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Portland police release names of officers involved in shootings, previously withheld

The Portland Police Bureau said that the FBI was investigating "credible security threats" related to doxing of officers beginning in July of this year.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Since July of this year, the Portland Police Bureau has withheld the names of officers who used deadly force within the city. On Friday, the agency finally released those names and announced a new policy to govern the future release of that information, "absent a credible security threat."

There have been nine shootings involving Portland police this year, the most since the agency began posting this data in 2010.

According to the statement from the bureau, it began withholding names in July after credible security threats came to light related to the doxing of officers. That prompted an FBI investigation into the threats, and the federal agency "requested PPB temporarily hold any release of officer names."

While Portland police did not detail the precise timeline, it said that the FBI later notified them that the investigation had concluded. The agency did not reveal any further information about the threats under investigation.

In Friday's release, PPB released the names of nine officers involved in five separate shootings since they began withholding that information in July.

  • July 27, 2022: Police responded to a home on SE 126th Avenue near E Burnside Street after multiple calls about a man firing guns from his front yard, seemingly at random, into the air and the surrounding neighborhood. An officer shot and killed the suspect, who still has not been identified. Witnesses said that the man's young daughter was nearby during the ordeal. According to PPB's release Friday, Officer Joshua Dyk, a 4-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, was the officer who fired. Portland police said that the case is currently under review by the Multnomah County District Attorney, and Dyk remains on administrative leave.
  • August 16, 2022: Officers from the Portland police gun violence team were in pursuit of a suspect, later identified as 49-year-old Robert Connelly, wanted on multiple warrants for gun crimes and sexual assault charges. At an auto shop near SE 80th Avenue and SE Lambert Street, Connelly allegedly pointed a gun at officers and they opened fire in return. Connelly was not hurt, and he ducked inside the auto shop where he held a customer hostage for hours. The hostage, Miguel Sanchez, later told KGW that he managed to convince Connelly to surrender, which he did. PPB said that Sergeant Charles Elam, a 13-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, Officer Amy Li, a 5-year veteran of PPB, and Officer Christopher Baten, a 2-year veteran of PPB, all used their weapons. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office reviewed the case and issued a memorandum stating the officers' actions were not criminal. PPB said that Elam and Li have returned to duty. Baten resigned on Sept. 30.
  • October 14, 2022: Police responded to SW 12th Avenue and SW Jefferson Street downtown for reports of someone chasing people with a knife. The first officer to arrive at the scene shot the suspect, 45-year-old Jeremy J. Rieck, injuring him. PPB has identified the officer as Jonah Gellman, a 3-year veteran of PPB. The agency said that the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office reviewed the case and issued a memorandum stating the officer's actions were not criminal, and Gellman has returned to duty. Rieck survived and was taken into custody.
  • November 7, 2022: Police responded to an area near Harrison Park and Portland Community College after reports that a man was setting a car on fire. PPB said that the man was armed and "uncooperative." Police shot the man, later identified as 33-year-old Antoine Young, injuring him. Officer Erik Daniels, a 23-year veteran of PPB, Officer Joshua Howery, a 21-year veteran of PPB, and Officer Mark Piombo, a 16-year veteran of PPB, used their weapons. PPB said the case is currently being reviewed by the Multnomah County District Attorney and the officers remain on administrative leave.
  • November 19, 2022: Responding to reports of an armed robbery, Portland police identified a vehicle "driving recklessly" that matched a description from the robbery scene. Confronting the driver, later identified as 30-year-old Immanueal Jaquez Clark-Johnson, police shot and injured him. Clark-Johnson later died in the hospital. PPB identified the officer who fired as Christopher Sathoff, a 4-year veteran of the agency. PPB said this case has yet not been reviewed by the Multnomah County District Attorney and Sathoff remains on administrative leave.

The July 27 shooting was preceded by another just three days earlier in which officers shot and killed Johnathan A. Worth, 19, during a struggle. In this case, PPB identified the officer who fired as Mina Cavalli-Singer, a nearly 5-year veteran of the agency.

Two days after that deadly shooting, on July 26, a Portland police officer opened fire at a man believed to be involved in an earlier shooting. PPB said at the time that the man used a truck to ram two police cruisers and nearly struck the officer, who fired in response.

PPB never publicly identified the suspect and did not know at the time if he had been injured. The officer who fired was identified as Kyle Roush, a 5-year veteran of the agency.

One or both of these shooting cases seem to have precipitated the doxing concerns and investigation that followed. According to PPB's Open Data site, both cases remain under investigation.

Along with the release of those details Friday, the bureau announced that it would begin enacting a new procedure for the release of officer names following an incident involving the use of deadly force, as well as in-custody deaths. The new policy states that the identities of PPB staff will be released within 15 days, "absent a credible security threat."

Previously, names were released within 24 hours. 

The agency said that PPB Chief Chuck Lovell will be issuing an executive order to outline the new procedure. The bureau said that this change was made in consultation with the city attorney's office and the U.S. Department of Justice.

"This new procedure strikes the right balance between transparency and the security concerns of our PPB members, and I am grateful for the patience of our community as we carefully considered this policy change," said Lovell. "No matter the circumstances, a police use of deadly force incident has wide-reaching impact on the community member involved, that person's family and friends, the wider community, and of course the PPB membership. We owe it to everyone to enact a fair policy that considers them all. I believe this policy change is reasonable and responsible."

Where most law enforcement agencies in Oregon have neighboring agencies take the lead in investigating police shootings, PPB investigates its own deadly force incidents in a lengthy "internal review" process, where they look at the initial response, resources requested, tactics used and post-shooting actions. This happens alongside a Multnomah County DA's office investigation which is presented to a grand jury.

The agency said that all of the incidents listed on Friday remain under internal review. At the end of that process, each case goes before the Police Review Board, which includes community members, PPB members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division.

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