04/13/2010

Ore. cop allegedly pointed gun off duty

Sgt. Kyle Nice is on desk duty after pointing a gun at someone who ran a red light

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland police officer who allegedly pulled a gun during an off-duty dispute has been assigned to desk duty while the department investigates his actions.

According to the report, Sgt. Kyle Nice was off duty and driving with his 6-week-old child when Neil Ruffin ran a red light and nearly hit Nice’s truck. The traffic dispute escalated when Nice pulled up next to Ruffin and gave him a thumbs up, saying “Thanks for almost hitting me back there.”

KPTV.com reports that Ruffin claims Nice lied, and didn’t give Ruffin a thumbs up, but instead flipped him off and swore at him. Then, Ruffin began to follow Nice, at which point Nice pulled over, got out of his truck, and walked toward Ruffin’s stopped car.

Nice admits that he “unholstered” his gun – that he drew his pistol to his side, but put the gun back in its holster once he saw that Ruffin wasn’t a threat. Ruffin is claiming, however, that Nice pointed the pistol at him.

Portland Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman told KATU that he would consider taking Nice off the street. He later told KATU Reporter Dan Tilkin that he and Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer consulted, and "we have determined he will be placed in an administrative assignment off the street.”

Saltzman told KATU reporters, "I am embarrassed by Sgt. Nice in this road-rage incident, and I think it was totally unprofessional and it doesn’t set a good

According to The Oregonian report, Under Oregon law, police officers retain their authority when off duty.

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