Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
General News

No Justice for Keaton Otis yet... US DoJ v City of Portland

By       Message David Whitfield       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Author 92860
- Advertisement -

PORTLAND, OR: The proposed settlement between the City of Portland and the USA Department of Justice following a DoJ investigation into excessive use of force by Portland police is now likely to be endorsed by the Oregon District Court in about two weeks. 

Keaton Otis, shot 23 times by Portland police officers on 12 May 2010
(Image by Fred Bryant)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Judge Michael Simon this week (3/24/14) told the interested parties -- including the Portland Police Association and friend of the court the Albina Ministerial Alliance -- he was minded to endorse the settlement, but with one caveat. The judge wants to keep the matter in his courtroom for possibly up to five years, with annual reports on moves towards compliance by the city and police with the settlement.

- Advertisement -
The parties have two, possibly, three weeks to respond.

The DoJ had found reasonable cause to believe that the Portland Police Bureau has an unconstitutional "pattern or practice" of using excessive force against persons with actual or perceived mental illness. Based on that finding, the United States sued the City of Portland.

The City of Portland reached a proposed Settlement Agreement with the US to remedy the problems identified in the US's investigation. The proposed Settlement Agreement was also reviewed and deemed "fair and reasonable" by the Portland Police Association and The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.

- Advertisement -
However, at two days of Fairness Hearings before the judge in mid-February it was clear not all the community was so happy with the proposed settlement.

In particular there was anger that the settlement only focuses on police interactions -- repeatedly not good -- with citizens suffering from mental illness. And even then, substantial organizations with an interest in mental health issues in Portland were also not supporting the settlement.

The DoJ investigation and the proposed settlement ignores the history of Portland police interactions with the city's black population.

In particular, the parameters and time-frame of the DoJ investigation seemed to have been carefully written to avoid any investigation of the police killing of 25-year-old African-American Keaton Otis on 12 May 2010.

At the height of the rush hour, yards from the city's main Grand Avenue, Keaton Otis was killed in a seven-second barrage of 32 shots by officers of the city's Hotspot Enforcement Action Team within minutes of being pulled over on the pretext of failing to signal a lane change.

Twenty-three of the shots hit Keaton Otis. Nine missed. One was found, still warm, in a Radioshack more than a block away.

- Advertisement -
He was tased three times. Witnesses say he was repeatedly hit through the  car's window. The autopsy showed injuries consistent with wrist locks. The tendons in his left arm had been sliced with a knife.

Eight bullets were recovered from his body.

"He kind of looks like he could be a gangster," the officers later claimed, "he's got his hood up over his head," and he had "some scruffy,  scruffy facial hair."

No contraband was found in his Toyota Corolla, which belonged to his mother. There was no alcohol or drugs in his body. He had no criminal record.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

David Whitfield was a progressive journalist in the UK for 25+ years. For the past nine years he has taught math at a public high school in Portland, OR. Blogs on education at, on general stuff at (more...)

David Whitfield Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Portland City still resists police accountability

No Justice for Keaton Otis yet... US DoJ v City of Portland