Portland council to pay $125,000 over wrong-way police pursuit
The Portland City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a $125,000 settlement with a cab driver injured during a Portland police officer's wrong-way pursuit down Interstate 84.
The settlement would pay Ethiopia Amdino "to avoid the risk of an adverse jury award" if the matter goes to court, according to the ordinance.
The officer involved, Alfonso Valadez Jr. resigned from the bureau on Sept. 20, 2019, after a Portland Police Bureau disciplinary review board approved firing him.
Amdino was driving a Toyota Prius for Broadway Taxi on Interstate 84 on April 19, 2018, when he was struck head-on by Christopher Cannard, 59, who was fleeing police in a white Toyota Celica.
Cannard died and Amdino's cab was totaled. Amdino was transported to a hospital for treatment.
The Portland Tribune first reported that Valadez was the officer involved, and that he'd already been fired once before the wrong-way pursuit.
Fired once already
Valadez was hired in 2011.
In 2014, he was disciplined for having posted a YouTube video under the name "Ghetto Productions," describing himself as a tough 'SOB' cop, including footage of himself on duty.
In 2015, he was accused of forcing a woman to have oral sex and intercourse with him while she was intoxicated and unable to consent at a party he held at his house while off-duty. The results of the investigation caused then-Chief Mike Marshman to fire Valadez in 2017.
But an independent arbitrator ruled that the firing was not justified and returned Valadez to work.
The officer had been back on the job for only two weeks when he began chasing Cannard.
Valadez spotted Cannard's Celica in the 1300 block of Northeast 99th Avenue shortly before midnight, and attempted to stop him.
While fleeing from Valadez, Cannard drove the wrong way onto eastbound I-84 from 99th, and Valadez pursued him.
Cannard then collided with Amdino.
The incident was "horrifying on a lot of levels," Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch told the Tribune at the time.
In early 2019 the bureau's police review board unanimously found that the pursuit violated the bureau's pursuit policy and created "an undue risk to public safety." Afterward, when interviewed about his actions, Valadez "statements were evasive and deceptive to avoid responsibility and discipline," the review board found.
Recently asked about the extent of Amdino's inuries, his attorney, Phillip C. Gilbert, did not immediately respond.
The bureau referred the case to the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. According to the agency, it is actively reviewing the former officer's police certification.
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