Protests follow closely upon police shootings in Portland.
Demonstrators blocked a section of a downtown Portland street for hours Monday where a 27-year-old man was fatally shot by police, calling for answers on why officers killed him.
About 150 people gathered near Southwest 4th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street for a vigil in memory of Patrick Kimmons. Yellow caution tape that ran from a public parking lot to a strip club blocked the street from traffic. A memorial with signs, pictures of Kimmons and candles lined the sidewalk just outside the parking lot.
Newly renamed Harvey Milk Street is christened with diversity. Kimmons is the third police shooting fatality in Portland this year.
John Elfritz was white guy having a psychotic episode and armed with a knife when police shot and killed him inside a homeless shelter. Controversy followed.
In 2012 Eric Holder’s Justice Department sued the city of Portland for excessive use of force against mentally ill suspects. The city eagerly settled, instituting rules on police engagement with the mentally ill.
Sarah Michell Brown was a burglary suspect wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police, and one bad-assed Becky apparently, but as such of no interest. Tearfully recounting high school pranks before Congress is heroic, squaring off against armed men, meh…
Those are the only other two listed on the Portland Police Bureau’s site. Portland State University police shot and killed a black man after his legally concealed gun fell onto the sidewalk in the middle of a melee. PSU cops have only been armed since 2014 and a permanent campaign to disarm them is enlivened.
A grand jury declined to indict the officers. The recent shooting appears to be gang-related
Central Precinct Sgt. Garry Britt and Officer Jeffrey Livingston were patrolling the downtown area early Sunday when a shooting occurred near Southwest Third Avenue and Harvey Milk Street (formerly Stark) and injured two people.
This is where the strip clubs are.
Britt and Livingston at some point encountered Kimmons and fired at him. He later died at a hospital, police said. One gun was found near Kimmons and other guns were found by police in the area, according to police. Two other men suffering from gunshot wounds were taken to a hospital in private vehicles and are expected to survive.
Kimmons was spotted by rival gangbangers and exchanged gunfire with them, allegedly.
Police believe they were injured before officers arrived. Police haven’t said what prompted the shooting that drew officers to the scene. They also have not confirmed how many shots were fired or where Kimmons was hit. Surveillance video in the area is being reviewed by investigators.
Police sources told The Oregonian/Oregonlive that Britt and Livingston fired fewer than 10 shots. Britt, who has been with the police bureau for 10 years, and Livingston, with the bureau for one year, encountered Kimmons as he turned toward them holding a gun and fired at him, sources said.
Kimmons’ received 15 or 16 wounds most or all to the back, allegedly.
Investigators found five guns at the scene of the shooting, including some discovered in or around cars searched in the lot. It’s not clear who owned the guns.
A witness described the shooting differently than police sources.
Ayan Aden said she was stopped early Sunday in a public parking lot near Southwest Fourth Avenue and Harvey Milk Street with her boyfriend when she heard yelling. Aden said she and her boyfriend saw Kimmons run from Fourth Avenue through the parking lot, drop a gun near the car she was in and keep running.
Aden said she heard who she thought were officers yell “stop,” twice and then open fire immediately after. She said her boyfriend told her to duck down once the gunfire began. Two bullets hit the passenger side of the car, but neither of them were hit.
Aden said she and her boyfriend were ordered to remain in the car by police for several hours and were questioned if they knew Kimmons because the gun was near their car. She said they didn’t know him. She said she also didn’t know how many shots were fired.
“The shooting was excessive,” said Aden, 18, at the vigil. “He was clearly running away and threw the gun away.”
That has the ring of honesty. By the way, every one who’s seen old movies knows there used to be a time when police shot at fleeing suspects (I’m not entirely sure you had to be armed and dangerous). The fleeing felon rule allowing this was limited in scope in 1985 but still appears to stand in extreme cases:
A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead…however…Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force.