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Quick Flashes

Trooper Who Slapped Son Loses Gun and Job

Federal law prohibits people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from having a gun, with no exception for police. However, Oregon State Trooper James Duncan didn't think slapping his son so hard it knocked him over, then getting convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence should prevent him carrying his gun. Some in the legal system agreed. The December 16 Oregonian quotes retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, who wrote: "Other than this one incident, James Duncan has been a remarkably mature and stable individual, who has first and foremost dedicated himself to the care and well-being of his children. ... such an act will never occur again." Duncan served as DeMuniz's personal driver for years.

Duncan ironically claims court-ordered domestic violence classes taught him he was a victim of his ex-wife's verbal, emotional and physical abuse. In 2015 Duncan slapped his son. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received 18 months probation, but withdrew his plea since it would prevent him carrying a gun. Oregon State Police fired Duncan. A judge vacated his assault conviction, resentencing Duncan for reckless endangerment. Another law still prevents him from carrying a gun for four years. On December 5, Duncan appealed for the court to make an exception for a police officer. Tillamook County Judge Mari Garric Trevino rejected that idea as "inappropriate" (Oregonian, December 19). He must wait until his probation is over this summer to carry a gun, but still won't be a cop any more.

Who's Minding the Store?

Chief Marshman was put on leave in March for supposedly having his adjutant Lieutenant Mike Leasure (also on leave) sign him in to a DOJ-related training he didn't attend. Chris Davis, who fired a beanbag gun at José Mejía Poot in Mejía's 2001 death (PPR #24) was made Acting Chief. Davis became an Assistant Chief in January, when Mike Leland retired. Marshman returned to work April 13 after being preliminarily cleared.
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Business Owner Kills Houseless Man, Isn't Charged

On February 20, Charlie Win Chan, an east side business person, shot and killed Jason Petersen, a houseless man with a history of schizophrenia. The police classified Chan as the victim and the dead man as the suspect. A grand jury did not bring charges against the shooter.

Earlier, the men argued about Petersen leaving his belongings in front of Chan's business. Chan had put them in the trash. After hearing a door slam later, Chan went outside with his licensed .22 revolver and confronted Peterson. Chan says Peterson made threats, so he killed him in fear for his life-- an excuse raised constantly by shooter cops.

Oregon's Supreme Court says deadly force is justified under the state's "stand your ground" law if a person is confronted by someone "committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force" (Portland Mercury, March 22). It's open season for houseless and other people, and police and the rest of the criminal justice system are fine with that.
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Council Passes Ordinance to Exclude People from Meetings

In a unanimous March 15 decision, City Council passed an ordinance letting them exclude what the Oregonian called "rowdy protestors" from city meetings for up to two months (March 23). In December 2015, federal Judge Michael Simon ruled excluding

a person from a council meeting based on past behavior violates First Amendment rights. Mayor Wheeler declared Council would eject disruptors for a day at a time but wait to enforce long-term exclusions until the ordinance passes constitutional muster.

Portland Copwatch weighed in on the ordinance, suggesting simpler ways to de-escalate. These include expanding the open communication section of the meeting so more than five people can testify, and allowing people to sign up on the day of a Council meeting to address current issues. Currently, people are required to turn in their names to the Council Clerk six days in advance. We noted less of Council's time would be taken up by public comment than is taken up by repeatedly calling the Council into recess, clearing the chambers, and putting City Hall on lockdown.

Other Copwatch suggestions included meeting the demands of the protests: Be more responsive; quickly release more information about officer involved shootings; create a culture of accountability; find a new location for Right 2 Dream Too rather than hoping they'll go away (article), and/or do a better job of expressing support for justice, equality and freedom.

Though Mayor Wheeler later held a few open forums for people to attend, they did not include all the other Commissioners. Two weeks after passing the ordinance, security gave out dated tickets to attend Council, demanding visual bag inspections on the way in (Mercury Blog, March 29). The bag checks are still in effect.
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  People's Police Report

May, 2017
Also in PPR #71

Police Kill Black Teen,
  Wound White Man Same Day

  Oregon Police: 31 Shootings 2016-17
City Disbands DOJ Oversight Body
Council Hears Rare Misconduct Appeal
Changes Made to Oversight System
Protests Met with Violence or Hugs
Newspaper Shows Profiling Widespread
Survey: People of Color Fear Profiling
Problems Plague Jail, Sheriff
Training Council Focuses on Tasers
PRB Report: Officer Not Disciplined
Police Absent in Houseless Debate
PPB Asks for Policy Input Again
City, County and ICE
Quick Flashes PPR 71
  • Trooper Slaps Son, Loses Job
  • Chief, Aide Put on Leave
  • Civilian Kills Homeless Man, No Charges
  • Law Will Exclude People from Meetings
Updates PPR 71
  • Mohammed Mohamud's Appeal Denied
Rapping Back #71

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #71 Table of Contents
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