Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responds to altercation between deputy and student

By Elizabeth Miller (OPB)
Oct. 28, 2022 9 p.m. Updated: Oct. 28, 2022 11:29 p.m.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has shared its version of a recent physical incident between a student and a deputy working as a school resource officer.

Students at Reynolds High say the school’s resource deputy assaulted a student earlier this month — slamming her to the ground and putting his knees on her chest after she punched another student.

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Lorimay Henry, the sister of the student involved in the altercation, said her sister was struggling under the weight of the deputy.

Students at Reynolds High School in Troutdale have been critical of what they describe as an "assault" by a school resource officer against a student. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says the deputy used the minimum force necessary against a student who had punched another student.

Students at Reynolds High School in Troutdale have been critical of what they describe as an "assault" by a school resource officer against a student. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says the deputy used the minimum force necessary against a student who had punched another student.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff / OPB

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“She kept repeating, ‘Enough, enough, I can’t breathe,’ he still refused to get up,” Henry said Wednesday during a Reynolds school board meeting.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has now responded, saying in a written statement that the deputy grabbed the student after she punched another student. The deputy then “applied some pressure” to the student’s torso and stomach, according to the statement from the sheriff’s office.

“After approximately six seconds, the deputy helped the student to their feet. As soon as the student got to her feet, she resisted again by hand-fighting with the deputy,” the statement reads. The sheriff’s office added that the student involved in the incident did not report any injuries.

The deputy filed a police report and says the student may be charged with assault for punching another student. The sheriff’s office said Friday afternoon that assault charges are being considered against three students involved in the fight. The police reports have been sent to the Multnomah County juvenile detention center for review.

There is video of the fight between students and the altercation with the deputy — but it is not being released because it is “part of the criminal investigation against the student.”

The sheriff’s office says the deputy’s contact was within policy and “reasonable.”

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