10-27-2016  5:36 pm      •     

Dear Editor,
Recently we have heard that Mayor Tom Potter fired (Portland Police Lieutenant) Jeff Kaer for using poor judgment. He was not fired for shooting and killing a motorist outside of what we hear to be a relative's house. Nevertheless, and I quote the article, "Mayor Tom Potter has today called for the termination of Portland Police Bureau Lieutenant Jeff Kaer for 'poor judgment and decision-making' related to his fatal shooting of 28-year-old Dennis Young in January 2006." The article went on to say that, "You made a number of poor decisions leading up to the use of deadly force that, in their totality, violate Bureau policy," wrote the mayor in a letter to Kaer. "These decisions demonstrate poor judgment; a number of your decisions were inconsistent with training or training principles, as well. In their totality your decisions constitute unsatisfactory performance."
Potter's letter to Kaer contains a list of 10 examples of Kaer's alleged poor judgment and decision-making related to the incident, including shooting at a moving vehicle, which was against a new Bureau policy at the time.
Now you're probably wondering why I am mentioning this example. When we make a comparison to the shooting to that of Kendra James (killed by Portland Police Officer Scott McCollister in 2003) we can see that McCollister also made a series of poor judgments. No officer should put his/herself in harm's way wherein an officer has to then draw his/her weapon to use deadly force. In fact, this officer was aware of Kendra from past experiences with her and should have been more cognizant of this particular situation.
The question is, why would an officer enter a vehicle knowing that an individual is under the influence, be it alcohol, or crack cocaine? (Mind you once again he has had encounters with her before). Had he used his head instead of his gun, he probably would have shot the tires instead of Kendra. (That is before he put his body in the car). Not a time to play superhero, excuse my sarcasm.
So let's not terminate McCollister for killing Kendra, but terminate him for his poor judgment.


Luke Williams

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