People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
25 Oregon Police Deadly Force Incidents About Average in 2017
Portland Copwatch has been tracking statewide Oregon police shootings/deaths in detail since 2010, noting an average of 25 per year. Data show at least that many deadly force incidents have taken place up until mid-December 2017. Details on the first 14 were documented in previous issues of the newsletter, and two recent Portland shootings are noted elsewhere in this issue (p. 1 and left). Here are the other nine:
--On November 29, Pelndleton Police Sergeant Tyler Reddington shot and wounded Matthew Lucas Hoisington, 38, who allegedly pointed a replica gun at him near a Walmart (East Oregonian, December 19).
--On November 24, Klamath Falls Police Officer Taylor Herbst shot and killed Emilio Hernandez, 26, when he reportedly was running away as she tried to take him into custody on an attempted murder charge (Klamath Herald and News, November 27.)
--On November 2, Jefferson County Deputy Joseph Aldred and Oregon State Police Sgt. John Russo shot and wounded Christopher James Thomas Sweeney, 18, in Madras when Sweeney allegedly pointed a gun at officers from inside a stolen minivan (Portland Tribune online, November 8).
--On October 29, an unnamed Gold Beach officer fired his gun at Brian Anthony Widby, 29, during a car chase involving an allegedly stolen vehicle (CurryPilot.com, November 21).
--On October 28, Polk County Sheriff's Deputies Kelly Lorence and Mike Stevenson, and Sergeant Kevin Haynes, shot and killed Baltazar Escalona-Baez, 17, near Grand Ronde. The teenager was a suspect in a carjacking. It is unclear whether he was armed (Salem Statesman Journal, October 30).
--On September 30 Polk County Deputy Martin Watson shot at (and missed) two men in a car in Salem (Timothy George, 31, and Jeremy Johnson, 18) when they failed to pull over after an alleged traffic violation (Statesman Journal, October 10). Unsurprisingly, Watson was cleared by a grand jury; refreshingly, the grand jury was held in Marion County where the incident took place rather than Watson's home turf.
--On September 26, Eugene Police Officers Matt Lowen and Travis Palki shot and killed Roger Craig Nielsen, 31, when he allegedly pointed an AK-47 rifle at them following a hostage situation with a woman and her child-- though the woman and her male friend had pushed Nielsen out of their house prior to the confrontation. The news reports "nine shell casings were found, none of them fired by Nielsen" (Eugene Register-Guard, October 13).
--On September 22, Morrow County Deputy Aaron Haak shot Efren Hurtado, Jr., 26, in the head when he says Hurtado exited a disabled vehicle near Boardman and pointed a gun at him. Hurtado survived as the bullet "did not penetrate his skull" (MyColumbiaBasin.com, October 6).
--Somewhere near Creswell on September 12, Oregon State Trooper Gerald Ellis returned fire but did not hit Edward Paul Dungan, 30, after Dungan allegedly shot Ellis' bulletproof vest in the chest area (Register-Guard, October 13).
PCW exclusively obtained the name of the Washington County Sheriff's Deputy who shot at a juvenile in April (PPR #72). In response to our public records request, the Sheriff's office revealed the officer was Deputy Bryan Phillips (#55839).
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.