People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Other Oregon Shootings and Deaths in Police Custody:
The past few months have seen a high number of shootings and deaths around the state, including at least one Taser-related death. Also, the jury in the Lukus Glenn civil trial found Washington County liable for the 18 year old's 2006 death (PPR #40) and awarded his family $2.5 million.
* September 13: Salem officers Ben Ruddell and Brian Bidiman, with Sgt. Jason VanMeter, shot and wounded 41 year old Ricky Wayne Lewis, Jr. when he allegedly shot at them while they were searching his home (Oregonian, September 15).
* October 20:, Salem Officers Darren Buchholz and Travis Brossard were conducting interviews in a home when they shot at Steven Deleon's pit bull, which allegedly attacked them, and wounded Deleon, 38, with one of their bullets (Associated Press, October 21).
* October 21: Salem Corporal Ryan Demmer shot and killed Chase Hammer, 27, responding to a report from Hammer's girlfriend that he was suicidal and had a gun (Associated Press, October 22).
* September 5: Christopher Ladue, 23, died after Jackson County Sheriff's Deputies fired "multiple Taser darts, a direct Taser zap and pepper spray" at him (Associated Press, September 9). They had been called to the scene due to a health crisis perhaps brought on by Ladue, who suffered from bipolar disorder, smoking "an unidentified substance" (OPB, September 7). Three officers piled on Ladue before he was handcuffed (Medford Mail Tribune, September 7).
* August 28: 42 year old Joseph Vavrosky also died after being tased; Medford police and Oregon State Troopers who chased him on foot after a traffic stop claim their Tasers missed him, yet he died shortly after being arrested (Medford Mail Tribune, September 7).
* Earlier in 2012: Scott Chappell, 44, died after Eagle Point police zapped him with a Taser on June 12. Chappell, a veteran of Afghanistan, reportedly had PTSD and was acting erratically (Medford Mail Tribune, June 15).
* September 9: Washington County Deputy Matt Miniter shot and wounded 49 year old Jeffrey Holmes after Holmes allegedly threw bleach on officers and cut Miniter with a knife (Oregonian, September 15). They responded to the Bethany home on a call from Holmes' family to check on his well-being.
* September 17: Officers Steven Rue and Christopher Simonds of The Dalles shot and killed Gerald Arthur Stowell, Jr., 50, a rape suspect who allegedly emerged from a bathroom with a kitchen knife (Oregonian, September 19 and 22). It was the first officer-involved shooting in The Dalles since 1999.
* September 28: Sgt. Andron Shadrin, Officer Thomas Courson and Cpl. Shawn Hershberger of the Woodburn police shot and wounded 20 year old Librado Perez-Sanchez, who was allegedly firing a shotgun in public (Oregonlive, October 1).
* November 8: Hillsboro officer David Bergstrom shot and wounded Gilberto Perez, a 29 year old who allegedly stabbed a neighbor and advanced on the police with a knife (KPTV-12, November 12).
After long seeking justice in the shooting death of their son Lukus, Hope and Brad Glenn won a $2.5 million jury award on August 30, with the finding that Washington County Sheriff's deputies violated Glenn's civil rights and Sheriff Rob Gordon should not have found the shooting within policy (Oregonian, August 31). The US Department of Justice, in their Letter of Findings about Portland Police, cited the 9th Circuit Court's 2011 ruling that sent the Glenn case back to the jury, noting courts may consider factors including lower levels of force available, whether warnings were given, and a person's emotional state. "[E]ven when an emotionally disturbed individual is 'acting out and inviting officers to use deadly force,' the governmental interest in using such force is diminished by the fact that the officers are confronted, not with a person who has committed a serious crime against others, but with a mentally ill individual."
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.