Off Duty Portland Cop Kills Man at Front Door
DA Refuses Grand Jury on August Shooting; Oregon Area Cops Continue to Shoot

We only have one Portland shooting incident to report on for this four-month period: off-duty Sgt. Gregory Stewart (#32025) shot and killed Jeffrey Dean Turpin, 42, outside Stewart's Scappoose home on October 5. Sadly, another person in psychological crisis needed help and instead ended up dead at the hands of law enforcement. Sadder still, six Scappoose police officers and two St. Helens officers had been following Turpin around for 40 minutes, talking to him and keeping him from shooting himself with his own gun. When Turpin made the mistake of pounding on a random door that had a Portland policeman behind it, he ended up dead.

Stewart's neighbors described Turpin as "angry and erratic." They said he was muttering to himself "this is a bad situation" as he wrapped himself in one resident's flag and complained of the cold. It appears he banged on Stewart's door, took a few steps away, then when Stewart opened the door, Turpin may have turned back toward the house before the off-duty Sergeant fired three times (Oregonian, October 6). There was no indication whether Stewart, who currently works on the Domestic Violence Unit, had Crisis Intervention Team training. We have not seen any follow-up stories to let us know if Stewart faces criminal charges, though he was placed on administrative leave following the incident.

The previous Portland-based shooting, when Lesley Stewart (no relation) was hit in the head by glass or by an AR-15 assault rifle bullet on August 20 (PPR #42), was not reviewed for criminal conduct by the District Attorney. Assistant DA Traci Anderson said they would not review a shooting "if no one was hurt" (Oregonian, August 28). Portland Copwatch and the NW Constitutional Rights Center sent a letter to DA Mike Schrunk pointing out not only that Mr. Stewart was injured, but that Officer Stephanie Rabey's action of using deadly force could be criminal if there was no reasonable suspicion that someone's life was in imminent danger. Stewart's girlfriend, who called the police, and her 21-year-old son left the apartment four minutes prior to the shooting, and no gun was found in the apartment (Oregonian, August 21 and 22).

Although the SERT Team was mobilized, Rabey (#29993) is a regular patrol officer. Also, despite the similarity between this case and the shooting of Raymond Gwerder, the Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) was not involved (according to Chief Sizer). This seems strange, since Gwerder was alone, while Stewart's girlfriend and her son were considered hostages.

There have been just two on-duty shootings in Portland this year, but officers in other jurisdictions continue to use deadly force.

--On August 28, Clackamas County Deputy Robert Nashif shot and killed Shawn DeVoe Mosley, 48, during a traffic stop. Mosley allegedly shot a gun at Nashif, who was not injured (Oregonian, September 28).

--Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team members "mistakenly opened fire at an officer from another unit during a Sept. 6 raid on a Yamhill County marijuana field." The raid was led by the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team, moving in on a campsite in a wooded area. Washington County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. David Thompson said "we try to learn" from incidents like this (Oregonian, September 21).

--On November 10, two Josephine County Sheriff's Deputies shot and killed Paul Harrison Chesser, 66, when he allegedly refused to drop a handgun and apparently exchanged fire with them (Oregonian, November 14).

--On November 24, Washington County Corporals Steve Schuster and Mark Trost shot and killed Steve G. Stanturf, 37, when the Sheriff's Office came to his house for the second time that day. Stanturf, who had no criminal record, apparently had quite a few guns and had fired two of the weapons before the officers killed him (Oregonian, November 25 & Hillsboro Argus, November 30).


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