Portland Police Officer Dane Reister pleads not guilty to assault, negligent wounding charges in June 30 shooting

From The Oregonian, December 13, 2011

Portland Officer Dane Reister entered not guilty pleas during his arraignment this morning on third-degree and fourth-degree assault and negligent wounding charges in the June 30 shooting of William Kyle Monroe.

Dane Jacob Reister

Dane Jacob Reister

A trial date was set for Feb. 1.

The police bureau has removed Reister’s police powers – requiring he turn in any police-issued firearms, his badge, bureau identification and entry key – as he remains on paid leave.

A Multnomah County grand jury indicted Reister on third-degree assault and fourth-degree assault in the shooting of Monroe, now 21, in Southwest Portland. Reister shot Monroe with a beanbag shotgun that he mistakenly loaded with lethal rounds. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office added the negligent wounding.

Reister will remain on paid leave, pending trial.

Reister, 40, a 15-year bureau veteran, fired four lethal shotgun rounds – a fifth ejected – from the beanbag shotgun. Only when he approached Monroe did Reister realize the man was bleeding and that he had fired lethal rounds.

Monroe suffered two entry wounds to his left thigh; one of the two was a “through and through” shot. Another hit his buttocks, shattering his pelvis, and puncturing his bladder, colon and injuring his rectum. Monroe’s lawyer Thane Tienson said Monroe will suffer permanent damage to his sciatic nerve.

Reister’s lawyer, Janet Hoffman, has said she’s confident her client would prevail at trial.

Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, called the indictment of Reister “devastatingly wrong,” in a news release today.

Turner argued that Reister was taking “legitimate police action,” and urged the public to presume Reister innocent until proven otherwise. He said the union offers its support to Reister.

“Police officers do a tough and dangerous job every day and have earned the benefit of doubt with our blood and sacrifice. No one should come to any conclusions before all of the evidence is heard,” Turner wrote. “This indictment was a bad decision that sends a bad message to all police officers.”