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Statement from Sheriff Roberts regarding Aug. 5, 2019 incident and pending lawsuit

Date

I can only imagine the fear a parent has for their child of color engaging with police. I know that there is nothing I can say to make their worry go away.  What I can say is: I will do my part to make sure that we use appropriate force and that every use of force continues to be reviewed by my agency. 

Due to public interest, here is the information we can share at this time, pending litigation.

On Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, deputies responded to the mall, following a 911 call from mall security reporting a fight in progress involving a large group of juveniles following and physically assaulting a female juvenile. Deputies contacted the juveniles in the mall parking lot to investigate the alleged assault. All complied with deputies when asked to remain except one male juvenile, who refused to comply. He pulled away from deputies. They briefly placed him on the grass and then in handcuffs. He was questioned and released to his guardian.

On Aug. 6, the Sheriffs Office received a complaint from the juvenile's mother regarding this incident. Our Professional Standards Unit (PSU) immediately started an investigation. This involved an extensive review of reports, video and photographs from the scene, and interviews with witnesses and deputies.

PSU did not find that any deputy placed a knee on the juvenile's neck. We do not train deputies to restrict a person's airway or impede their ability to breathe. It was determined the involved deputies followed training and policy.

We also participated in community discussions arising from this incident. On Oct. 8, 2019, we engaged in a community listening session organized by Representative Janelle Bynum and facilitated by Clackamas County Resolution Services.

I will be asking Clackamas County Counsel to release police reports concerning this case.

For more information on our stance on racial violence, our recent joint statement is here:

https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/2020-05-28-CCSOPR-JointLEStatement.html

-- Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts