7/29/2023 News Roundup


<<For years, the areas around Hunnell and Clausen roads were filled with tents and RVs. Now, those same streets are empty and much quieter.

The city of Bend completed removal of its largest homeless encampments, after a monthslong battle between officials and the dozens of people living there came to an end.>>

<<Even at the last minute, after weeks of back and forth, some people living at the sites have struggled to leave. One woman who went by Savage woke up Thursday morning to find her RV no longer worked. She spent much of the morning trying to charge her battery before a tow truck arrived.>>

<<After police warned them Thursday that a tow truck was only minutes away, it became clear they wouldn’t be able to get the vehicle started in time. It soon became a mission to salvage what they could before crews arrived.>>

<<In the end, the city towed the RV away. Personal belongings collected during the removals are put in storage for residents to claim later.

The total financial costs of the removal are still unknown. City spokesperson Anne Aurand said contracting the Central Oregon Bio Solutions for the first day of cleanup cost nearly $6,000 alone.>>



<<The TriMet Board of Directors approved a plan to expand TriMet’s award-winning Safety Response Team (SRT) during a meeting on Wednesday. The team launched in 2021 with less than 10 members and now they have nearly 50, riding buses and trains, helping to improve safety on the TriMet System. With this new expansion approved by the Board of Directors, the hope is to bring the team up to 60.>>

<<To discourage drug use and to improve safety, SRT team members used an approach similar to the Portland Street Response. Connecting with riders by having a one-on-one conversation to see what their needs are.

Betty Brakeman is a Field Supervisor for SRT. She said she helps people find resources like detox centers, shelters or a place to get a hot meal. She also said her role can be along the lines of customer service by helping people navigate the TriMet system. But what’s most important to her, is having that one-on-one interaction with all riders.>>

<<Brakeman said her team’s mission is to be the bridge between the community and the resources they need. She said they’re not writing tickets or detaining anyone. SRT is one of five public safety divisions within TriMet.

The other divisions include Transit Security, Transit Police, Customer Safety Supervisors, and Customer Safety Officers. TriMet explained together they work to improve rider safety across the tri-county area.>>



<<Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said this week that he “disagrees” with a recent state report that found “substantial evidence” Oregon’s largest prosecutor’s office discriminated based on employees’ gender and sex.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries issued a report last week that said Schmidt’s office promoted more men than women into leadership positions during the first 18 months of Schmidt’s tenure. According to BOLI, between August 2020 when Schmidt took office to January 2022, Schmidt promoted five men to senior deputy district attorney positions, but only one woman to that same level. (Two other men were appointed to new senior positions in the office though one was on staff for a matter of weeks.)

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Schmidt said the BOLI report focused on a small set of managers over a short period of time, rather than his three years as district attorney.

“I come to different conclusions,” Schmidt said and handed over an eight-page printed document with a breakdown of staff promotions by race and gender.

“Looking at our promotional decisions of our attorneys in the office, I’ve made 62 promotions since I’ve been the district attorney,” he said.

Of those, 31 were men and 31 were women, according to his office’s data which includes all attorney promotions, not just promotions to top leadership jobs.

“I didn’t know the answer to this question until we pulled it this weekend,” Schmidt said. “Exactly 50% of all promotions we’ve made since I’ve been DA have been of women.”

The BOLI complaint was filed by Amber Kinney, a former prosecutor who left the district attorney’s office in February 2022 after more than a decade as a career prosecutor. BOLI’s findings state that after Kinney left the office, Schmidt’s team promoted several women to the senior-level position Kinney sought.

“Although this is a positive development, it also lends credibility to [Kinney’s] assertion,” the BOLI report states.

BOLI’s findings are at odds with a report issued in March by Multnomah County that found the district attorney’s office did not discriminate against Kinney based on her gender and that Schmidt and other managers did not retaliate against Kinney for raising concerns. After Kinney left, the county hired the law firm Baran Liebman to investigate her allegations.>>



<<Washington County civil Deputy Charles Dozé, shot and critically wounded while serving an eviction notice at a Tualatin apartment complex, is now in serious condition and recovering, the sheriff’s office announced Friday.

Dozé, with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years, was shot several times in the face, chest and arms on Tuesday, sheriff’s officials said.

Dozé was conscious and spending time with his children and wife, a sheriff’s office spokesperson said.>>

As one of five civil deputies, Dozé serves and enforces court orders, prepares reports, tows abandoned vehicles and manages seized property, the sheriff’s office said. Civil deputies are uniformed and armed sworn members of the sheriff’s office.

Civil Deputy Samantha Burkhead, Deputy Chris Schroeder and Deputy Cory Hoffman were also involved in the shooting and have been placed on standard administrative leave as Washington County’s Major Crimes Team continues to investigate, the sheriff’s office said.

Dozé, Burkhead and Schroeder went to 34-year-old Kristafer James Graves’ apartment in The Timbers apartment complex shortly after 10 a.m. to serve a court-ordered eviction notice. Graves fired at the deputies from inside his apartment, striking Dozé, investigators said.

At least one of the deputies returned fire, said Washington County sheriff’s Detective Anel Ceric. Sheriff’s officials declined to say how Hoffman was involved.

Graves’ landlord, FPI Management Inc. and Pacific Urban Investors LLC, filed an eviction complaint against Graves on June 20 in Washington County for failing to pay $1,266 in rent since May 23, court records show. A Washington County circuit judge granted the eviction order July 10, according to court records.

Deputies found Graves dead from a gunshot wound inside the bathroom of his second-floor apartment on Southwest Nyberg Street. Authorities do not know whether Graves was shot by deputies or if the injury was self-inflicted. A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine Graves’ cause of death, investigators said.>>


<<A deputy who was hospitalized with critical injuries after being shot while serving a court-ordered eviction notice in Tualatin has been identified, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced.

The injured deputy was identified as Charles Dozé, who has been with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years. Dozé sustained several life-threatening gunshot wounds to his face, arms and chest and remains in the hospital — but is now listed as being in serious but stable condition, officials said — noting that the deputy wanted to share he is working hard to recover.

“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from across the state, but especially from our own community. No words can express our gratitude for the acts of kindness, warm wishes, and support we have received for Deputy Dozé and the rest of our WCSO family,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.>>

<<Doze is one of Washington County’s civil deputies, a group that is dressed and armed like other deputies, but typically focuses on serving processes of the court like restraining orders, subpoenas, and evictions.

Patrick Altiere, the president of Washington County’s Police Officers Association, said outcomes like what happened this week, are rare.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of it and I’ve been at the sheriff’s office for almost 20 years,” he said.>>


<< The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deputy shot during an incident in Tualatin on Wednesday as Civil Deputy Charles Dozé. He remains hospitalized in “serious, but stable” condition as of Friday, the sheriff’s office said.

Dozé is a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, according to a WCSO news release, which described his injuries from the shooting as life-threatening.>>

<<Beaverton police announced Thursday that the suspect had been identified as 34-year-old Kristafer James Graves, and said he had begun shooting at deputies from inside his apartment before the deputies could reach him.>>



<<Body camera footage and surveillance video provided by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) shows two officers attempting to arrest a man suspected of shoplifting from an east Vancouver Walmart.

Before the officers could get the man in handcuffs, police said he punched one officer in the face and kicked the other in the chest. The officers managed to get him on the ground. That is when Officer Andrea Mendoza deployed a Taser on his back. Mendoza then pulled down his pants and threatened to do the same to his genitals, VPD said.

“Knock it off or I’ll do it in your nuts,” Mendoza can be heard saying in the body camera video.

Mendoza was placed on administrative leave within a few days of the May 21 incident. Just this week she was charged with fourth-degree assault.

“It seems like a little bit of an overstretch,” Brian Higgins said.

Higgins is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

He is also a former police chief and director of public safety. He said he does not have a problem with Mendoza’s actions.

“The officers would not have been forced to use any level of force had this individual just complied, so really what got the ball rolling is this individual’s resistance,” Higgins said.

Resistance or not, Vancouver Police Chief Jeff Mori is calling his officer’s actions “disturbing.”

“I want to emphasize to the community that my expectation is that at all times our personnel serve the public with professionalism, compassion, and respect,” Mori said in a prepared video statement.

Among those who believe none of that was on display in this encounter is the mother of the man being taken into custody. His name is Elijah Guffey-Prejean.

Orlandria Prejean told KGW her son was profiled and assaulted. She wants Mendoza fired.

“This is totally ridiculous,” Prejean said.

It is worth noting Guffey-Prejean is no longer facing charges for what happened back in May. Prosecutors dismissed those charges.

The Vancouver chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent a statement to KGW saying the officer “should be terminated for gross behavior.”

The police union is standing by Mendoza. In a statement they say she did her job faithfully and did not commit a crime. They believe she will be exonerated.

Mendoza will make her first court appearance in early August.>>