A Black man named Immanueal Jaquez Clark-Johnson was killed by a Portland police officer early Saturday morning, according to an updated press release from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB).
Per the PPB, officers suspected that Clark-Johnson, 30, was responsible for an armed robbery that took place shortly after midnight on November 19 near SE Powell Blvd. and SE Foster Rd. That's because Clark-Johnson was driving a car that fit the description of the supposed robber's vehicle.
PPB noticed Clark-Johnson driving on SE Steele St. alongside Reed College, and followed the car until it stopped in a nearby parking lot. PPB's press release did not indicate whether Clark-Johnson was actually pulled over by police or if he simply parked on his own volition. PPB did not explain what happened after officers "attempted to contact" Clark-Johnson. Yet, at 12:41 am, the bureau notes that at least one officer shot Clark-Johnson. An autopsy reviewed by PPB shows that Clark-Johnson died from the gunshot wound.
There's a lot that remains unknown about the shooting. PPB has not explained why officers decided to shoot Clark-Johnson. PPB has not said whether or not they confirmed that Clark-Johnson was responsible for the earlier robbery, nor have they explained if he was armed at the time he was shot. The bureau has not clarified how many officers fired at Clark-Johnson, or if there was anyone else in his car when he was shot. It's also unknown why officers decided to shoot Clark-Johnson.
In what's become a new trend, PPB has also chosen to withhold the name of the officers involved in this shooting, despite being required to. Per city policy, the identity of PPB officers involved in a "deadly force" incident like this must be released within 24 hours of the event. That policy allows for an exemption in circumstances involving a "credible security threat."
PPB first mentioned the security threat exemption in July, after officers shot and killed a man who was firing a gun in Southeast Portland yard. At the time, PPB withheld the identities of the officers responsible, citing threats of "doxing"—the act of sharing the home address or other personal information of someone online to prompt harassment of that person and their family. A month later, three other PPB officers shot at a Portlander, and the bureau again withheld their names due to alleged doxing concerns. At the time, PPB announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating these threats.
Portland officers have fired their guns at members of the public three additional times since (including Saturday), and had their identities protected by police. PPB has not acknowledged if those officers were facing a security threat as well.
There is no mention of why police chose not to follow this bureau policy in the most recent PPB press release. The Saturday shooting marks the ninth time PPB officers shot at Portlanders in 2022. Clark-Johnson is the fourth person to die from a Portland officer's bullets this year.
Update, Nov 25: In a statement emailed to the Mercury, PPB spokesperson Nathan Sheppard wrote that PPB is "continuing with the Chief’s decision to not release names for the moment." He did not confirm if it was due to a security threat.