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The Portland Police Bureau released the transcript of their investigation into the officer shooting of a mentally ill man on the streets of Portland. The 555 pages of investigation work is far more important than the Mueller Report and the amount of time that has been spent on trying to nullify an election. The will full ignorance, and misplaced compassion of refusing to address the problems of the mentally ill by turning them loose on the streets is a national disgrace. It is not only a disgrace, but it’s also dangerous.
The story from OregonLive:
A Multnomah County grand jury on Monday found no criminal wrongdoing by a Portland police officer who fatally shot 31-year-old Lane Christopher Martin in an alcove of a Southeast Portland apartment complex on July 30.
The grand jury determined the shooting by Officer Gary Doran was “a lawful act of self-defense and/or defense of a third person,” according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The fatal shooting occurred after Martin had threatened a security guard with a knife and hatchet in a parking lot as he was caught breaking into a Jeep, walked off yelling at bystanders and swinging the hatchet down a busy city thoroughfare, was shot by police twice in the legs with two less-lethal sponge-tipped munitions, ultimately dropped the hatchet and ran to an apartment complex where he was cornered by police, according to 555 pages of police reports released late Monday afternoon.
Mr. Martin’s family has filed a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against the Portland Police Bureau. They are grieving, and angry-I understand that. According to one family member Mr. Martin was on a new medication, but she suspects he may have been using meth as well. Self-medicating is not unusual, and feeling that they are smarter if they are not taking the prescribed medication is not unusual as well.
Not all mentally ill persons are a danger, but there are some that are. Police officers have intervened before someone is in a full blown crisis, and there are times when they have to intervene when someone is on the ragged edge. As a former police officer, I’ve had experiences in both of these situations.
Police officers have an obligation to try and deescalate a situation when they can. Police officers also have a responsibility to protect the public and themselves in these types of situations. It doesn’t hurt any less to be stabbed with a knife or to receive a blow from a hatchet from someone who is mentally ill than it does from someone who has run of the mill anger management issues.
The sad thing is that it’s almost impossible to get a civil commitment for families that are trying to get help for a mentally ill family member. That needs to change.
I have provided links to the PPB Investigation, as well as the OregonLive article. I skimmed through all 500+ pages of the PPB report. Officer Doran’s interview with detectives was not scheduled to be released until the Grand Jury decision was made public. The decision has been made public now so I imagine Officer Doran’s interview will be released in a few more days.