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Monday, April 9, 2012

Grand Jury Clears Cops in Shooting of Jonah Potter

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 4:57 PM

A Multnomah County grand jury has found no criminal wrongdoing in the March 26 police shooting of Jonah Potter, a suspect in a convenience store robbery who, police said, had emerged from his blue Honda to confront cops while holding an air pistol.

But because Potter survived the shooting—and now faces four counts of menacing (because of the fake handgun) and two more counts of second-degree robbery—the DA's office says it won't release transcripts involved in the investigation. Which is a shame, because the transcripts have proved invaluable in past shootings in shedding light on what happened and why.

The DA's office was brief:

The Multnomah County grand jury has determined that the use of deadly force against Jonah Potter by four members of the Portland Police Bureau was justified under the criminal law. The grand jury reviewed the use of force with regard to Potter’s arrest on March 26, 2012.

The grand jury has also charged Jonah Potter with four counts of menacing in connection with his actions on March 26, 2012 and two counts of Robbery in the Second Degree for an incident that took place on March 25, 2012.

Because of the ongoing criminal case, there are no grand jury transcripts and there will be no further comment from our office.

Potter, 31, was sleeping in his car, parked at SE Stark and 37th, only to wake up while officers were closing in. Four officers wound up firing seven bullets at Potter. The officers in the shooting were identified the next day. A Mercury review of Potter's court records showed no clear signs Potter was dealing with mental illness or addiction issues but did show he was facing financial problems. The O reported he was a recently married father who was expecting his second child.

Update Tuesday, 6 PM: Upon further review, for the time being, I'm taking down the information we'd received about Potter's medical records because of privacy concerns.

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