Police have identified Curtis Brown as the officer who fatally shot a man in Northeast Portland Thursday evening. A surveillance video (a warning, the video is graphic and shocking) released by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Friday evening shows Brown shoot a man in a black t-shirt in the parking lot of a Motel 6 on NE Grand and Holladay, shortly after 7 pm Thursday.
The video shows several paramedics, firefighters, and police officers gathered around the man, who has not been identified, near an outdoor stairwell, before the man advances toward Brown, holding something in his left hand. PPB shared a photo of the item he had been holding, which appears to be some kind of pointed tool.
Brown has worked for the police bureau for 18 years, according to PPB. As per PPB policy, Brown is on administrative leave as officers investigate the killing.
PPB has yet to contact the family of the deceased man. The bureau will only release his name once contact has been made.
Little else is known about the fatal shooting. Two witnesses who spoke to the Mercury Thursday evening said they observed an ambulance and fire truck arrive at the scene before police officers, and they believed the man was having a mental health crisis. Both witnesses requested anonymity out of concern for their privacy.
Nearly a day after the incident, and PPB has not shared any additional information about what led to the shooting. In a press statement, PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said he wanted to share the surveillance video to dispel falsities about the shooting.
"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 Lovell.
In an earlier statement, Lovell blamed protesters who arrived at the scene of the shooting for complicating the investigation.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as Portland's police commissioner, acknowledged the shooting in a brief statement shared by his office Friday afternoon.
"It’s unfortunate when a call for service ends this way," said Wheeler.
This is the third police shooting—and second fatal shooting—of 2021.