PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland police have released a graphic video showing an officer shoot a man who later died on Thursday in the Lloyd District.
The man, who has only been identified as a white male, was shot and killed by an officer who had been sent to do a welfare check alongside paramedics just after 7 p.m. at the motel on the 500 block of Northeast Holladay Street, authorities said. The man was taken to a local hospital but died from his injuries.
On Friday, police released a graphic 45-second video of the shooting. It shows a handful of law enforcement officials standing next to an outdoor stairwell, presumably at the Motel 6, where a man is sitting. The officers are seen suddenly retreating as the man gets up and advances toward them, holding an object. An officer appears to fire his weapon and the man falls to the ground.
Officers released an image of a weapon recovered from the scene.
The PPB has not disclosed the complete timeline of events, saying that information is still being gathered. The officer who shot the man has been identified as an 18-year veteran of the PPB, Curtis Brown. Brown has been placed on standard administrative leave.
The man who was shot has been identified but officials say they haven’t been able to locate relatives so they aren’t publicly naming him yet.
“While the investigation is still in its early stages, and releasing evidence at this point is rare, providing this video is critical to combat misinformation being spread,” said PPB Chief Chuck Lovell. “Transparency and community trust are extremely important to us, but so is a full, complete, and thorough investigation. This illustrates how important it is to allow the investigation process to unfold before spreading unverified information. An officer use of deadly force is among the most important investigations that we do, and it’s crucial that we take the time to do it right.”
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, a spokesperson with the Office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the mayor would learn more about the shooting during a briefing later Friday.
“It’s unfortunate when a call for service ends this way,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Members of the Mayor’s staff were on the scene soon after the incident occurred, and have been in frequent conversations alongside the Mayor with Chief Lovell and others at the Portland Police Bureau.”
On Friday, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty — who has been critical of PPB in the past — said this shooting is an example of why the new Portland Street Response Team needs to be sent to these type of calls instead of police.
“We’re sending the wrong people as first responders, and it’s really important that we send the right responders to the right situation,” Hardesty said. “Someone in crisis should never be killed because they’re not doing what they’re told to do.”
Mayor Wheeler, however, said police are trained in de-escalation and said they now have a homeless liasion.
“We’re definitely seeing more people in crisis on our streets,” the mayor said. “This is an elevated issue, to make sure that our officers have the resources, tools and training and support that they need in certain types of situations.”
A group of protesters clashed with investigators and other officers who responded to the scene Thursday evening. Portland police said a protester grabbed an officer’s baton, and when another officer stepped in, that officer “was sprayed with a chemical.”
The tires of at least one Portland police vehicle were punctured and a window was broken as well, according to police.
Chief Lovell said in a Friday statement that Portland police had to request the help of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Oswego police to answer 911 calls since so many PPB officers were needed to secure the crime scene as protesters gathered.
See the full statement below:
“Last night, a Portland Police Officer was involved in a fatal shooting. Understandably, there is a lot of emotion following a use of deadly force and community members want to know what occurred immediately. While we are committed to getting as much information out as quickly as possible, we have to weigh how this affects the investigation and accountability process.
“Unfortunately, shortly after last night’s shooting, people began sharing false information on social media. That seemed to fuel a hostile crowd that gathered at the scene of the investigation and it made an already tense situation even more precarious for community members, officers and investigators. Some in the crowd even tried to push into the closed area. If bystanders were able to enter the scene, they would have ultimately destroyed or contaminated evidence, impacting the criminal and administrative investigations.
“The Police Bureau has a strict directive that outlines what has to occur following a deadly force incident, and last night our personnel were doing their best to follow it. As they were working, officers were assaulted, sprayed with an unknown substance, and their vehicles were damaged. This did nothing to further the goal of a thorough investigation or accountability process. I commend the officers for containing the scene so investigators could do their work.
“Due to the number of PPB officers who had to secure the scene, we needed to ask for assistance to take 911 calls. Thank you to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Oswego Police Department for responding.
We are working with the District Attorney’s Office and our investigators to determine how to disseminate information more quickly, especially if there is erroneous information. However, there is a lot of meticulous work that must be done at the scene.
“After a use of deadly force occurs, all the necessary responders are notified. This includes homicide detectives, criminalists (forensics), command personnel, professional standards, district attorney, city attorney, Independent Police Review Division, appropriate labor union, public information officer and others. Personnel respond to the scene, but that can take time if they are off-duty.
“Prior to their arrival, dispatched officers and supervisors are implementing the procedures outlined in our directive, including securing the crime scene, separating any involved officers, and locating any witnesses. That process is outlined here.
“Once detectives arrive to begin the investigation, they must be meticulous in their information gathering. They begin taking initial statements from witnesses. There is the collection and processing of all evidence, getting diagrams, sketches and photos completed, seizing any weapons and collecting that evidence. There is much to be done and each scene is different, depending on how many people were involved, the amount of evidence and other factors. Interviews will continue for days following the incident.
“Concurrently, the Professional Standards Division conducts an administrative review of each such incident. This will determine if ultimately the member or membersâ€™ actions were within the Police Bureau’s policies and training.
“The Police Bureau’s deadly force process is through and has multiple layers. Per our policy, we release the officer’s identity within 24 hours of the incident. If the involved subject is deceased, we must wait for the Medical Examiner to conduct an autopsy to determine cause of death, identify the individual and inform his next of kin.
“We know our community wants transparency, but it also wants accountability. It would be irresponsible to provide information without first ensuring it is verified and won’t jeopardize the integrity of the investigation. I pledge to continue to provide as much information as quickly as we can, but I am also committed to ensuring our accountability process is carefully followed.
“To understand the deadly force timeline, please visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/714845
“This is the third officer-involved shooting (second fatal) this year. All officer-involved shootings are summarized here.”