People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
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Chief Mike Reese has shown his dual nature of trying to please the community (firing the officer who shot Aaron Campbell) and defending the indefensible (letting off the officer who shot a teenager with a "beanbag" gun). In early December, he tipped fully to the second side of the scale by promoting Officer Leo Besner to Sergeant. Portland Copwatch (PCW) refers to Besner as the "million dollar man" due to the money he's cost the city in lawsuits (PPR #49). Despite outcry from the community including family and friends of Raymond Gwerder, whom Besner shot in the back in 2005 (PPR #37), Reese went ahead with the promotion, dismissing the protestors as "'ubiquitous critics' who will never be satisfied with what police do" (Oregonian, December 9). He quoted Theodore Roosevelt, implying those who criticize do nothing while heroic police may "err" but at least they "dare greatly." For his insensitivity, he was dubbed Willamette Week's December 15 "Rogue of the Week."
Reese doesn't seem to have absorbed the information from two members of PCW who met with him in November, reminding him we are for police accountability, not anti-police. Reese responded to many of our concerns with a curt "OK," as if to say, "I've heard you, now let me get on with my reign." The Chief also referred to Tasers as "tools" and suggested we would know more about the PPB's cooperation with the FBI if Portland rejoined the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Cop who shot Aaron Campbell fired
Portland Copwatch Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability
through citizen action.
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.