Grand jury finds no wrongdoing by Washington County tactical officers in March 13 shooting in Portland

We include this news story in our archive because of our continuing interest in persons routinely harmed by the police in the Portland area and concern that most of these persons are impaired by mental illness or addiction. There is no indication from the public record that Adalberto Flores-Haro was impaired in any way.

From The Oregonian, May 12, 2012

A Multnomah County grand jury Friday found no criminal wrongdoing by members of Washington County’s Tactical Negotiation Team in their March 13 shooting of Adalberto Flores-Haro at New Columbia in Portland.

Alberto Flores-Haro, 31, was shot by police and collapsed at his doorway on March 13. He had grabbed a handgun, thinking there was an intruder on his property. It turned out to be members of a Washington County tactical

Alberto Flores-Haro, 31, was shot by police and collapsed at his doorway on March 13. He had grabbed a handgun, thinking there was an intruder on his property. It turned out to be members of a Washington County tactical

But the Portland Police Bureau is continuing an investigation into whether Flores-Haro should face any criminal charges, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office.

Flores-Haro, 31, was shot three times – once in the forearm, and twice in the torso, when he came out the front door of his home holding a handgun to scare away what he thought were prowlers outside his home, his family said.

Flores-Haro’s attorney Michael Rose said he was “disappointed, but not surprised,” by the grand jury ruling, considering how rare it is for an officer to face criminal charges for use of force. But he said he’s disturbed that police would consider bringing criminal charges against his client.

“To see him being the target or subject of further investigation is sort of outrageous,” Rose said.

Yet police and attorneys for two of the officers involved suggested Friday that Flores-Haro pointed the gun at them and fired. No police reports or grand jury transcripts were released, because of the pending inquiry.

“Investigators have evidence suggesting Flores-Haro fired at officers and are continuing the investigation,” Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

Brian McLeod, a 12-year member of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Hillsboro Officer Steven Slade, an 11-year member of his department, fired their handguns. Washington County sheriff’s deputy John Egg, a 14-year member of the sheriff’s office, fired a less-lethal 40 mm grenade launcher, at Flores-Haro. They were huddled together beside another home, across from Flores-Haro’s front door, about 30 feet away, their lawyers said.

“It’s pretty clear he not only raised a gun at them but fired,” said Portland attorney Jim McIntyre, who represents McLeod.

“They responded to a lethal threat,” said Portland attorney Mark Makler, who represents Egg. Egg tried to use the less-lethal 40mm weapon in a lethal way, by aiming at Haro’s head, Makler said. He missed.

Flores-Haro’s stepson, Daniel Ibarra, 17 told The Oregonian that Flores-Haro did not know that the men surrounding his home in the 9500 block of N. Woolsey Avenue were authorities approaching to raid a home two doors away from his home.

Flores-Haro’s lawyer said his client was shot by officers “dressed in black, skulking around the neighborhood” who didn’t identify themselves, and then left him suffering from wounds outside his residence for about 10 minutes before getting him help. Rose also said he thought Flores-Haro’s gun was unloaded.

Flores-Haro did not testify before the grand jury because of the pending investigation into his actions. His wife, Alma Granados Millan and her son did testify, Rose said.

Flores-Haro may suffer permanent damage to his arm, Rose said.

Yet the officers’ attorneys said their clients identified themselves as law enforcement. Makler said the largest of the three officers, Slade, was screaming that they were the police or from the sheriff’s office. The three officers have returned to regular duty.

The District Attorney’s office said no transcripts of the grand jury proceeding would be released because a death didn’t occur and pending charges are possible.

READ – Hillsboro officer and two WCSO deputies identified who were involved in March 13 shooting in Portland, March 23, 2012
READ – Man shot by Washington County tactical officers was armed, thought intruder was on his property, family said, March 14, 2012
READ – Police investigating North Portland shooting during ‘active tactical incident’, March 13, 2012