Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced a 'no true bill' was returned by a Grand Jury investigating the case.

PHOTO COURTESY: PPB - Officer Curtis Brown prepares to open fire on Michael Townsend in the parking lot of a Portland Motel 6 in June. A Portland Police Bureau officer who fatally shot a man armed with a screwdriver will not face any criminal charges, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced.

D.A. Mike Schmidt said on Sept. 15 that a Grand Jury had returned a "no true bill" regarding the death of 40-year old Michael Ray Townsend, which means that the shooting has been declared lawful.

Officer Curtis Brown, an 18-year veteran of the force, fatally shot Townsend after police, paramedics and firefighters responded to a 911 call at the Lloyd District Motel 6, 518 N.E. Holladay St., on June 24.

The hotel manager told authorities that Townsend was high on a "large amount" of meth and wanted to go to the hospital, per the D.A.'s office. Another officer on the scene, Brett Emmons, told Townsend he needed to be searched before getting into an ambulance.

PHOTO COURTESY: MCSO - Michael Townsend"Mr. Townsend then began reaching toward his pocket and indicated he did not want to be patted down, prompting Officer Emmons to disengage and walk away," according to a news release. "Mr. Townsend then pulled a sharp-ended screwdriver out of his pocket."

Officer Brown ordered Townsend to back off, the D.A. says, but Townsend raised the pointed tool and advanced toward him. Brown fired two shots. Townsend died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

As hazy rumors of his death spread that day, a crowd of black-clad protesters gathered outside the motel, drawing a massive police response. Someone in the know leaked word that Townsend was white — while the officer who shot him is Black — and the crowd eventually dispersed after a few skirmishes.

Zane Sparling
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