Saturday, November 3, 2012

Giving police credit where credit is due - not likely in Portland

Two recent police incidents should have been the opportunity to acknowledge the dangerous job of the rank and file police officers. What we have is the citizenry that will jump on them with both feet if somehow a mistake, actual or not, is made; but not a peep from the 'concerned' citizenry when the officers, it is them not the supervisors or the political bosses, face life threatening events.

"Officers contacted Heselton at Southwest 11th Avenue and Columbia. Based on Heselton's behavior, they were concerned that he might be involved in drug and or car prowl activity.

When the officers approached Heselton to talk to him, he shoved one of the officers, who then pushed him against the wall and held him there to prevent Heselton from running or assaulting the officers.

Heselton pulled a dagger from his waistband and the officer backed away from him and announced to his partner officer that Heselton had a knife. Heselton began to run away, knife in hand, from the officers towards several people walking on the sidewalk. One officer fired a Taser at Heselton, which caused Heselton to fall to the ground, but he quickly got up and maintained the knife in his hand as he ran away. 
Officers continued to chase Heselton as they called for cover officers to come to the area. 

On Southwest Salmon Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues, officers were able to catch up to Heselton and knock him to the ground. During the course of taking Heselton into custody, one officer deployed a Taser, which resulted in Heselton releasing the knife and being taken into custody after violently struggling with officers. The knife was recovered at the scene. 

While knocking Heselton to the ground and during the ensuing struggle, one officer suffered injuries requiring transport to a Portland hospital. 

Officer John Billard, an eight year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, remained in the hospital overnight for treatment for two broken ribs, a bruised lung, and a head wound requiring seven staples. He is in good condition and will be released today. Officer Billard is assigned to the Gang Enforcement Team."

"During the contact, the officers noticed narcotics in the vehicle and when talking to the driver, he grabbed onto one officer as he started the vehicle. The other officer grabbed the passenger and pulled him out of the car. The officer being held by the driver was able to get out of the grip and attempted to use a Taser but the driver put the car in gear and began hitting multiple vehicles and poles in the garage, also ramming the side of the police car, causing heavy damage to the passenger side door."

Portland police officers do serve and protect - the community ought to support them when they deserve it and criticize them too when they deserve it. It is not correct that it is always criticism.