<<A federal lawsuit alleges police in Washington state had no plan other than to use deadly force against a fugitive who was on the run in 2020 after shooting a supporter of a far-right group during clashes between supporters of then-President Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter in the streets of Portland, Oregon.
“The actions of the officers, before, during, and after the shooting, show that they either had no plan to arrest the man without injury, made no effort to follow such a plan, or planned to use deadly force from the start,” said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma by the estate of Michael Forest Reinoehl, who identified as an anti-fascist.
Reinoehl fatally shot Aaron “Jay” Danielson during chaotic clashes between racial injustice protesters and far-right groups who held a pro-Trump car rally in downtown Portland. The shooting attracted Trump’s attention and further inflamed tensions in Oregon’s largest city, which saw weeks of violent protests against racial injustice and police brutality following George Floyd’s murder.
Reinoehl was caught on surveillance video shooting Danielson, a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, on Aug. 29, 2020, after a demonstration backing Trump.
Trump cheered on the manhunt for Reinoehl, tweeting just before he was killed for police to “Do your job, and do it fast.”
A federal task force was trying to arrest Reinoehl, 48, at an apartment complex in Lacey, near Olympia, in September 2020 when four officers fired at him as he exited his car.
Law enforcement officers in “militia-style fatigues” raced through a quiet residential neighborhood in unmarked vehicles, the lawsuit said:
“Meanwhile, the officers sprayed more than 40 bullets through the neighborhood, killing (Reinoehl), grazing a child playing nearby, and striking cars, fences, backyard playground equipment, buildings, and residences.”
At least five bullets struck him, the lawsuit said.>>
<<Almost two years ago, an outside prosecutor ruled three Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies acted justifiably in shooting and killing 21-year-old Kevin Peterson Jr. in 2020.
The family’s attorneys have spent months building a wrongful death lawsuit, and are now calling the shooting review process flawed. They mainly argue that investigators weren’t thorough, and the legal review had undisclosed conflicts of interest.
A new investigation is needed, according attorneys Mark Lindquist and Angus Lee. In a letter delivered Thursday, they urged Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik to order a new investigation.
“What’s important is a professional, thorough, and objective investigation and review, regardless of the result,” the attorneys wrote in the letter, obtained by OPB.
Golik told OPB he doesn’t plan to do that. In an interview, he said the attorneys have other options: ask the Washington attorney general or Washington state’s new Office of Independent Investigations.
“Those are avenues that are both open to them if they want,” Golik said. “I plan to take no additional action based on this letter. And I have no further comment on this letter.”
Peterson died Oct. 29, 2020, during an attempted drug sting. Police shot him in a parking lot while he was running away from deputies. Three Clark County deputies fired a combined 34 shots.
The fatal shooting was among the first to be investigated under a new, voter-passed measure that attempted to make police shooting investigations more independent. The law requires that whenever law enforcement use deadly force, the instance is investigated by an outside agency.
After Peterson’s death, Clark County law enforcement handed the reins over to a patchwork from Cowlitz County – just north on Interstate 5.
Golik, likewise, later tasked an outside prosecutor to review the case once completed. Such reviews look at whether the police broke any laws in the shooting. On Aug. 16, 2021, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office ruled Peterson’s shooting justified.
The new letter casts doubt on both the investigation and review. The doubts stem from information unearthed during the family’s civil lawsuit against Clark County over Peterson’s death.
According to the letter, the outside investigators didn’t take the case seriously enough. The attorneys wrote that a Cowlitz County investigator recently said under oath that they “didn’t do any investigating” after taking over the case.
Lindquist, the family’s attorney, described the investigation as “incomplete.”
Troy Brightbill, the chief criminal deputy of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office who spearheaded the investigation, called the letter “an exercise in creative writing.” He said investigators did “an incredibly thorough investigation.”>>
<<To Lindquist, however, the investigators didn’t look closely enough at the beat-by-beat moments before the killing.
That night, Peterson fled a drug task force that tried to pin his car in the parking lot of a budget hotel outside Vancouver. While running, he made a video call to his girlfriend. Peterson was also armed, as deputies noted.
Deputies intercepted Peterson next door at the parking lot of a shuttered bank. In interviews, they recalled he was holding a phone. As deputies got closer with guns drawn, Peterson reversed course and ran.
Det. Robert Anderson shot first. Deputy Jon Feller then fired, as well.
Peterson fell to the ground, footage shows, and then sat up and raised an object in his hand. The two deputies opened fire again and a third – Det. Jeremy Brown – shot as well.
Lindquist argued that investigators failed to examine the footage closely enough and never showed whether Peterson endangered the deputies.
A forensic analyst hired by the attorneys reportedly found that Peterson’s hand “was consistent with a cell phone.” Peterson’s girlfriend has also corroborated that, on the video call, she saw Peterson raise the phone, the letter said.
“The investigation doesn’t end when the officers collect the video surveillance evidence. The next obvious step is to have a forensic investigator analyze the evidence,” Lindquist said.
Likewise, Lindquist argued that the Pierce County Prosecutor’s review made assumptions about what danger Peterson posed. That review said the deputies only fired until after “Peterson actually used the gun to threaten” them.
“The primary factual claim that prosecutor relied upon to decline charges is simply not true,” the letter said.
The attorneys also suggest Pierce County shouldn’t have reviewed the case in the first place. The same Seattle law firm represents Clark County, Pierce County and some of the investigating police agencies, the attorneys said.
“To put it as plainly as possible, the defendant officers, the officers who were supposed to be investigating the defendant officers, and the prosecutor who was supposed to do an objective review, were all represented by the same lawyers and appear to be on the same team protecting each other,” the attorneys wrote.>>
<<Shubhangi Bose just graduated from Westview High School in Beaverton.
What started as an interest in the school district’s police officer program in her journalism class has turned into two years of research and interviews with school staff and the district’s public safety director.
“The more I looked into the issue, the more concerned I got because it was becoming abundantly clear that there were a lot of jurisdictions involved — there was BPD [Beaverton Police Department], there was the sheriffs, the city, the school district,” Bose said, “but there didn’t seem to be really anyone making decisions.”
This past spring, she asked friend Ben Wieser, a recent graduate of Jesuit High School, to help out. The two graduates dove deep — fighting for public records and testifying at public meetings.
Now, as city officials prepare to approve a new intergovernmental agreement for the program, Wieser and Bose want to see changes that ensure schools are safe for students.
“We might have to quote nationwide statistics to you, but there are residents of Beaverton who have gone through a lot of trauma because of this program,” Bose said.
“There are ways to fix that without having to make the politically incorrect move of removing the program — and that can happen through the IGA.”
This IGA, or intergovernmental agreement, outlines the role of police in schools and what services they’ll provide.
The Beaverton City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday to fund the agreement between the city and the school district to staff police in schools. City councilors postponed the vote last month — on the same night that the Beaverton school board unanimously approved the agreement.
As the agreement comes up again for approval, some students and families want more oversight of, and training for, both police officers and school staffers who may call for help.
Beaverton city councilors have spent the last three weeks learning more about the Beaverton school district plans.
“I would say that it’s important that [we] took the last few weeks to dive a little deeper into the IGA between us and the school district,” said Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty.
Earlier this month, the Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission, a committee of volunteers, passed a motion urging city council to only approve the IGA if certain requirements are met, including requirements related to uniforms, trainings and reporting.
Beaty says she and council members have taken time to review community feedback as well as a 2022 consultant report on the district’s school resource officer program.
“We do not get to decide if there are youth resource officers in the school,” Beaty said. “That is the school board’s decision. […] What we can control as the city council in this agreement is to make sure that our officers are used the correct way, and we wanted a little bit more understanding from the superintendent.”
At the end of May, recent graduates Bose and Wieser sent school board members a detailed, 18-page letter, arguing the district was ignoring recommendations from the 2022 consultant report.
“Based on our findings, we ask you: Do not pass the Budget Authorization for Youth Services Program Contracts until the District includes the necessary reforms to keep students and staff safe,” they wrote in the letter.>>
<<The research on having police in schools shows mixed results. Some students say the officers make them feel safer, while others feel less safe. Another study showed having police in schools led to more arrests and other disciplinary actions.
The Beaverton School District’s school resource officer program goes back almost 30 years. Like other school districts, the racial justice protests of 2020 prompted Beaverton to reflect on the role of police in schools. The SeeChange report recommends several changes to the program, but some community members, including city councilors, are concerned the IGA’s changes don’t go far enough.>>
<<Similar to national surveys of students, the SeeChange report found certain Beaverton student populations are uncomfortable with police.
Higher percentages of Black students, LGBTQ+ students and students with disabilities have a negative perception of school police than students overall. Black, Latino and Pacific Islander students all had a disproportionate number of arrests and referrals from the school police officers.
Police Chief Stacy Jepson said she hopes the relationship between the police and the school district can help address the feelings of “fear” among marginalized communities.
“The only way I see a path to do that is to develop relationships through engagement and create positive interactions that drive a different feeling for those students when they show up to school,” Jepson said.
“The only way we do that is through that hard work.”
Next week, the city council will be able to ask questions of Beaverton Superintendent Gustavo Balderas about the agreement. Beaty said she thinks the council will “come to a conclusion” on the IGA at the Tuesday meeting, with a possible memorandum of understanding to complement it.>>
<<City and district leaders have another concern about the school resource officer program: cost.
Both the city and the school district are dealing with tighter budgets, and the two-year, $537,264 agreement isn’t cheap, regardless of how they split the cost. If renewed at the end of the two years, more of the program’s cost would shift to the school district.>>
<<Conditions inside Oregon’s only prison for women are dire and unsafe, according to a report released Thursday by the Oregon Justice Resource Center, a Portland-based nonprofit that advocates for people in custody.
Women at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility report deteriorating mental health driven by near constant lockdowns that require them to remain in their cells, sometimes for days on end, due to staffing shortages, the report states.>>
<<The report captures the experiences of hundreds of women at Coffee Creek. It is based on the conversations the Oregon Justice Resource Center’s Women’s Justice Project had with dozens of women during the last three years. All of the women are quoted anonymously to protect them from retaliation, according to the report.>>
<<Many said measures implemented during the pandemic now appear to have become the new normal.
“We’re stuck in our cells all day long, so it’s hard, especially when we have to eat in our cells,” another woman at the prison told OJRC.
“There’s a stagnant and negative energy. It’s inhumane at some point, you know? It changes you … you become stagnant, in a haze.”
According to the report, Black and Indigenous women at the prison have reported being called racial slurs, bullied by staff, or singled out for discipline.
Former corrections director Colette Peters championed a less punitive, more humane approach to incarceration coined the “Oregon Way.” It was based in part on the idea that almost all people in prison eventually are released and the prison system should focus more on rehabilitation than punishment. During Peters’ tenure, staff were sent to Norway, in 2017 and 2018, to learn how that country’s focus on rehabilitation could translate to the Oregon Department of Corrections. Peters left Oregon last year to head the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Gov. Tina Kotek has not named a replacement.
“Coffee Creek is continuing to regress back to the old ways of treating inmates and away from the ‘Oregon Way’ of humanization and normalization that [the Oregon Department of Corrections] pushes to the public as their direction,” one woman at Coffee Creek told OJRC. “It feels like we have gone backwards by 10 years.”>>
<<The suspect in connection with the fatal stabbing of Portland restaurant server Colin Smith has been indicted on three counts, according to a news release from Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office.
24-year-old Rahnique U. Jackson of Portland faces one count of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and second-degree bias crime, a hate crime under Oregon law.
The stabbing happened in Southeast Portland’s Buckman neighborhood around 1:49 a.m. on July 2 in the area of Southeast 12th Avenue and Madison Street. When officers arrived, they found Smith, who had died of stab wounds.
Smith had gotten off work at Ox Restaurant and went to a bar with some friends, according to Paulina Solis, a family friend. She said once at the bar, the group began to be harassed by a man who used homophobic slurs.
One of the friends is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Smith decided to stand up for his friend, Solis said.
“I know he was probably just trying to de-escalate and get this person to move on,” Solis said. “And that’s when he was killed.”>>
<<Jackson was arrested Friday by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Southeast Portland, according to police. He was transferred over to Portland Police Bureau homicide detectives, interviewed, then booked into the Multnomah County jail.
He had already been arrested twice for strangling someone in 2018 and 2019. The second case was dismissed. Jackson is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a plea on July 18.>>
<<A man was arrested Thursday morning after smashing the windows at seven businesses in Northeast Portland with a brick, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) reported.
The man accused of breaking the windows, 44-year-old Fredy Paredes-Kancab, was taken into custody and faces charges of first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal mischief.
The windows were broken at businesses located on Northeast Broadway between 30th Avenue and 34th Avenue, including several small businesses like Purple Moon Preschool, Nicholas Restaurant and Just Right Awards and Engravings. Windows were also smashed at a Fred Meyer and Starbucks on Northeast Weidler Street.>>
<<Officers responded Thursday at 6:36 a.m. to a report that a man was breaking windows with a rock in the area of Northeast 32nd Avenue and Broadway Street. Once they arrived, they were given a description of the man and started to search the area for him. They found him shortly after and took him into custody.>>
<<Portland police said the following businesses in Northeast Portland were vandalized:
Fred Meyer, 3030 Northeast Weidler Street
Center for Chiropractics + Wellness, 3241 Northeast Broadway Street
Nicholas Restaurant, 3223 Northeast Broadway Street
Purple Moon Preschool, 3311 Northeast Broadway Street
Just Right Awards and Engravings, 3201 Northeast Broadway Street
Verizon, 3004 Northeast Broadway Street
State Farm, 3118 Northeast Broadway Street
Portland continues to see a rash of broken windows and vandalism, something the city has been dealing with for the past several years.
Earlier this year, KGW investigative reporter Kyle Iboshi reported that every 42 minutes, there is a report of vandalism in Portland, often involving broken windows.
In 2022, there were 12,238 reports of vandalism citywide, according to PPB data. That number was up 27% from 9,660 vandalism cases in 2021. In 2020, there were 8,322 cases and 6,289 in 2019.>>
<<As American Medical Response expands into serving Washington County, there’s still no sign of improvement for the paramedic staffing crisis still impacting the region.
There is an ongoing national strain on the emergency medical system.
Short staffing stems from a lack of paramedic schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme burnout, increased mental health and addiction needs and the misuse of 911 ambulances.
As of Thursday, July 13, AMR reports being short-staffed for paramedics and EMTs in the counties they serve: Clark, Multnomah and Clackamas.
It’s why AMR currently can’t get to calls fast enough.
“Despite extraordinary efforts to recruit and incentivize paramedics to work at our Multnomah operation, our response times have declined disproportionately to our neighboring counties in the last six months,” AMR officials said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Clark County has seen some improvement, but the company says they need to continue their hiring effort. They also plan to expand into Washington County on Aug. 1.>>
<<According to AMR, they’ve already hired more than 82% of the 50 paramedics and 100% of the EMTs they need for Washington County. They plan to be 100% staffed in time for their start date.
Randy Lauer, AMR’s vice president of operations, told KOIN 6 that staffing is their biggest challenge.
“Right now, I think we’re kind of in a holding pattern,” he said. ”We’re actively hiring, recruiting – we’re doing everything we can think of to onboard more people. There’s just not enough out there.”
Lauer also said AMR is losing the same amount of employees that they’re hiring –- 95% of which are going to the fire service for better retirement benefits. AMR is implementing pay increases, hiring and referral bonuses, and paramedic scholarships to target the issue.
Unlike the neighboring counties, Multnomah County’s contract requires there to be 2 paramedics in an ambulance. AMR continues to push for Multnomah County to temporarily switch to a one-paramedic and one-EMT ambulance system.>>
<<There is not a strong appetite among Multnomah County leadership to deviate from the dual paramedic system. Their EMS staff have weighed the pros and cons. They believe the risks outweigh the rewards.>>
<<Ambulance provider American Medical Response, or AMR, recognized its issues with staffing shortages and slow response times in a statement Thursday, laying out the company’s plan to improve emergency care throughout the region.
AMR currently manages emergency medical services in Multnomah County, Clackamas County and Clark County — and it will expand to cover Washington County starting on August 1.
The company has faced criticism in recent months for slow response times, staffing issues and failed standards within county contracts.
“AMR understands that it is responsible for staffing all its operations in the region and meeting contract obligations in each community,” said AMR in a 1,300-word statement Thursday. “We take that responsibility seriously. We want to assure the public that we are doing everything we can to meet those responsibilities and will continue to adapt, review and make the changes necessary in order to provide a world-class EMS system for our communities.”
In Multnomah County, AMR ambulances have been unavailable to immediately respond to more than 6,300 emergency calls since January — a product of staffing problems and high demand.
Paramedic crews in Oregon’s most populated county have been late to respond to about 1 out of every 3 emergency calls, taking longer than eight minutes to arrive, the standard for urban areas.
AMR blames issues in Multnomah County on staffing shortages it says are exacerbated by the county’s two-paramedic requirement for ambulance crews. It calls for a switch to the “state and national” standard of one paramedic and one emergency medical technician.
“Despite extraordinary efforts to recruit and incentivize paramedics to work at our Multnomah operation, our response times have declined disproportionately to our neighboring counties in the last six months,” AMR said in its release. “A temporary staffing change to [a] Paramedic/EMT [model] would provide a strong solution that would sustain the system until the Paramedic workforce improves on a national scale.”
EMTs require less training than paramedics and are more limited in the type of emergency care they can provide. EMTs also make less money than paramedics, per contracts between AMR and unions.
Multnomah County has pushed back on AMR’s request to change its long-standing requirement of two paramedics for ambulances.
“Two well-trained paramedics are always better prepared, less stressed and experience less fatigue and burn out than one paramedic working alone,” said a county spokesperson in June.
In the release, the company said its issues are reflective of a broader national trend of a shortage of paramedics, delays at hospitals and emergency departments, growing demand for mental health services and the misuse of 911.
AMR said it “acknowledges the challenges” with response times and staffing elsewhere, too.
The company said it has made good advancements to return to compliance in Clark County, where dispatchers haven’t had an available ambulance crew to send to an emergency call on at least 850 occasions this year.
AMR said Clackamas County has been the least affected due to strong workforce retention, adding that slow response times have been seen “only in recent months” and AMR is “already beginning to see incremental progress toward full compliance.”
The emergency medical services provider also shared details on the number of staff members it needs to hire to reach full staffing levels as of July 13:
Clackamas County – AMR needs five paramedics and four EMTs to reach a complete staff of 48 paramedics and 42 EMTs
Clark County – AMR needs nine paramedics and 13 EMTs to reach a complete staff of 61 paramedics and 79 EMTs
Multnomah County – AMR needs 38 paramedics to reach a complete staff of 275 paramedics
Washington County – AMR needs nine paramedics to reach a complete staff of 50 paramedics. The company said it has already hired all EMTs needed for service in Washington County
In the release, AMR shared what it’s doing to fix the problems with ambulance service in the region.
In Multnomah County, AMR said it’s working to retain current paramedics through pay increases of up to 30% through 2025, paramedic scholarships for existing employees and relocation assistance of up to $5,000 for new first responders.
In Clark County, in addition to the pay increases and scholarships, AMR said it’s offering hiring bonuses for paramedics who agree to a 1-year employment contract, referral bonuses for current staff and non-EMT positions for students enrolled in EMT training courses.
Additionally, the company outlined its plans to triage emergency response, with the goal of increasing efficiency in emergency response.
AMR has started multiple “Basic Life Support” or BLS pilot programs. BLS teams, made up of two EMTs, would be dispatched to low-acuity calls, ideally freeing up the “Advanced Life Support” or ALS teams so they can respond to more emergent issues.
The company has also started a “Nurse Navigation” program in Clark County that routes non-emergency 911 calls to nurses to “determine an appropriate path for treatment and assist in coordinating access to care” — another way to relieve the workload burden on ambulance crews.
AMR said it “continues” to recommend the Nurse Navigation program to Multnomah County to help handle high levels of mental health and social services calls.
Sixteen EMTs in Multnomah County started their BLS work on July 3 and are “now responding to low acuity calls following an ALS assessment,” according to AMR.
“With our national reach and extensive history serving the citizens of Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, we have the experience and knowledge to work with all stakeholders to find solutions and overcome our current challenges,” AMR said. “We remain committed to keeping the community informed of our progress.”
AMR is owned by national company Global Medical Response. GMR currently has $4.3 billion in debt that will become due in 2025.>>
<<The Multnomah County Commission meeting got heated Thursday when one commissioner called out County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson for her decision to approve handing out free drug paraphernalia to addicts without any feedback.
At the meeting, Pederson brought up her decision to start and then suddenly stop having county clinics hand out free straws, foil, snorting kits glass pipes to drug addicts. She said it was supposed to be a pilot program to see if it would help get more addicts connected to treatment programs and distribute Narcan, plus fentanyl test strips.
Commissioners Julia Brim-Edwards and Dr. Sharon Meieran told KOIN 6 News they are strongly opposed to Pederson’s plan. Meieran said during the session that the county lacks an overall plan for the fentanyl addiction crisis and that Pederson should take the blame.
“When there was pushback, some calling out by the public, I was concerned that you would put the blame on the health department you are in charge of,” Meieran said. “You knew about this back in early May, yet when things turned around you could have talked with us about this in May (or) June. I don’t think blaming the health department is the healthy way to lead.”
The chair admits she should have worked closer on this with the other commissioners and says she will be more transparent going forward.
The commissioners also heard from recovering drug addicts who asked them to permanently stop any plan to hand out free drug smoking paraphernalia.>>
<<Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said Thursday that the county hasn’t ruled out resuming its controversial plan to hand out safe smoking supplies to fentanyl and meth users. But she indicated that’s not a done deal.
Vega Pederson acknowledged during Thursday’s county commission meeting that she gave the county health department the go ahead in May to purchase glass pipes, tin foil and snorting kits with $82,800 leftover in the syringe exchange budget.
The pilot faced immediate political backlash after Willamette Week brought the plan to light last week. The initiative drew criticism from multiple county commissioners and other politicians including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a Republican from Happy Valley.
Leaders at the county health department said the pilot program’s purpose was to dissuade people from using needles to inject the drugs, which can lead to more potent, fatal doses and spread diseases, and to build relationships with users who might eventually engage with behavioral health services to try to get clean.>>
<<But in the wake of the backlash, Vega Pederson announced that she was pausing distribution of safe smoking supplies “indefinitely.” Chris Fick, Vega Pederson’s chief of staff, said Thursday that the future of the program has “not yet been determined.”
Vega Pederson said she wants to wait until the board sees a report on syringe exchange usage and to hear further health department conversations with the commission before any decisions are made.
Health department leaders said they had hoped the pilot program would build trust with drug users who might return when ready for substance use treatment.>>
<<Commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards said during Thursday’s meeting that she wholly supports harm reduction efforts such as needle exchanges and the distribution of Narcan and fentanyl testing strips, but she is not yet convinced providing smoking supplies will meet the county’s goals of reducing harm.
Multnomah County Health Department spokesperson Sarah Dean said earlier this week that evidence shows providing safe drug use supplies does not induce more drug use.>>
<<Commissioner Sharon Meieran called for Vega Pederson to declare a state of emergency around the fentanyl crisis – a move Brim-Edwards said she would support – to leverage dollars to more quickly and more flexibly provide people with care.
In the meantime, Meieran said she does not support handing out smoking supplies without looking more closely at research. She has, however, supported providing more access to overdose revering Narcan.
“We want to treat addiction, we want people to recover from addiction,” Meieran said. “Addiction is not simply recreational use of drugs or a choice people make, it is a chronic medical condition and causes tremendous harm to individuals and the broader community.”>>
<<People experiencing homelessness in Bend have taken legal action against the city over officials’ plans to remove multiple encampments and displace residents next week.
Three people living in their vehicles filed a lawsuit against city leaders Wednesday, seeking a court order to stop sweeps of multiple camps on the northern edge of town.
The lawsuit claims the city used inaccurate information when deciding to remove encampments on Hunnell, Loco and Clausen roads, and that the sweeps “imminently threaten the physical and mental health and well-being of these Bend residents.”>>
<<The city plans to press forward with the removals.
<<Some residents are planning to resist, whether or not they get backing from a judge’s ruling. Michelle Hester, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said she plans to stay put in her inoperable RV, even if it means getting arrested. It’ll be her last-ditch effort to prevent the sweeps, she said.>>
<<The lawsuit claims the removals are largely based on a memo produced by Police Chief Mike Krantz in December, which detailed a high number of complaints and alleged crimes at Hunnell Road and surrounding businesses.
The plaintiffs claim these findings are outdated and that conditions have improved. They asked the city to conduct another review. City Manager Eric King originally declared the area a public health threat in December, and officials have stalled plans to remove campsites since March.>>