Happy Valley resident: Sheriff, DA shouldn't withhold evidence
I am heartbroken that another human life was taken by Clackamas County sheriff's deputies on June 18, as reported by Pamplin Media Group.
I don't know the circumstances of the shooting; it's quite possible the officers had no other choice but to use lethal force. We should wait for the all the facts, and then come to a reasonable determination. Unfortunately, facts are buried in Clackamas County.
Both Sheriff Angela Brandenburg and DA John Wentworth operate government agencies that belong in a previous century. They refuse to provide evidence, each and every time. There is a certain disdain that both elected leaders display towards their constituents. They only release documents if they deem it necessary.
Here is what I can promise: no one will ever see the original police report. No one will ever see video footage, or whether the officer involved has a disciplinary record. It's a "nothing to see here" attitude by our elected law enforcement officers.
In order to move forward as a society, we need to get out of our ideological silos on policing. Law enforcement is human; it makes mistakes. But they have a very difficult job. I wish liberals would acknowledge the stress cops face on a daily basis. I also wish conservatives wouldn't assume every cop is saint. There is nuance, just as in every walk of life. Black-and-white thinking isn't healthy.
What the police don't need is paranoia from the general public. If you hide documents, people assume you are hiding facts. Conspiracy theories proliferate when DAs like Wentworth thumb their nose at the taxpayer. I don't know about you, but I believe Clackamas County voters are smart enough to read the evidence from the crime scene. While our sheriff and DA would kindly disagree, they are the outliers. Truth is truth, it's not left vs. right. Let us have the truth.
Kathy Chandler is a Happy Valley resident.
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