Portland Police Defend “Box-in” Maneuver After Criticism from Consultant


After two Portland police cars pulled over a vehicle in 2010, a third police car was directed to park directly in front of the car to box him in and prevent him from driving away. The Oregonian reports that outside consultants who reviewed the police fatal shooting of the driver after the traffic stop urged police to consider banning the box-in maneuver when officers have a reasonable belief someone in the vehicle being stopped has a gun. “Many other agencies have discouraged the practice,” said Robert Miller of the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, which examined six Portland police shootings between 2005 and 2010. “Many do not allow boxing in because the likelihood it will result in gunfire is greater, and it can put officers at greater risk,” Miller told city commissioners. Portland police are unwilling to curtail that procedure, saying “the element of surprise and the ability to isolate a suspect and separate them from other persons or to prevent a potential barricade situation make this tactic an appropriate option.”

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