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Officer cleared in fatal shooting of armed man in NE Portland

Ofc. Curtis Brown, an 18-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, will not face charges for the shooting death of 40-year-old Michael Ray Townsend.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A grand jury cleared a Portland police officer who shot and killed a man who advanced toward him with a sharp weapon in Northeast Portland last June. 

Ofc. Curtis Brown, an 18-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, will not face charges for the shooting death of 40-year-old Michael Ray Townsend, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday. 

Editor's note: Video attached to story aired on June 25.

Ofc. Brown shot Townsend outside a Motel 6 off Northeast Grand Avenue and Holladay Street on June 24. 

The district attorney's office said Townsend had consumed "a large amount of methamphetamine" and when police responded, he told them he wanted to go to the hospital. 

Another officer explained to Townsend that he'd need to be patted down before being taken to the hospital. Townsend started to reach for his pocket and expressed that he did not want to be patted down, so the officer backed off. 

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Townsend then pulled out a "sharp-ended screwdriver" and advanced toward Ofc. Brown, the district attorney's office said. Brown backed away and ordered him to drop the weapon. When he refused, Brown fired two shots. 

Townsend died on the way to the hospital. 

A group of angry protesters gathered near the scene while police investigated, shouting and throwing things at officers. 

The Portland Police Bureau released surveillance footage of the moments leading up to the shooting. Chief Chuck Lovell said the video was "critical to combat misinformation being spread."

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