Posted on January 3, 2011 at 7:06 PM
Monday, Jan 3 at 7:12 PM
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The homeless man shot and killed by Portland Police Sunday had a violent past, according to Chief Mike Reese.
Police aren't releasing the homeless man's name, but say he was arrested 40 times in Oregon and California, and was incarcerated in both states.
He was charged with assault and burglary charges, according to police.
Two Portland police officers shot and killed the man Sunday after responding to a 911 call, where a man was threatening to kill a female security guard.
When officers arrived, they say the homeless man was wielding a knife.
They tried to tase him, but because of the thick layers of clothing he was wearing, it was ineffective.
"The officers did have a plan. The plan included non lethal options. Sadly, they didn't work, " said Portland Mayor and Police Commissioner Sam Adams.
But mental health advocate Jason Renaud said Portland Police have a huge problem in dealing with the mentally ill.
"We do more training with police in Portland than any other community I've ever heard of, " said Renaud.
With high profile incidents, Renaud says mentally ill people fear police and he says it's with good reason.
"In the past two years or three years, almost everyone who has had a violent encounter with police has had a mental illness."
But Chief Mike Reese says there is no evidence the homeless man killed yesterday had mental issues.
Mayor Adams is vowing to work with advocates and hire an outside consultant to recommend changes.
"We are dedicated in keeping the peace."