A homeless man was shot to death by a Portland Police officer on Monday afternoon. Now the details are starting to come out and the community is reacting to what is now the second shooting by Portland Police this year.
Here’s what we know right now: Portland Police were called when a transient man was harassing and threatening people at Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park. When the officer arrived the man came out of the bathroom with a significant amount of blood on him and with self-inflicted cuts on his neck. The state medical examiner says this suggests he may have been trying to kill himself.
He came out of the bathroom holding a knife, which Chief Rosie Sizer described at a press conference as a razor-like knife similar to an X-Acto knife with a six-inch handle. Sizer said that the police officer, Jason Walters, retreated and asked him to drop the knife. And she said that when the man continued to advance, and didn’t drop the knife, Walters shot him four times. The man bled to death at the scene. [Note: this paragraph has been edited to reflect this comment by Jrenaud.]
What’s your reaction to this story? Is it similar, or different, from the Aaron Campbell shooting? Are you a regular at Hoyt Arboretum? How will this change the way you view the park? What do you want the police to do now?
Update March 24, 8:34 a.m.: The Multnomah County medical examiner has identified the man who died as Jack Dale Collins. He was 58. Last year he was arrested by Portland Police for what they describe as an unlawful act in a downtown park. His estranged family in Texas have been notified.
- Karen Gunson: Oregon State Medical Examiner
- Scott Westerman: President of the Portland Police Association
- April Baer: Reporter for OPB News
- Chris O’Connor: Board member of the Mental Health Association of Portland and a local attorney