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Top 25 Settlements: Portland Police Incidents settled 1993-2011
totalling rougly $6.9 million***
Note: Some amounts are settlements, other are jury awards or judgments

      Name                                                                 Amount          Date settled     Incident date         Brief notes
  1. Family of James Chasse, Jr.*                         $1,600,000.00          7/28/10           9/17/06          Use of force (leading to death)
  2. Protestors August 2002&May 2003              $845,000.00          12/1/04          8/22/02          Use of force (pepper spray)
  3. Family of Damon Lowery                                 $600,000.00          6/25/05          12/5/99          Use of force (leading to death)
  4. Family of Raymond Gwerder                          $500,000.00          11/14/07          11/4/05          Shooting (died)
  5. Barbara& Ted Vickers, Estate of Dickie Dow       $380,000.00          3/27/02          10/19/98          Wrongful death/Dickie Dow
  6. Family of James Jahar Perez*                          $350,359.00           9/3/08           3/28/04          Shooting (died)
  7. Daniel Thomas**                                             $311,000.00    3/14/08&9/28/04    7/11/03          Use of force
  8. Bruce Browne                                                  $200,895.00          4/1/03              7/11/01          Shooting (lived)
  9. Family of Dennis Young*                              $200,000.00           10/8/08           1/4/06          Shooting (died)
  10. Maria-Janeth Rodriguez-Sanchez                    $177,161.41    12/2/05&8/3/05     4/8/03          Use of force
  11. Harold Hammick, Ri'Chard Booth & Alex Clay*       $175,000.00 (jury)     9/23/09     3/17/07           Mistreatment (pointing guns and more)
  12. Family of Peter Gilbaugh*                                $150,000.00          10/1/02          12/31/98          Shooting (died)
  13. Barbara Weich                                                    $150,000.00          1/2/08             5/29/05          Use of force (broken arm)
  14. Eunice Crowder                                                  $145,000.00          4/23/04          6/9/03          Use of force (including Taser)
  15. Chaz Miller                                                       $133,926.06         6/21/06          4/21/03          Use of Force/wrong person arrested
  16. Gerald Gratton                                                  $118,000.00          4/4/94          7/19/93          Shooting (lived)
  17. Two women victims of Ofcr John Wood*       $105,000.00           2/25/09           7/21/06          Use of force (broken arm)
  18. Ivory Spann                                                        $100,056.79              4/7/97          6/6/93          Force/Baton hits
  19. Family of Duane Anthony Shaw                        $100,000.00          10/25/95          9/14/93          Shooting (died)
  20. Johnny Senteno                                                   $96,975.23          12/30/94          8/21/93          Use of force/Arm broken by projectile
  21. Janice M Aichele (deceased)                                 $90,000.00          11/7/96          10/6/94          Off-duty shooting (murder/suicide)
  22. Heather Bissell                                                    $88,385.83    9/23/05&8/17/05     4/30/03          Use of force/arrest
  23. Dalebert V Acelar and 3 others                           $87,000.00          6/16/99          10/17/97          Unlawful search/detention
  24. Shei'Meka Newmann*                                     $82,000.00     4/14/11 (jury)       2/13/09           Use of force, false arrest, malicious prosecution
  25. Hung Mingh Tran*                                           $81,766.00          1/30/11           11/24/07          Use of force (Taser)

     Total                                               $6,867,525.32

Sources: Portland Office of Risk Management, Portland Office of Management and Finance, Portland City Auditor's Office and various news agencies

This chart should be published regularly by the City to let people know what police misconduct is costing the people of Portland. Sure, they can argue that in cases that were settled out of court they never admitted wrongdoing, but if they felt they had a sure chance to win, they'd defend their officers. The $6.8 million total for just these 25 cases does not include another $2.7 million paid out to over 200 other people from 1993-2011. With an average of at least $500,000 per year, the City could be paying for several civilian investigators to staff an independent police review board. Perhaps with ongoing external monitoring, the frequency of such cases would decline.

As many cases after 2007 have not gone through the courts yet, we can compare the average annual totals for incidents between 1993 and 2001 ($382,000) and from 2002-June 2011 ($636,000)***** and see that the advent or Portland's "Independent" Police Review Division in 2002 has done little to slow the lawsuits or the misconduct that generates them, and in fact it may be that more people are turning to the courts rather than using the civilian complaint system (see PPR #44, May 2008).

--16 of the top 25 are incidents that occurred since 2002, when the IPR began operating; 8 of the top 25 are payments made since January 2008.

--Some of the amounts shown include the City's legal expenses, making them appear higher than the settlements alone. But since this expense comes back to you, the taxpayer, we feel all expenses should be included when known. For example, Heather Bissell's case settled for $50,000 but the figure above includes $38,000+ in city expenses.

*-new info or new settlement/judgment since April, 2008
**-Daniel Thomas' case ended with a judgment in March, 2008 of $100,000, but the city closed out his original claim with $91,746.53 in city legal expenses. The total reported payout including attorney's fees was $311,000 (Oregonian, 12/10/09)
***The total of the top 25 up to 2005 was $3.6 million; in April 2008 it was $4.5 million
****Ladd was beaten by off-duty officers, but on-duty cops acted to cover up the beating
We use the term "settlement" loosely to cover settlements, judgments, and other payouts by the city to cover the costs of police misconduct.
*****Portland Copwatch has incomplete data for 2008-2011 but hopes to update this information soon.

Compare to totals from:
  • 2008
  • 2006
  • 2005
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    Previous lists

    Top 25 2005 (12/05)
    Top 25 2006 (5/06)
    Top 25 2008 (4/08)

    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.

    Revised version updated August 16, 2011

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