Portland Consultants Urge Police Use-Of-Force Reforms


The Los Angeles-based Police Assessment Resource Center encouraged Portland police to restrict officers’ use of Tasers, beanbag shotguns, and AR-15 assault rifles, The Oregonian reports. The center also urged police to compel officers to provide emergency medical aid “as quickly as possible” to wounded suspects unless it would present unreasonable danger, not just “at the earliest time feasible” as required now. The consultants suggested that officers be barred chasing a suspect on foot alone. The report was the fourth since the center began reviewing Portland officer-involved shootings and deaths in police custody in 2002.

The consultants reviewed 12 officer-involved shootings from 2002 through 2005. The report identified problems in the 2004, fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man who died after being shot by bullets 13 times, hit 22 times with beanbags, and Tasered four or five times, after crashing a stolen pickup and running from police. Although he was unresponsive after numerous shots were fired, officers and supervisors made no effort to provide medical aid, even when one officer noticed that it appeared the man was “bleeding out,” the report says. It took about 50 minutes before a Special Emergency Reaction Team showed up.

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