News May 20, 2010 at 4:00 am

Will a Police Shakeup Change Anything?


If you want help instead of the "untimely" end to your life don't shoot at a cop.
Mood disorders are hard to pinpoint - and not easy to treat.
Okay, so now a person with a fucking MOOD Disorder gets free reign to shot cops? What the fuck was this mood disorder anyway? Why is no one mentioning that? His parents make an excuse why their son shoots at cops, and now it's the cops fault for returning fire? The pusillanimous turds writing for this 3rd rate hack paper don't have a fraction of the courage required to put on a uniform.
I agree with Sarah and Angela's judgment, implied by the title and tone of this piece:

In the name of sensitivity to the mentally ill, we should train our police to allow themselves to be shot by them.

Or by anyone, for that matter: the cool part about this rule is its bright-line ease, since anyone who pulls a gun on a cop (or group of cops) is likely ipso facto mentally ill.
At one time or another, every one of us could probably be diagnosed with a mood disorder. If you ever been really depressed, sad, blue, over or underslept, over or under ate, felt no pleasure,'ve had a mood disorder.

This is no excuse for being a criminal. Mercury, stop painting people as robots or dumb animals with no choices. We're better than that, or worse than that as the case may be.
"Okay, so now a person with a fucking MOOD Disorder gets free reign to shot cops? What the fuck was this mood disorder anyway? Why is no one mentioning that? His parents make an excuse why their son shoots at cops, and now it's the cops fault for returning fire? The pusillanimous turds writing for this 3rd rate hack paper don't have a fraction of the courage required to put on a uniform."

Who the Hell ever said people with metal illnesses had "free reign" to shoot cops? They GUNNED HIM DOWN, remember?! Otis saw/knew what was coming; this mess only escalated when those damn cops shot Otis with tasers eventhough he was NOT physically resisting! They already tagged him as a gang memeber, though it turns out he was not. The man did what he could to defend himself.

The only "free reign" here is of cops blowing away citizens at will!
What is also left out of this story is the almost apologetic release from the family of the dead man - their release did not rail against the cops but instead said that their prayers were with the injured officer and his compatriots. I don't think the family was using his mood disorder as an excuse - though others are trying damn hard to do so now.
Why was a man with a "mood disorder" driving around with a loaded gun in the car?

I get down. I may actually have depression. But I'm not driving around with a loaded gun. Don't scapegoat this.
Was there a clinical diagnosis for this mood disorder? That would be good to know.
Agreed with 6 out of the above 7 comments because DamosA is still an asshat. Let's look at this objectively shall we? The Police were using racial profiling deny it though they may-fact. This is a sad and tragic situation, made worse by this young man making the choice he did. I don't want to be tasered (again) either, but it beats being shot dead-fact. A mood disorder does not constitute mental illness per se-fact. If that gun had not been in that car, most likely this kid would still be alive. Once you fire on police they are trained to fire back in order to protect themselves and end the threat-fact
It is indeed possible this kid feared for his life, but why does a "mentally ill" person have a loaded firearm in their possession? The Police have a bad reputation in this town (deservedly) thanks to the actions of a few assholes who should not be cops. This does not mean you can paint the broad picture of all Portland Police officers as murderers and thugs, because that is what you are insinuating much of the time. The family of the young man has shown outstanding grace and compassion despite this tragedy, including expressing concern for the wounded officer. My prayers go out to them.
I don't have anything against the Merc or the Mirk, but this is just retarded (has a mood disorder). Sitting on James Chasse and crushing his ribs for peeing on the sidewalk is entirely different than shooting a guy who is trying to kill police officers. This is Fox News-y.
Well, the sequence of events was: 1) Cops stop guy. 2) Guy shouts obscenities. 3) Cops attack guy with tasers. 4) Guy tries to defend himself with gun.

If 3) had been eliminated, then 4) most likely wouldn't have happened. Why taser the guy for shouting obscenities? It's free speech under the Oregon Constitution, no?
While I agree that this is not the most objective piece of journalism, I don't get the impression that the authors intend to attack the police for acting the way they did–at least in this instance. As "Suburban Porn King" points out, this article attempts to view the recent shooting in the context of the pattern we've seen developing as of late: situations in which PPB officers interact with mentally ill people and it ends in gunfire. The authors are CLEARLY not saying that the officers were wrong for opening fire. Furthermore, I think this article's main question *is* a valid question to ask: what can our cops do to defuse these situations before they turn deadly? It's not unpatriotic, anti-cop, or illogical to ask that question, regardless of the exact circumstances of any specific altercation–or how justified the police's gunfire was in the moment.
Tim B. What number is "guy had a loaded shotgun ready while yelling obscenities at police officers?" You can't be serious.
To "I smell Hannity": The sequence was, the guy yelled obscenities, he was tasered twice, he then leaned over to the glove compartment to get a gun. Your scenario confuses the timeline, implying that the guy had a shotgun in his hands while yelling. That didn't happen, if you can believe the Mercury's reporting. (And I do! I do!)

Look, a cop's job is to avoid confrontation where possible. When a cop reacts with violence (taser) in response to words (yelled obscenities), then the cop is promoting a confrontation. And that's what the Police Bureau has done in nearly all the fatal shootings of the past few years. The Hoyt Arboretum case may be the exception.
He had a loaded shotgun in his glovebox? Ptttttttttttttt!
is there proof of his mood disorder other than his parents saying so? past history?
Here's a lists of real FACTS for all you sorry-ass racists who would claim otherwise:

1) Otis was not committing any crime other than driving around Llyod Centre. He was targeted/profiled by cops looking for gang activity.

2)Otis, as we all found out later, was NO gang memeber, thus, cops had NO justified reason to follow him for blocks.

3) Cops claim Otis made several turns without signaling. But so far, this is just their word-of-mouth claim. Cameras mounted on their patrol cars would've easily captured Otis without signaling, but no such evidence has been produced.

4) Whether Otis "speed u" is also up for conjecture, but at some point cops cornered Otis. At this point, Otis had very high reason to fear for his life. Study after study shows too many Black men DYING in this situation, even if they do whatever they can to surrender (Aaron Campbell proved this).

5) Contrary to how it's been put out in the media, Otis was NOT the first one to fire shots! It was the cops who first fired multiple tasers at Otis.

6) So far, there's been NO mention of how Otis obtained his gun. Most likely, it was legally registered to him. Since many of you love to talk about "gun rights" alot, i would asert that Otis not only had a legal right to a firearm, but he ALSO had a Right to DEFEND HIMSELF!

7) Otis was NOT aiming to kill; he shot a cop in the legs. Otis was shot 30 TIMES! Clearly, the cops were out for a bloodbath that day.

8) As a direct violation of his Civil Rights, Otis was purposefully denied medical treatment. The cop who was shot was immediately taken to the hospital. By the time he was treated for his NON-LIFE-THREATENING injuries & released several hours later, Otis' body still laid on the sideway at the murder scene.

9) As was done to Aaron Campbell, Otis' body was desecrated by these damn cops, post mortum. They shot continueously shot his body with tasers & cuffed him AFTER he was either dead or very close to dead.

10) Reese & the cops on the scene gave conflicting accounts on what happened that day. All the more reason for a federal independent investigation into this latest cop killing.
spartacus - A "mood disorder" is a specific clinical diagnosis. Major depression is something that can be classified as a mood disorder. Eating too much or sleeping in late does not qualify as a mood disorder.

You're bad at presenting a cogent argument and you suck at trolling to boot.
I dont know...sounds typical.Not using your TURN SIGNAL,getting TAZED for arguing with authorities,then CAPPED shit loads?Yep typical of ROBOTS and ANIMALS.Take away all guns and legalize insanity......errr...NOW !!!!!!
I love how "DamosA" claims to know everything about everybody. A self righteous hipster who thinks he knows everything? Taking the brave stand against 'pastey white people' in Portland?


Please, get your own column "DamosA" and stop being such a nob.

Also, your "edgy", 12-year-old-with-a-rebellious-streak avatar is perfect for you.
Good choice.
that was my homie. He was crazy but ive been tazed by thes isubordinate power trippers. theres no remorse. i saw that footage. that was an execution. over 30 shots were fired... policce shooting from three different angles. i say friendly fire shouldn be ruled out. We know how trigger happy the police are in this town. When u take the badges off at night you are just like us. survivors. mental or not. i know when your gettin tazed your not happy. this is also making u flex every muscle in your body so im sure he was raising th gun. and ya. instant anger sets in. i would have shot them too out of impulse. Your brain getting served that much electricity will misfire. He was definitly not right in the head. But never would have shot acop. There was 30 shots fired. assassination. no stoppping this violater. or so called violater. I think this deserves great investigation. Dont let the police get away with murder. it seems to be a reoccuring thing only in Portland. I saw the footage. two tazers... lol. no it was one tazer. and ive been tazed. u will flexx all your muscles with out any control. so it could looked weird. still... no reason to assassinate him with 30 plus shots... the cops were shooting to kill not assess and mediate. They use brute force and heartless actions and have no remorse for there actions. no souls if you ask me. rip buddy -

if u can submit someone against their will for mental disorders dont u think homelesness would decrease tremendously. yet at the same time we would be treating people like witches back in salem. whos to determine the difference between personality and disorders other than a doctor. i feel everyone deserves help. but u cant force someone who is actually jus different into treatment for being crazy. diversity and weirdness is what defines america. allow free counceling and promote these clinics well and keep it for the people. dr.'s these days have lost all sense to the practice of medicine. a real dr cares for their patients. nuff said
It's funny how all the GUN RIGHTS people suddenly lose their nerve when it comes to a Black man having the Right to self defense.

I don't think that the author was, in any way, trying to endorse the shooting of anyone. On the contrary, the writer was trying get across the point that this is a tragedy and it shouldn't have to happen'. I'd have to say though, in the case where the mentally ill man was shot in washington park, the police didn't make the right choice. I think the reason for this is that police aren't people. They are assholes that love power, for the most part of course. This isn't always the case but most of the time cops are those who crave power over people, likely, because they have low self-esteem. I have yet to meet a cop I liked or respected, unless were talking of Will Smith in "Bad Boys" or the Walker Texas Ranger. Overall, the world will never know be peace so long as there is police states. Socrates knew what he was talking about. Some of the Portlanders making comments here need to open their eyes and hearts and let go of their anger. Thank you Mercury for being one media outlet I can respect.
Being in a bad mood or sad sometimes does not mean you have a mood disorder. It's normal. Bipolar disorder IS a mood disorder, and in severe cases can involve extreme irritability and agitation, dangerous behavior and psychosis. Psychosis can include paranoid delusions. Believing that everyone, whether real or fictional, is involved in an elaborate conspiracy to harm them, psychotic individuals sometimes attack people, just as a cornered animal will attack someone out of extreme fear. A person in this state is NOT capable of making reasoned choices. Threatening or tasering someone in this state will just agitate them more and make them more dangerous. Portland police need to learn to recognize the signs of an abnormal mental state and how to handle it, so they can make every effort to take the person into custody non-violently. This is possible. I know because my son has this condition.

Portland police could take a lesson from the New York City police, who work closely with mental health crisis teams and support services. They can and do apprehend mentally ill people who are in a dangerous state nonviolently. My son was in such a state in February. Family, friends and his doctor alerted the crisis team, went to court to get an order for an involuntary admission to a hospital, and worked with the police to bring him in. New York is a tough city with tough cops, but these cops were very patient and low key. They took a long time trying to get him to go willingly. When he refused to go and became more agitated, they stayed calm. They called more cops to the scene, but did not threaten him or taser him. There were 20 cops at the scene at one point. When they had tried everything else and it was clear he wasn't going to go along, they did physically subdue him to put him in the ambulance, but there were no tasers, no guns, no blows. He was in such a state that it took 8 New York City cops to subdue him - but nobody was hurt. He was in the hospital for a long time, and is now in a supervised living situation. He has been taking medication since then and is now rational and able to make choices as you say we all should. He is depressed, because he is facing reality for the first time in a long time, and his choices are severely limited because of his past behavior. He is choosing to accept and continue treatment, because he sees the consequences to himself and everyone else if he doesn't. He was not capable of this before. He is at high risk for suicide, but I prefer this to him being at high risk of hurting someone else. At least he has a chance of having a somewhat satisfactory life.

I am grateful he does not live in Portland - he might be dead. Portland police seem to rush in and escalate a situation into a violent confrontation very quickly. When Rosie Sizer was fired, I was discouraged, because it seemed more like a desperate public relations move than an attempt at really changing the culture of the Portland Police Dept. Rosie didn't make them the way they are. I know she wanted to change things, but it is very hard to change set attitudes and habits in any organization. I hope Sam Adams succeeds, but changing the face that the media sees will not change the hearts and habits of the officers on the ground. I can't judge them, for they face danger every day, for our sakes, and I am sure they feel that this is the only way to protect themselves and the rest of us. But there is a better way. The approach used by the New York City police not only protects the mentally ill, it protects the officers involved. They are much less likely to be injured or killed if they can prevent the situation from escalating into a violent confrontation. I hope the Portland police will follow New York's example. I can't imagine they would object to modeling themselves after the New York City police.
I give this article "The Steaming Turd" award for utter uselessness. It is not the Police's job to be able to tell whether or not a person is insane or not. That is the equivalent of a buggy pulling a horse. The circumstances that led this young man to the point where he shot and injured a police officer were riddled with opportunities to help him, guide him, medicate him, what have you. That he ended up dead on a Downtown Portland street is not so much a failure of our Police system but the failure of a system that allows a mentally disturbed individual to be able to buy a gun. A system that failed to medicate him properly or sufficiently. I have seen statements that mood disorders are hard to diagnose, and hard to treat, while that is true there are interim treatment protocols that should have been implemented to prevent the acuity of symptoms that led to this young man going out, buying a gun, and grievously injuring a police office.
A life was lost, there is no minimizing that. It is about the most tragic thing that could possibly happen. All of personality, hopes, and dreams that made up this individual are utterly lost from the world. But let us not forget, there is an officer laying in the hospital somewhere in the metro area, what will be the mayors position on the matter if he dies. Will it matter that this man had a mood disturbance, no I don't think that it will.
kill or get killed. isn't that pro-gun?
i am a woman 44 years old.i feel i was a great mom and wife i was called wonder woman to many of my friends. i lived in a hudge house. i had my own business with several employees who i payed very well. i offered help to anyone who asked and i also gave to people who were not able to ask due to their situation. in 2008 i had noticed that i was feeling stange in a bad way. i had been on paxil for nine years. dr changed my meds i changed for the worse. before the shit hit the fan i felt as though the world was mine. i thought i could do anything because i had been raised by a mentally ill abusive single mother i was abused by many adults as a child and the abuse continued untill age 31. i started taking paxil after trying many different drugs. since 2008 i am unable to think most the time. i am violent i am negitive i am fearfull of alot of things now that i should not be. i have full blown post traumatic stress disorder. this is not a joke this is everyones problem. i live with a monster inside of me that wants me dead. i never choose to be homeless on drugs nor did i choose to be abused TORCHERED and raped many times by many men since age 15. i am very afraid of police officers although my father a good man is a former police officer. i was 11 when i first saw officers in a small town beat a man who was hispanic and not a citizen of this country. i was arrested after being attacked in my own home by my abusive ex husband while sleeping i defended myself and called 911 and was arrested after telling a portland police officer to arrest my attacker that i would file a complaint if i did not get justice. the officer was pissed because he was ready to get off work and didnt want to arrest mt attacker. but i insisted so i was punished for wasting his time. the officer also called me a liberal rasist and complained and verbally abused me all the way to jail. he then told the corrections officers i was a real good one and talked to them in private. i stood waiting and asked what was going to happen to me the one who had been assulted while sleeping . i said i am innocent and was told thats what they all say. at this point i no longer felt that i was a good citizen who paid taxes worked hare followed the law and believed in justice. i was now a hostage of the police department and a piece of trash to all of the jailers. i feel that i was misstreated because the officer who arrested me wanted to show me for demanding justice and wasting his time as he said. i was put in the hole for no reason other then cruelty for pissing this guy off. i was stuck there for 13 hours and wasn't booked into custody all day i was not allowed to use a bathroom no food and no water. i did however get the crap beat out of me by two female corrections officers because i asked to use the bathroom, no responce then again followed by me pounding on the door, told to shut the fuck up by female officer then i was again beaten hog tied and left in the cell. my mom and friend came to bail me out and waited all day for me. my friend told the clerk at the jail that i was innocent and had left this man and i was also afraid he would kill me. she was treated very rudely and got upset because she knew i was in danger and thought that i should be out. she was outraged by this and raised her voice to the officer/clerk and then told to shut up or i would have to stay longer and also i was held longer because i had her and my moms support. at this time i had never been charged with any crimes before and now i was a criminal because i called for help and the officer didnt want to do his job. i was willing to go to trial and wanted to because i know i could at least tell my story and it would be public record. i also wanted my ex husband to be punished for the abuse that continued due to the district attorneys office droping all charges. then when my mom called the internal affairs department she was told they would get back to us. my father told me i could sue the portland police and the jail for voilating my civil liberties but he feared for me and also warned me that i would be in danger of police officers. i was really affraid. i never persued this out of fear. i have been arrested for my stange behavior 3 time since 2009 and was so mentally ill i thought i would die or that i would kill to save my own life. the police to me are terrorist. i am an american and i am not a criminal but these people harden because they deal with the real evil scumbags daily and assume that we are all just that criminals. i was arrested in clark co after baracading myself in my own house and was so afraid to let my own roomate in as result of my illness and fear the ridgefield police department showed up and i finnally answered the door. i was standing there with three enemies one my roomate her mom and the police officer and my first thought was grab his gun. im going to die. some how i was able to stop myself and said i have ptsd. the officer asked what that meant. i told him vietnam syndrome and he said oh i heard of that. i was arrested due to a warrant for a 15 dollar theft charge from 2009 for flea products for cats. i didnt even have a cat. my illness maybe? so i told him i need my medicine. he told me the jail would provide my medicine. i was so affraid and needed to be hospitalized but this guy didnt care. he got me a bad criminal. i was in jail for three days put in the cell wjth the padded walls floor. a heavy vest and a mat. then moved to the next cell and nothing but a toilet the vest a mat and it was filthy. i told the c.o that there was no toilet paper and he said oh well let us know if you need some. well i never got any. i also was exposed to a male c,o when he came and moved me to the cell due to the vest falling off then humuliated by him and his rude remarks. i was denied medicine for three days and was getting worse mentallyand physically ill due to withdrawl and neglect. i was told several times i would see a medic. that never happened. i finnally got to see a judge after abut 2 minutes with a public defender who said i was offered a deal. a really bad one i said no way he then said i could go to trial in three weeks. i asked can i go home he said after the trial. i said three weeks more for a 15 dollar theft charge? he said unless someone bails you out. my bail was 5000 and in clark co jail you have to use a bail bondsman who takes 10% but i had noone to call because i didnt even remember anyones phone number. i plead guilty and i would have plead guilty to anything at this point. so now its been a year and i have not done anything but hide from the law because i cant even think straight and my memory has blanks due to my ptsd. i could be arrested at any time and that my point i am so affraid of police and jail that i myself would have done the same i would have shot a gun at police and would have kept shooting because i dont know the good guys from the bad guys anymore. i am a white woman and i have been beaten and wittnessed police beatings now add color to that. mood disorder or not i would have tried to save my life too. for those of you who dissagree i used to be you and i was shocked to learn that even police officers can be evil. i will survive this disorder and i will fight for the victims who are like me lucky to be here after all i have been through. good luck to all and much love and peace to the family of this beautiful young man who was murdered by many.

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