Shot and Killed by Gang Enforcement -- But Not a Gangster?
Lisa Loving Of The Skanner News
May 14, 2010
Few details have been released about the third officer-involved fatal shooting of the year, and reporters futilely grilled newly-appointed Portland Police Chief Mike Reese on the case during a press conference Friday morning.
Police identified 25-year-old Keaton Dupree Otis as the man killed in Wednesday night’s officer involved shooting, but they have no photo of him, adding to the mystery of how the Hotspot Enforcement Action Team came to shoot an armed Black man with no ties to gang activity and no arrest record.
Police say Otis pulled a gun on officers during a traffic stop and shot Officer Chris Burley in the groin before dying in a shower of bullets from Officers James Defrain, Cody Berne and Andrew Polas.
Bureau spokeswoman Lt. Mary Wheat said the full report on the events would be made available “soon.”
Meanwhile, The Oregonian newspaper fleshed out Otis’ almost-spotless record – which shows he had only a traffic violation three years ago rather than the gang involvement assumed by many observers.
The medical examiner determined Otis was killed by multiple gunshots, but police have so far not disclosed how many rounds were fired.
Commander Jim Ferraris, at the Gang Violence Task Force meeting Friday morning, said Officer Christopher Burley, who received gunshot wounds in both legs, has been released from the hospital.
“He’s doing very well ... He is happy to be alive,” Ferraris said.
Holladay Park Hot Spot
Throughout this year, gang-related violence and drug dealing centered on the Lloyd Center MAX stop -- and even a shooting inside the Lloyd Center Mall -- have drawn the attention of law enforcement.
Police, city officials, gang outreach workers, Portland Public Schools officials, Lloyd Center management and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office have drawn a tightening net around the Holladay Park area, blocks from where Otis was shot Wednesday night.
The area is seen as perhaps the worst hot spot for gang-related crime in the city, in part because it is a critical hub of traffic – students from Benson High School pass through, as do local office workers, transit riders and shoppers.
Outreach workers have reported at GVTF meetings that much of the violence – including fights and beatings – comes from gang initiations.
Drug dealing by known gang affiliates is facilitated by the transit stops themselves, witnesses say, because dealers can easily see when police cruisers are coming and can simply step onto buses or MAX trains and double back when the police presence is gone.
Earlier this year Lloyd Center management set up a vast network of security cameras on the south side of the mall pointing toward the park; county DA representatives actively stake out the park and take pictures of the young people there.
Even Aaron Campbell, who was killed by police during a standoff last January, had posted on his Myspace page a video of a fight at the Lloyd Center transit stop.
Ferraris confirmed Friday that he will remain as North Precinct commander in charge of HEAT.
Reese says he intends to build a new leadership team for the bureau, and announced Friday promotions for Assistant Chief Larry O'Dea, who will be replacing Assistant Chief Brian Martinek, who is leaving the bureau July 1.
Captain Eric Hendricks moves from the Traffic Division, up to Assistant Chief of Investigations, taking over from Assistant Chief John Eckhart, who retires July 2
Director Leslie Stevens of the office of Police Professional Standards Sees her position eliminated as of June 30 as part of citywide budget cuts.