Portland Auditor releases external review of 11 police officer-involved shootings


READ – Report to the City of Portland on Portland Police Bureau Officer-Involved Shootings and In-Custody Deaths (OIR Group – fourth report, January 2016)

Outside experts hired by the City Auditor evaluated 11 internal investigations of Portland Police shootings and identified several themes that warrant further attention by City Council and management, according to a report released January 21, 2016.

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero released the report by OIR Group, a Los Angeles, California, based firm that specializes in evaluating law enforcement agencies. It is the fourth report produced by the OIR Group and contains a summary of all 32 shootings evaluated since 2012.

The latest report covers officer-involved shootings that occurred between 2011 and 2013. Among the themes were:

  • Seven of the shootings involved some evidence that the subjects wanted officers to shoot them;
  • Four on-scene sergeants engaged in tactical activities instead of supervising the incidents;
  • Officers improved the timeliness of medical care provided to injured subjects, addressing a recommendation from prior evaluations;
  • Two officers had been involved in prior shootings covered in prior reports; and,
  • In all 11 cases reviewed, no involved officer was interviewed until at least 48 hours after the incident a theme repeated throughout all prior OIR Groups reports.

Portland City Code authorizes the City Auditor’s Independent Police Review to hire outside experts to review closed officer-involved shootings and in-custody death investigations. Since 2003, there have been nine outside expert reports that have identified policy and investigative issues.

Over the course of the review, the OIR Group met with Portland Police Bureau members, the Independent Police Review (IPR) staff, community members, and others significant to the investigations. All investigatory materials and pertinent tactical, training, and procedural documents were provided to the OIR Group for their review.