Eugene Police Chief Addresses Critical Misinformation Regarding Ongoing Shooting Investigation:
From: SKINNER Chris <CSkinner@eugene-or.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 12:04 PM
Recently, Eugene Police and the City of Eugene have heard of concerns related to the officer-involved shooting on November 30. It is important that our community members have correct information as they closely monitor the situation and ongoing investigation. Some of these questions have resulted due to people not knowing how and when information gets posted on the public log and how the responsibilities for information release change as other agencies take over an investigation. In the case of the shooting on November 30, the Lane County Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team (IDFIT) arrived on scene to take over pursuant to Oregon law. This allows for independent investigation and review of officers’ use of deadly force and to ensure all involved individuals are treated fairly.
- Based on the public log, “We can see that aid wasn’t administered to the victim until 12:02 p.m. an hour after the supposed shooting.”
Response: Incidents do not go on the public log while they are still open. This is still an open incident. The call first came in regarding the domestic violence incident at 10:24:33. There was no location information for the address of the emergency. The phone had to be pinged. As information did become available, officers began looking for the suspect. The suspect was spotted around 11:58 a.m. The encounter with shots fired was noted at 12:03:22. It is mandatory for officers to make sure the scene is safe and the suspect doesn’t still have weapons to use against them before quickly transitioning to providing emergency medical aid, which happened at 12:04.
- “EPD information is not consistent or accurate”
EPD has only released one news release, as below. Only one interview was provided by the chief.
- Dispatch at EPD does not show a call at 10:30 a.m.
Incidents do not go on the public log until they are closed. This one is still open.
- EPD lied about weapons on sight
Currently all details are under investigation. However, the available video suggests the suspect was armed with a knife and had been advancing on officers. We expect that once the DA has completed review of the incident, the videos or portions will be released and confirm this.
- EPD has changed their stories
EPD has only released one news release and only one interview was provided by the chief
- EPD has refused to release the suspect’s name and condition
Once EPD has sent out the initial news release and provided one media interview at the scene, the IDFIT team took over responsibility for release of information, including identifying those involved and their condition. The release of information follows the primary investigative agency, which is Oregon State Police and then through the investigation chain to the District Attorney’s Office. There are essentially two criminal investigations: the original domestic violence incident, and the officer-involved shooting. There are Oregon laws that restrict release of information during investigations: ORS 192.345 (3) Public records conditionally exempt from disclosure, Investigatory information.
Yesterday, in response to questions about the involved and the incidents, the Lane County District Attorney released this statement. December 1, 2020 1:25 PM
Release from District Attorney Patty Perlow:
“Regarding media inquiries into the officer involved shooting from 11/30/2020 involving Eugene Police:
These type of events are traumatic for all involved and the community as a whole. In this circumstance, there are two criminal investigations concurrently pending, one involving allegations of domestic violence and one involving the use of force by police. Neither investigation is completed. It would be reckless to draw conclusions or release information until those investigations are concluded. There are witnesses who have not been identified, let alone interviewed. This office does not release the names of criminal suspects prior to arrest or a determination of the filing of charges. If charges are filed, a criminal defendant has constitutional rights which must be enforced.
Anyone who was a witness and has not spoken to law enforcement, I ask that you call Oregon State Police Detective Dusty Sprague at 541-726-2536 x12243.”
EPD NEWS RELEASE FROM NOVEMBER 30
At 10:24 a.m. today, November 30, Central Lane Communications Center 911 received a call of a domestic violence incident and a restraining order violation. The call details included information the male suspect had left and was armed with a knife. Officers were dispatched to locate the suspect in relation to the restraining order violation. Two officers spotted the suspect, who was running down an alley. Subsequently there was a confrontation during which the suspect was shot. As soon as the scene was secure, officers immediately began administering emergency medical aid, and the suspect was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. While the investigation is ongoing, there is bodyworn camera video, in-car video, and third-party video from an adjacent building with information that suggests the suspect, armed with a knife, had been advancing on the officers prior to the shooting. Lane County’s Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team was called out and is in charge of investigating the incident. Until the conclusion of the IDFIT investigation and review of findings by the Lane County District Attorney’s Office, EPD will be referring further media questions to the DA’s Office. (Info was included about IDFIT)