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Friday, March 23, 2012

Grand Jury Will Investigate New Columbia Police Shooting

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Last week's unusual officer-involved shooting in North Portland will go before a Multnomah County grand jury for review—like every other police shooting in the county—even though the cops who fired their weapons were working for a Washington County tactical team.

Portland detectives are still investigating the March 13 shooting, which came as Portland gang detectives, assisted by Washington County tactical officers, were trying to serve a warrant in a gang case in New Columbia. As officers were approaching their target house, police said at the time, there reportedly was "an exchange" of gunfire at an unrelated home nearby.

Media reports later revealed that a man in that home, according to his family, had gone outside with his gun after seeing what looked like a prowler in his yard—only to be shot three times by police. He was identified by Portland police as Alberto Flores-Haro.

Police today confirmed that the grand jury would take on the case, issuing a statement that also identified the three officers involved in the shooting.

Investigation into the March 13, 2012 officer-involved shooting in North Portland is continuing. The officers involved in the shooting have been identified as Officer Steven Slade, an 11-year-veteran of the Hillsboro Police Department; Deputy John Egg, a 14-year-veteran of the Washington County Sheriff's Office; and, Deputy Brian McLeod, a 12-year-veteran of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Portland Police Bureau detectives are continuing the investigation. When the investigation is complete it will be presented to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office for review and Grand Jury.

The grand jury's role is a good sign. The fact that the three officers work out of town, putting them outside the reach of Portland's oversight rules, could complicate the city's investigation. I'm still waiting to hear from a bureau spokesman about whether the officers involved have been officially interviewed by Portland detectives and whether they're actively cooperating as readily as a Portland officer would.

Update 3:45 PM: Sergeant Pete Simpson sent back an answer: "Yes to all."

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