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March 24, 2010
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Ore. shooting prompts questions over police interview lag time

Second fatal Portland police shooting renews question of why it takes so long to interview officer involved

The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — The second Portland police fatal shooting in two months led to renewed questions Tuesday about the time it takes detectives to interview officers involved, and criticism of the time that passed before the Portland Police Bureau answered basic questions about the incident.

Officer Jason Walters responded on his own to a call about a drunken transient harassing people at Washington Park's Hoyt Arboretum Monday afternoon and, three minutes later, shot the man four times. Police say the man emerged from a restroom with blood on his face and advanced toward the officer with a razor-type blade. The 58-year-old man bled to death after a bullet entered his hip and struck a major artery, an autopsy found. Police have not released his name as they work to notify his next of kin. The incident spurred Police Chief Rosie Sizer to address the media on her first day back to work after a 10-day trip to England.

"We understand fatal police shootings are always of concern to the community, and we are working hard to get you information in a timely and accurate manner," Sizer said, speaking at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, about 20 hours after the shooting. "I am thankful Officer Walters was there to protect the community in a location that is deeply loved and much visited... A fatal shooting is never the outcome either our members or the community desires. However, nobody else died. The community is safe, and the officer is safe."

As of Tuesday night, more than 24 hours after the fatal shooting, the police bureau still had not scheduled a time to interview Walters.

Read full story: Portland police shooting renews question of why it takes so long to interview officer involved






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