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November 20, 2009
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Ore. officer suspended after shooting girl with beanbag gun

Editor''s note: Twice recently we’ve seen incidents involving officers needing to use force to control resistive and combative young subjects. Any subject — regardless of age — can pose a serious risk to an officer’s safety. A subject’s behavior, not his or her age, is the determining factor for the type of response warranted during a confrontational encounter. These high profile events stir tremendous controversy in the media, the community, and in some instances, law enforcement agencies. But it’s important to resist the temptation to lower your well-trained officer safety and survival standards when dealing with any subject, regardless of age. Hesitation or an unwillingness to quickly, effectively and appropriately deal with a combative subject for fear of PR repercussions could prove extremely dangerous, if not fatal.

By Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman overruled the police chief for the second time in recent months, ordering Officer Chris Humphreys be placed on paid leave as police investigate his firing of a beanbag shotgun at a 12-year-old girl.

The encounter was caught on TriMet videotape at 10:47 p.m. Saturday, showing Humphreys circling the girl after his fellow Transit Officer Aaron Dauchy had taken the girl to the ground and continued to struggle with her on the MAX platform at Northeast 148th Avenue. The girl had struck Dauchy in the face when he tried to take her into custody on a TriMet exclusion violation. Humphreys, police say, repeatedly warned the girl to stop resisting or he'd shoot his beanbag gun, and fired one shot, striking her in the thigh at close range.

"After reviewing the video, I am troubled by it," Chief Rosie Sizer said Thursday, reading from a prepared statement. She has asked the police internal affairs division to determine if the use of force was justified, and if the firing of the beanbag shotgun at close range was consistent with bureau training.

Read full story: Portland officer suspended after shooting girl, 12, with beanbag gun






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