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Portland Shootings: None by PPB But
Two Key Incidents in Washington
Updates on Previous Incidents Include Huge Settlement,
Copwatch Web Graphic, Dramatic Video

Fortunately, there have been no officer-involved shootings by Portland Police since the no-hit shooting at Grey Stockton in late June (PPR #81), which remains the only PPB deadly force incident of 2020. However, two major incidents revolving around Portland caused alarm in recent months: the killings in Washington state of Michael Rienohl, the suspect in a downtown Portland shooting of a right-wing protestor, and of Kevin Peterson, Jr., a young Black man whom Clark County (WA) Deputies claimed shot at them despite evidence showing otherwise. US Marshals image of Sept 12, 2020 Oregonian article City will pay almost 
$1M in wrongful death settlementalso shot and wounded a man in Portland in December (see article in this issue). Regarding older incidents, the City paid $975,000 to the family of Lane Martin, who was shot by Portland Police while in a mental health crisis in July 2019 (PPR #78). Portland Copwatch also updated its online informational graphic to reflect the number of officers who used deadly force from 1992 to the present (PPR #79), including a slew of retirements by shooter cops. Meanwhile, Donna Hayes, the grandmother of Quanice Hayes, produced a video drama, and the Keaton Otis monthly memorial vigils began hybrid in-person/online meetings after months of "quarantine." The community also gained further insight into past deadly force incidents with the release of the 2020 OIR Group Report (see article in this issue).

Federal Authorities May Have Shot Rienohl Without Imminent Danger or Warning

Shortly before he was killed on September 3, Rienohl confessed on TV news to the August 29 shooting of Trump supporter (and alleged white supremacist) Aaron Danielson. Among the most alarming news items about Rienohl's death are that: (a) the officers involved in a federal task force who fired 37 shots are said to have not issued warnings, (b) they claim Rienohl pointed a gun at them though the gun was still in his pants pocket, and (c) President Trump bragged about the killing and called it "retribution" (Oregonian, October 16). The involved officers were working for a US Marshals' "Violent Offender Task Force" and came from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, the Lakewood Police, and the Washington Department of Corrections (Oregonian, September 18). The officers were in an unmarked SUV, so it's unclear whether Rienohl even knew it was law enforcement who boxed in his car rather than civilian proto-fascists.

Peterson: Undercover Sting on Anti-Anxiety Meds Leads to Police Killing, Protest Actions

An informant was supposed to buy Xanax from Peterson as part of a sting operation on October 30. As with the Rienohl case, two deputies blocked his car. Peterson got out and ran away. The initial news report indicated Peterson fired a gun he pulled out, but investigators later revealed that his gun was not used (Oregonian, November 11). Community members quickly organized protests and vigils to support Peterson, some of which were met by right wing counter- demonstrators who do not agree that Black Lives Matter. It remains to be seen whether the legal system agrees that Deputy Jonathan Feller or Detectives Jeremy Brown and Robert Anderson will be found within policy and the law when they killed Peterson after apparently lying about whether he fired his gun.

Martin Settlement Among Highest on Record

On September 9, City Council voted to approve the nearly $1 million to settle the wrongful death claim by Lane Martin's family. Because settlements do not allow for broader policy discussions, it is not clear whether the decision was based on the City's legal obligation under the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement. The DOJ sued the City in 2012 to have them train officers to use less force against people in mental health crisis (PPR #58 and article this issue). The $975,000 figure is significant for two reasons: one, that any amount over a million dollars does not come from the City's Risk Management fund, but would be paid by an outside insurance company, and two, that it is the fourth highest such payment for deadly force in the last 30 years. The top three were paid to William Monroe, who was wounded by a live round from a "less lethal" shotgun in 2013 (PPR #60), and the families of Aaron Campbell, shot in the back by a sniper while unarmed in 2010 (PPR #56) and James Chasse, Jr., who was injured so badly by officers piling on him that he died in custody in 2006 (PPR #51).

During the introductory remarks at the Council hearing, Mayor Wheeler mentioned that the officers hit Martin with less lethal rounds, but not that he dropped the axe he was carrying in response. In an interview on Oregonlive (September 6), Wheeler said he can't comment on incidents of possible misconduct because he ultimately makes disciplinary decisions. Setting aside that this is an exaggeration (he can always say "these facts are troubling, but let's wait for the investigation"), the Martin case had been closed long enough to have appeared in the August Police Review Board report showing no officers were disciplined (PPR #81). Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said her heart goes out to the family, and Commissioner Amanda Fritz called the incident a "tragedy," but then blamed the mental health system for Martin's death. Commissioner Chloe Eudaly simply voted "aye."

Portland Copwatch updated its "top 25 settlements" web page in September --see article in Updates, this issue.

PPB Officers in Deadly Force Retire, Copwatch Graphic Updated

In late October, Portland Copwatch updated the interactive graphic on our website showing 207 Portland officers involved in deadly force incidents since 1992. The revised page includes the Gray Stockton incident from June. We moved to "inactive" status six officers who were part of the wave of expected retirements in August, some of whom were involved in multiple incidents. One of those officers, Scott Groshong, was involved in a deadly force incident in 1998 and was indicted this fall for deliberately hitting a civilian with his unmarked patrol car (see Protests article in this issue). An additional seventh officer, Michael Currier, resigned in June for unknown reasons. The six officers who retired in August included three involved in one incident each: Groshong, Shane Nicholson, and Timothy Bacon. Two officers involved in two incidents also retired: Lawrence Keller and Doug Matthews. One of only three officers PCW has identified as being involved in three deadly force incidents-- Russ Corno-- was also part of the wave. This leaves 102 of the 207 officers still active, or 49%.

The informational graphic, originally posted in December 2019, can be found athttp://www.portlandcopwatch.org/deadlyforcepdx.html.

Quanice Hayes, Keaton Otis and Others Remembered

Donna Hayes' play titled "Silent Voices" was posted online in October and features imagined monologues by Quanice (known as "Moose"), as well as Kendra James, Aaron Campbell, Brad Morgan, three other victims of Portland Police and two additional voices (Willamette Week, October 28).

Meanwhile, the monthly vigil for Keaton Otis, who was killed by Portland Police at a traffic stop in 2010 (PPR #51), moved from online-only events as presented on the 12th of each month from April to September, to hybrid events with a few people holding down the corner of NE 6th and Halsey while the majority of attendees meet over Zoom. PCW attended the November and December vigils with a digital readerboard listing the names of George Floyd (killed by Minneapolis police), Otis, Campbell, James, and several others killed by the PPB.

See the video: http://facebook.com/watch/live/?v=618562972157667.
For more information see http://facebook.com/JusticeForKeatonOtis.

  People's Police Report

January, 2021
Also in PPR #82

100+ Days of Protests and Police Violence
  Officer Indicted for On-Duty Assault with Vehicle
Portland Out of Compliance with DOJ Agreement
Oversight Board Continues; New System Voted In
• No PPB Shootings but Two Incidents in Washington
  • State Deadly Force Incidents Pass Average Despite Pandemic
Outside Report Knocks '18 Shooting of Black Man
New Profililng Reports Show Same Disparities
Houseless Community Faces Winter, COVID, Sweeps
Terror Task Force: Community Wants Full Withdrawal
Training Council Analyzes Use of Force
 • Second Round of Police Budget Cuts Scuttled
 • Police Contract Talks to Restart in January
 • Lawsuits Total Nearly $16 M in 28 Years
 • New "Brady Rule" Policy and Other Policies Posted
Rapping Back #82

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.

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