PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw is asking for an internal review into an officer’s actions while responding to a reported stabbing in the Foster-Powell neighborhood. 
On March 14, the clerk at the Everyday Food Mart, 7020 SE Foster Road, called police to report she was being attacked by a man, later identified as Michael Delsman, armed with a knife. 

The Everday Food Mart, 7020 SE Foster Road in Portland, March 16, 2018 (KOIN)

According to court documents, Delsman entered the convenience store around 6:45 a.m. that morning and started threatening to kill and physically harm the store clerk. While inside, Delsman pulled out a knife and got behind the clerk’s counter. 
“Once he was behind the counter, [Delsman] raised his knife and began to attack [the] victim,” a probable cause affidavit states. 
The store clerk grabbed a sword from behind the counter in self-defense. She and Delsman started to struggle over the knife and sword. 
She was able to push Delsman out of the store and onto SE Foster Road, where the struggle continued. Both the clerk and Delsman fell down outside and continued to struggle. 
“[Delsman] then began to strike victim on her back with the knife on multiple occasions,” according to court documents. 
During the entire incident, Delsman said to the victim that “you Mexicans and blacks need to leave the country,” court documents state. 
Delsman is charged with 2nd-degree assault, 2nd-degree intimidation and unlawful use of a weapon. Under Oregon law, 2nd-degree intimidation is considered a hate crime. In court on Thursday, his court-appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf

In 2015, Delsman was the subject of a KOIN 6 News story in a dispute with Comcast.

A store clerk defended herself against a knife attack with his sword on March 14, 2018. (KOIN) 

The police response

KOIN 6 News learned that when the first officer arrived on scene he saw both the store clerk and Delsman in the road in the midst of an active struggle. 
Delsman repeatedly hit the clerk on her back with the knife, according to court documents. The victim then began bleeding from her back.

That first responding officer reportedly waited for backup to arrive before going in and taking Delsman into custody. 
KOIN 6 News learned the officer wrote in his report that he waited for additional officers to arrive because he was concerned he would have to use of force to take Delsman into custody.

Danielle Outlaw, the Chief of the Portland Police Bureau, October 3, 2017 (KOIN)

Several years ago, Portland Police Bureau settled with the Department of Justice and agreed to change the way it trains its officers on how to use force, specifically when it comes to dealing with people in mental health crisis. 
“PPB shall revise its existing use of force policy and force reporting requirements to ensure that all force, particularly force involving persons with actual or perceived mental illness: (a) is used only in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States; (b) is no greater than necessary to accomplish a lawful objective; (c) is properly documented, reported, and accounted for; and (d) is properly investigated, reviewed, evaluated, and, if necessary, remedied,” according to the agreement.  
“After the incident, I became aware of the grave concerns expressed by community members in regard to the officer’s response when he arrived at the scene,” Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a prepared statement released to KOIN 6 News. “I immediately directed our Professional Standards Division and Training Division to conduct a thorough review of the member’s response. We are taking this situation very seriously and want to ensure the officer complied with policies, procedures and training as directed.”

Court documents do not specifically address the first officer’s response to the incident. 

However they state, “police arrived to see [Delsman] and victim struggling. They kicked the knife and sword away and arrested defendant, while the ambulance arrived to take victim to the hospital. [The] victim suffered both superficial and serious injuries as a result of being attacked by defendant with a knife.”

Police union response

“Portland police officers rely on Bureau policies and training when taking police action,” Officer Daryl Turner, the president of the Portland Police Association, said in a prepared statement to union members. “Many of these policies are mandated by the United States Department of Justice, with the aim of reducing police use of force in Portland.”

Daryl Turner, the president of the Portland Police Association, April 4, 2016 (KOIN)

Turner believes some of DOJ-PPB policies are jeopardizing public safety by confusing officers and putting them in “untenable situations.” Turner said officers don’t hesitate to run towards the danger; they hesitate to use force because they are concerned about the repercussions of doing their job.

“Recently, we saw this happen in an incident where a young police officer waited for his cover officer before engaging a suspect who was fighting with a victim. This officer was following Police Bureau policy: wait for a cover officer because additional officers will help de-escalate the situation so that force may not need to be used.”

The PPB-DOJ settlement agreement defines “use of force” as meaning any physical coercion used to effect, influence, or persuade an individual to comply with an order from an officer, above unresisted handcuffing, including actively pointing a firearm at a person.

It also states: “PPB shall ensure that officers use non-force and verbal techniques to effect compliance with police orders whenever feasible, especially in the course of conducting welfare checks or effecting arrests for minor offenses or for persons whom officers have reason to believe are experiencing a mental health crisis; de-escalate the use of force at the earliest possible moment; only resort to those use of force weapons, including less-lethal weapons, as necessary; and refrain from the use of force against individuals who are already under control by officers, or who may express verbal discontent with officers but do not otherwise pose a threat to officers or others, or impede a valid law enforcement function.”

When asked for an on-camera interview, spokesperson Sgt. Chris Burley said PPB is not able comment on pending investigations of a personnel matter.

KOIN 6 News reached out to the store clerk and her family, but they declined to comment.