People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Oregon Deadly Force Incidents Clock in at 111 in 5 Years;
On January 21, Portland Copwatch (PCW) sent an updated letter to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, reporting that our statistics show a total of 111 deadly force incidents in Oregon from 2010 to 2014. While Oregon Senate Bill 111 from 2007 says the AG's office is supposed to publish such data, at least regarding the 58 incidents in which civilians died, the last we heard they are still working on it. Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least six more incidents in Oregon (four deadly), including two in Portland (article).
--On January 2, Washington County Deputy Kenneth Coon shot and killed Lewis Lee Lembkie, 47, after his wife called to report he'd assaulted her in her Aloha apartment. Lembkie allegedly pointed a gun at the deputy (Oregonian, January 3 and March 6).
--On January 31, Oregon State Police apparently shot at a moving car when Gustavo Isabel Vega (22) and Tracy A. Betancourt-Garcia (21) drove away from a traffic stop for speeding on I-5 in south Marion County. The shots did not hit anyone.
--On February 15, Clackamas County Deputies Mark Nokolia, Scott McBride and Joshua Eagle shot and killed Bruce Steward, 34, of Colton, when he allegedly approached them carrying a hatchet. The State Medical Examiner-- whose salary is paid by the Oregon State Police (PPR #38)- - declared the death a suicide because investigators told him it was a "suicide by cop" (Oregonian, February 18 & 27). One person (or three) deliberately killing another person can't be deemed anything but a homicide, even if the state wants to label it "justifiable."
--On March 30, an unidentified Eugene Officer shot and killed Army Veteran Brian Babb, 49, when Babb, reportedly suicidal, allegedly pointed a rifle at police (Register Guard, April 2).
After PCW published our statistics in PPR #64, there was another shooting in December, plus we discovered an incident involving two civilians from early 2014 we'd missed:
--On December 23, Reedsport Police officer Ryan Fauver shot and killed Robert Jenkins, 55, after Jenkins was seen with a handgun in his car, which was on fire (KPIC-TV Roseburg, December 23). Jenkins was diagnosed with schizophrenia and would not get out of the burning car. The gun was a replica (Roseburg News-Review, January 10).
--On March 6, 2014, two Medford Police officers, one from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and one from the US Department of Justice shot and wounded Wayne Pearson (29) and Shavon Willard (31) after their truck hit a police car, then crashed at the end of a chase (KOBI-TV Medford, March 7, 2014). Police shot at least 29 rounds and Willard "was hit twice in the chest, once in the arm, once in the leg, and a fragment struck her right eye" (KIDK-TV Idaho Falls, July 25).
Finally, with a quick update: The Vancouver officers who mistook Brent Graham for a suspect last October (PPR #64) were cleared of criminal wrongdoing, even though Graham had called them as a witness and was wounded by one of their eight bullets (Oregonian, February 6). The Clark County 911 office was also let off the hook even though it was determined that their lack of coordination of incoming calls was a "major operational error" (Oregonian, March 4).
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.