Although few details about Sunday's fatal officer-involved shooting incident have yet to be officially released, the union representing rank-and-file bureau employees is defending the officers involved.
Police say a man holding a woman hostage with a knife who claimed to have explosives was killed during a confrontation with two officers Sunday in the Pearl District. The name of the subject has not been released. The officers were not injured.
Although the public criminal and internal bureau investigations are just beginning, Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner released a statement on Monday, June 10, defending the officers.
"No matter how officers try to de-escalate, no matter how many other force options officers have available, officers may have no other choice but to protect life by using deadly force which was the case on Sunday," Turner's statement said.
Police have identified the the two officers on the scene as Nathan Kirby-Glatkowski, a two-year veteran, who deployed deadly force, and Jackson Oldham, a four-year veteran, who deployed less lethal force.
Here is Turner's complete statement:
Yesterday's incident, when officers responded to a hostage situation with an armed suspect holding a victim at knifepoint and threatening to have an explosive device, is yet another example of the gravity and unpredictability of police work. No matter how officers try to de-escalate, no matter how many other force options officers have available, officers may have no other choice but to protect life by using deadly force which was the case on Sunday.
The scope of the work that police officers do in dynamic, traumatic, quickly evolving, life and death situations is difficult to imagine. They must make dangerous and split-second decisions all the time and they never want to have to use deadly force.
From our dispatchers who first received the first call to the officers who responded, from the detectives on scene to those who follow up with witnesses and victims, everyone involved in the investigation are held to the highest standard of professionalism and their heroic actions, resolve, experience, and training saved a life.
As the investigation proceeds and the story unfolds, officers understand the political backdrop in this city; however, they still go out there and do their job with dedication and compassion. Every use of force incident and loss of life is a tragedy but, thankfully, the hostage was rescued and no one else in our community was harmed.
You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the incident here.