The campaign concluded. Facebook page produces faster response.
On 12 May 2010, Keaton Dupree Otis (25) was boxed in by units of Portland Police’s ‘Hotspot Enforcement Action Team’ (HEAT) on a pretext of minor traffic violations. Officers then escalated the stop to the point where two were wounded and Otis was killed in a fusillade of 32 pistol shots … 23 of which hit the young father.
Upon discovery that his son had been killed in a police homicide, Fred Bryant began demanding answers. In the four years before his death, Bryant accumulated reams of forensic evidence, now in the hands of this Action Group. Had Otis not been killed, it is unlikely authorities could have made a criminal case that Otis fired a weapon. An independent investigation would just as likely establish that HEAT injured themselves in an illegal use of force. Given the City of Portland’s refusal to establish civilian authority over police conduct, the Police Bureau exonerated themselves through internal investigation.
Fred’s pursuit of justice presents a case study of three failings in need of remedy:
- racial profiling by Portland Police,
- failure of Internal Affairs to adequately investigate police killings, and
- failure of the City’s Independent Review Board to initiate appeals of City self-exoneration.
Public Testimony in Federal Court
Federal Judge Michael Simon will convene a public hearing on 18 February. He’ll then rule on whether a proposed settlement agreement – between the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and the City of Portland – for civil rights violations in the police bureau’s use of force … is fair and just.
We believe a case study … of Keaton’s homicide and Fred’s pursuit of justice for his son … will illuminate deficiencies in the proposed settlement AND enter the Keaton Otis tragedy into a public record.
To this end, we’ve formed an action group. Contact us if you are willing to help get subject matter experts and the general public to testify before Judge Simon. Familiarize yourself with the elements of the campaign, and what the Keaton Otis case teaches us … perhaps by clicking on the Campaign tab above.