, September 20).
The original story prompted several other women to come forward, leading Green to plead guilty to harassment. He resigned from the MCSO, gave up his certification, and is on probation for two years (Oregonian, November 17).
The second cop was Portland Police Officer John Wood, who similarly told women he pulled over to show him their underwear or he would cite them for DUI. The women filed a complaint in late July, leading Portland detectives to a third woman who said at one traffic stop, Wood asked her to show him a tattoo in her groin area--three times (Oregonian, November 14). Maybe Wood and Greeen both read the same article in Bad Lieutenant magazine? Wood pleaded guilty to official misconduct, lost his certification, has two years probation and 100 hours of community service.
PPR readers may remember Wood as the Reserve Officer who shot and killed Daniel Cromb in 2000 (PPR #26). We have seen numerous cases where officers who used deadly force later committed criminal acts. We suspect this could either be a form of arrogance--having gotten away with a most serious act with no consequences, and perhaps no counseling, officers feel invulnerable--or, alternatively, a cry for help.
Our third story of sexual misconduct brings back another familiar name--one associated with similar shenanigans back in 1998. Sgt. David Howe (#20264) was picked up in early November during an undercover sting for picking up a prostitute while he was off-duty. Since Howe never actually propositioned the woman, he technically didn't commit a crime (Oregonian, November 21). Howe was disciplined in 1999 for failing to radio his location while he drove a prostitute around town (PPR #22). Howe also was accused of harassing and intimidating exotic dancers (PPR #14).
Incidentally, the second officer the DA will not allow to testify, Portland Officer Joseph Hanousek (#10230), was one of the cops who pepper-sprayed protestors at close range in 2002 (PPR #29), and his history includes "being untruthful with investigators" (Portland Tribune, September 26).
At the October 19 hearing on racial profiling, a brave citizen came forward to tell the story of police brutality he had witnessed just days before. Ezygy muYesu was downtown when he saw an officer Taser a man riding a bicycle, kick him, and lie about the suspect's alleged drug use (not unlike officers did in the case of James Chasse--p.1). The officer, Jason Lobaugh (#24578), has had numerous complaints filed against him over the years (see PPR #37), including one from a balding civil rights attorney who said Lobaugh told him, "I have two words of advice for youRo- Gaine."
Meanwhile, after muYesu told City Council about the incident, he filed a formal complaint with the Independent Police Review Division and was interviewed by the Portland Mercury (November 23). He said that Lobaugh kicked the suspect with "a violent forcefulness that was horrifying." He expressed a fear of retaliation, but also a strength in being public about filing the allegations: "This way the mayor and the police chief can't say they didn't hear about my complaint."
On December 5, 15-year-old Sir J. Millage, an young man with autism and limited comprehension, had climbed out the window of his house and was walking on the Broadway bridge with a stick when police tasered and beat him. Officer Andrew Griggs (#43320) ordered Millage to stop and lie down. When he did not comply, Griggs used his Taser at least four times, and officer Michael Chapman (#43481) hit him with his baton at least 6 times. The police said they thought he was on drugs and threatening, and that "you can't know what's going on with someone until they're in a controlled situation" (Oregonian, December 19).
The number of people in the US who have died in custody after being Tasered is now close to 200. Included in this number are Ryan Wilson, 22, who was Tasered by police in August in Lafayette, CO and died with no drugs or alcohol in his system. In September, a man who was shocked 17 times in New Orleans because the police wanted him to cough up drugs he allegedly swallowed won $82,500 in an excessive force lawsuit (In These Times, November 13).
Gresham Officer Joshua Linstrom, who in July ran a stop sign and crashed into a van, killing Marino Sanchez-Sanchez and injuring two others (PPR #39), turned in his resignation on September 11. Linstrom, hired in August 2005, was given the choice of resigning or being fired (Oregonian, September 13).
On November 12, Christopher Grassl was killed when a stolen car being pursued by a Gresham police officer crashed into his van. The driver of the stolen car suffered only minor injuries. The pursuing officer, Travis Garrison, was with the department for about 18 months and was placed on leave pending criminal and administrative investigations of the incident. Gresham officers must consider the safety of officers, citizens and suspects when initiating and continuing pursuits as well as the seriousness of the offense, traffic and weather conditions. Officers are held to be accountable for continuing a pursuit when circumstances indicate that it was dangerous. Garrison began the pursuit at 1:15 AM on NE Division when he noticed the car weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights. He lost sight of the car close to NE Burnside, then came over a hill and saw that the suspect had crashed into Grassl's car (Oregonian, November 14).
(image): Portland Police attacked protestors at the October 5 "World Can't Wait" march with pepper spray and sting balls (Portland Alliance, December 2006)
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