Friends of the 23-year-old man killed by Portland police last week are hoping the public will kick in enough money to lay Nicholas Glendon Davis to rest. They’re using a page on gofundme.com in an attempt to raise $1,500 for a funeral.
Police have painted a stark picture of Davis since Officer Robert Brown shot him in the chest on June 12. The Portland Police Bureau says Davis assaulted a man just after 6 a.m. that morning, and attacked officers with a crowbar when they responded to the scene. Brown tripped as he was backing away, and shot Davis when the man kept coming.
In this week’s paper, the Mercury offered a slightly different version of events. In that story, Brandon Mitchell—who says Davis was his best friend and set up the crowdfunding effort—suggested Davis, who was homeless, had recently purchased a bicycle, not knowing it was stolen property.
On the morning he was killed, Mitchell says, Davis encountered the bike’s rightful owner, and got into a fight. Mitchell thinks his friend was bewildered when police confronted him about the assault and stolen bike. (Cops haven’t confirmed that version of events, since an investigation is ongoing, but have acknowledged a bike was likely involved).
Davis’ mother, Donna Adams, has been active on social media since her son’s death, repeatedly posting a statement (which we’ve lightly edited):
I am going to post this everyday until my son Nick G Davis, a mentally unique individual, gets justice. My Dear Nick, shot by [Officer] Robert Brown of the Portland Police Bureau, Thursday June 12th, 2014. Because of you, my Son will never achieve the greatness that we knew was in him. Even if it seems hard to believe, he was getting better. This was an incident that should have not happened. His family thought he was living with someone and not camping out. As Nick was getting older he was becoming calmer, he was struggling less. What he was doing at the Springwater trail and fighting with another man we do not know. But someone had to really push his buttons prior to the cops coming. Some witnesses say he did not have a crowbar. My son should not have been shot in the chest. You will get your justice, dear son. I am tenacious, I am relentless, when it comes to my children I am a GRIZZLY, I will not stop until Sgt Brown is punished for his thoughtless, uncaring action. You will get justice and peace Dear SON. Mom
Adams lives in Newport, and says she didn’t know her son was homeless—he’d told her he was staying with friends. She tells the Mercury she’s written to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and the city’s Citizen Review Committee, which scrutinizes police actions.
“They had to know Nicholas has issues,” Adams said of police. “I should be going to the hospital, not planning a funeral.”
Police are investigating the shooting.