Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea may be in hot water after accidentally shooting a close friend in a hunting accident.
O’Dea neglected to tell deputies responding to the call that he had shot his hunting companion and instead suggested that the man had shot himself.
O’Dea never even identified himself as an officer when questioned by deputies who responded to the shooting on April 21.
The responding deputy was unaware that O’Dea was the police chief and the actual shooter until May 16 when he interviewed the wounded man.
The officer, a Harney county Deputy, said in a statement to the Oregonian/Oregon live that the shooting “didn’t happen the way it was originally portrayed,”
Deputy Ward also stated that “”The victim made it pretty clear he didn’t shoot himself,” Ward said. “The victim knew who shot him.”
It was at this point that the Harney county Sheriff decided to bring in the state police.
“As soon as we found out who was involved, and the victim’s statement was different than the statements that had been made at the scene, I contacted Oregon State Police for help in investigating it,” Ward said. “We are in no way willing to participate in, or have been involved in any type of cover-up.”
Apparently O’Dea told his boss, the mayor, four days after the shooting that he was responsible but never informed the investigating deputy.
Who the shooter actually was did not come to light until almost a month after the shooting when O’Dea was questioned by reporters.
O’Dea has not been fired or suspended as of yet but may face disciplinary action or even criminal charges.
Many in the community are appalled that the chief would lie and cover up such an event.
The Portland police Dept. has a long history of abuses and misconduct.
In 2012 the Dept. of justice filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations against disabled people.
“In a widely publicized press conference June 8, 2011, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez announced the launch of an investigation to determine whether the Portland Police Bureau engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive or unnecessary use-of-force in their interactions with persons in a protected class, people with actual or perceived mental health disabilities, and whether such conduct deprived individuals of their rights secured by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The 18-month-long investigation was prompted by the high number of Portland police officer-involved deaths that involved individuals with mental illness, including Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, James Chasse, Raymond Gwerder, Keaton Otis, Jack Dale Collins, Aaron Campbell, Darryel Ferguson, Thomas Higginbotham, and Brad Morgan.
On September 13, 2012, DOJ issued a Findings Letter with the results of the investigation, stating investigators found reasonable cause to believe Portland police had engaged in unconstitutional conduct. The letter identified serious deficiencies in policy, training, and officer accountability measures that substantially contributed to the unconstitutional conduct by police. That same day, DOJ and the City of Portland released a joint statement declaring the parties’ mutual intent to reach a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve these issues.” Wiki