<<The man accused of stabbing two Black teenage boys in a racially motivated attack at a MAX stop in Southeast Portland was released by police just days before the alleged attack, despite a judicial order to hold him in custody.
Portland police arrested Adrian Cummins on August 30, carrying out an arrest warrant connected to Cummins’ failure to appear in court on charges for “menacing” someone with a knife in July.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said that Cummins was refused booking into the jail on August 30 for medical reasons — which a MCSO spokesperson described as one of the most common reasons someone would be denied entry to jail.
A Portland Police Bureau spokesperson told KGW that Cummins’ condition was not an acute medical condition, but “something that could be communicable to other inmates if he was introduced to a closed population like the jail.”
In cases of refusal at the jail, the arresting officer has a few choices, namely:
Give a citation for a new court date, recognizing that the individual can’t be booked at that time (cite in-lieu of custody)
Take the individual to a hospital for treatment
Supervise the individual at the hospital before returning them to the Multnomah County Detention Center for booking
Request an MCSO deputy supervise the individual at the hospital
Temporarily hold the individual, per state law regulations
In Cummins’ case, a PPB officer elected to issue a citation in-lieu of custody, releasing him while serving him notice of a new court date.
The PPB spokesperson said the officer’s report didn’t specify if Cummins was offered medical transport to a hospital, but that “usually happens.”
He said, in practice, PPB is more likely to issue a citation and release an individual, as it’s a “very time-consuming” process for an officer to take someone to the hospital and await treatment, taking them away from being able to respond to calls for service.
The spokesperson added that PPB doesn’t have any data tracking on this issue that he’s aware of.>>
<<Two teenagers were stabbed and injured on a TriMet MAX train, and the suspect was arrested in southeast Portland Saturday evening, according to Portland police.
According to court documents accessed by FOX 12 on Sunday, the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Adrian Cummins, is facing charges for a previous altercation on TriMet property in April. He is also wanted by the state of Florida for probation violation.
Just before 6 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a report of a stabbing on the TriMet platform at 9598 Southeast Flavel Street. When they arrived, they found two 17-year-old boys suffering from injuries.
One teen was taken to the hospital by ambulance, the other turned down an ambulance ride and was given medical treatment at the scene. Both are expected to recover from their injuries.>>
<<After an initial investigation, police said they believe the assault began on the MAX train, and then the victims and suspect left the train at the Flavel Street station.
According to court documents, the two victims were riding the MAX when Cummins, dressed in all-black and a sweatshirt that read ‘Villain’ in white letters, jumped up and shouted “F**k n*****s!”
Cummins then proceeded to stab one of the victims in the left arm and the other in the upper left chest, nicking his heart according to the hospital.
Police began to search for the suspect, later identified as Cummins, and about six minutes later, officers found a man matching his description at Southeast 92nd Avenue and Southeast Flavel Street. Cummins then ran from police on foot, but officers caught up and arrested him.
Police said they believe Cummins stabbed the boys because of his “perception of their race.”
Cummins was also identified as the suspect in an armed robbery with a knife at a convenience store in the 9100 block of Southeast Flavel Street. There were no injuries in the robbery.
According to court documents, investigators allege that in April, Cummins was involved in a fight on a MAX train which ended on TriMet property near Southwest Second Avenue and Yamhill Street. During the fight a gun fell out, leading to charges of for felon in possession of a firearm, as investigators say Cummins is a convicted felon from Florida.
On Oct. 24, 2022, Flagler County, Florida issued an arrest warrant for Cummins, according to court documents. The documents state that he violated conditions of his parole and then fled the state, after being convicted of third-degree unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Cummins was booked at the Multnomah County jail on the following charges:
Two counts of first-degree bias crime
<<Jesse Johnson walked out of the Marion County Jail on Tuesday as a free man, after 25 years behind bars in Oregon.
In 1998, 28-year-old Harriet Thompson was murdered in a Salem apartment. Johnson was arrested that year, and then convicted in 2004 for a crime that he denied committing. A jury then sentenced him to death, and Johnson lived on death row at the Oregon State Penitentiary until 2021, when his case was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals. Prosecutors quietly dismissed the case against him on Tuesday, acknowledging evidence in the case was too thin to retry the 62-year-old.
“Based on the amount of time that has passed and the unavailability of critical evidence in this case, the state no longer believes that it can prove the defendant’s guilt to twelve jurors beyond a reasonable doubt,” deputy district attorneys Katie Suver and Matt Kemmy wrote in a motion to dismiss the case. A judge approved the motion Tuesday afternoon.
Throughout his decadeslong legal saga, Johnson has insisted upon his innocence and turned down multiple plea deals that would have allowed him to serve less time than the 25 years he spent in custody if he admitted to Thompson’s murder.>>
<<In its 2021 decision overturning Johnson’s conviction, the Oregon Court of Appeals said that his original defense counsel delivered inadequate legal representation and failed to interview at least one key witness. That witness, a former neighbor of Thompson’s, said police officers dismissed her attempts to give them information and told her “a n***** got murdered, and a n***** is going to pay for it.” Both Thompson and Johnson are Black.>>
<<Lynne Morgan, one of Johnson’s attorneys now, said his release was long overdue.
“You can’t overstate the institutional racism that led to this result,” Morgan said Tuesday. “It’s breathtaking, really.”>>
<<No blood or other DNA material that appeared directly connected with Thompon’s killing has ever been linked to Johnson. During the 2004 trial, prosecutors largely relied on circumstantial evidence to gain a conviction. Among them were a $5 bill in Thompson’s wallet and a beer bottle underneath her sink that had Johnson’s fingerprints, which his attorneys noted only proved that they knew each other. Johnson has admitted to knowing Thompson.
Thompson’s former neighbor proved to be a key witness to overturning Johnson’s conviction. She told defense investigators, who were reexamining Johnson’s conviction in 2013, that she saw a white man fleeing Thompson’s apartment on the night of the murder, shortly after a loud argument. Johnson’s defense team in 2004 never spoke to the neighbor, and only spent six hours canvassing the neighborhood, according to post-conviction court filings.
Prosecutors have known about the neighbor’s testimony and additional DNA evidence pointing away from Johnson as Thompson’s killer since before the 2021 Oregon Court of Appeals decision.
The Oregon Innocence Project began working on DNA testing related to the case in 2014, seeking to prove Johnson’s innocence through various pieces of evidence left at the crime scene. In a statement Wednesday, legal director Steve Wax said the Marion County District Attorney’s Office fought those efforts because it was more interested in “protecting its own reputation than with uncovering the truth.”>>
<<A man sentenced to death for a 1998 murder is now free, two years after the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the conviction.
The Oregon Innocence Project on Wednesday accused the state of committing a “heinous injustice” in its handling of the case. The Marion County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday asked the Marion County Circuit Court to dismiss the case against Jesse Johnson, saying that “based upon the amount of time that has passed and the unavailability of critical evidence in this case, the state no longer believes that it can prove the defendant’s guilt.”
The court granted the motion, and late Tuesday, Johnson walked out of the county jail where he was held while prosecutors had mulled a retrial for the stabbing death of nurse’s aide Harriet “Sunny” Thompson, 28, in her Salem home. Johnson, who is Black, has repeatedly claimed innocence and refused a plea deal over the years.>>
<<While Johnson had been sentenced to death after he was convicted in 2004, former Gov. John Kitzhaber declared a moratorium on executions in 2011. Last year, then Gov. Kate Brown commuted all of the state’s 17 death sentences and ordered the dismantling of the state’s execution chamber>>
<<The Oregon Innocence Project, which represented Johnson during the appeal process, said racism played a role in Johnson’s wrongful imprisonment. The group said Johnson’s trial lawyers failed to interview a key witness who saw a white man fleeing the home of Thompson, who was Black.
“There were clear and unambiguous statements of racism by a detective involved in the case who discouraged a neighbor from sharing that she witnessed a white man running away from the scene on the night of the murder,” said Steve Wax, Oregon Innocence Project’s legal director.
That neighbor was Patricia Hubbard, but Johnson’s trial lawyers didn’t seek her out. Hubbard told investigators — who contacted her only after Johnson was convicted — she had seen a white man park his van in Thompson’s driveway around 3:45 a.m. March 20, 1998, and go inside.
Seconds later, Hubbard heard screaming coming from Thompson’s house, a thud and then silence. She said she then saw the white man run from the house.
Soon after the murder, another of Thompson’s neighbors had brought a Salem police detective to Hubbard’s house. When Hubbard began describing what she had seen, she alleges the detective said that a Black woman got murdered and a Black man is “going to pay for it.”
The Oregon Court of Appeals noted Johnson’s defense team failed to interview Hubbard when it reversed his murder conviction in October 2021.
The state resisted requests for additional DNA testing that could have revealed other suspects, Wax said. Johnson’s DNA wasn’t on any of the tested murder evidence.
“For 25 years, the State of Oregon has fought to defend their deeply flawed case against our former client, Jesse Johnson,” Wax said in a statement. “There can be no more heinous injustice imaginable than for Mr. Johnson to have heard a sentence of death pronounced against him all those years ago in Marion County and to then waste away for years on death row.”>>
<<Wax said Johnson is now a free man “but has been left with absolutely nothing by the State of Oregon.”
“He didn’t even get the paltry amount of gate money that someone would usually get when released because the dismissal of his case means he isn’t entitled to it,” Wax said.>>
<<Jesse Lee Johnson walked out of the Marion County Jail Tuesday evening. The 62-year-old had been behind bars for 25 years for a murder he denied committing. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004.
“It was emotional to see on his face just this feeling of freedom,” Eric Mason said.
Mason is a private investigator who spent years working with the Oregon Innocence Project to free Johnson, who was charged in 1998 with killing Harriet Thompson in her Salem apartment. In 2004, despite his claims of innocence, Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death for killing the mother of five.
“This was the kind of case that kept you up at night,” Mason said. “You were thinking, man this guy didn’t do it and he’s there at Oregon State Penitentiary for a long time on death row and now he’s breathing wonderful clean air.”
Mason said it is possible because of an eyewitness account from one of the victim’s neighbors, who was never interviewed by police or Johnson’s original defense team. The neighbor said the man she saw running from the victim’s apartment after the murder was not Johnson.
“For her to say a tall, white, shaggy-haired man looking like Charlie Manson went running from the house just after the screaming stopped and he’s white and the man on death row is Black, you knew there was a problem with the case from the beginning,” Mason said.
That testimony is why in October 2021 the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed Johnson’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial. Fast forward to this week, the state filed a motion to dismiss the case.
Prosecutors said they could not prove Johnson’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt because certain evidence is unavailable and many critical trial witnesses are deceased.
“For some reason Oregon really, really doesn’t like to admit they got the wrong guy,” Mason said.
Regardless, a judge ruled that Johnson should be freed. On Tuesday, out from behind bars, he walked into the arms of supporters who never doubted him.>>
<<Jesse Johnson, who spent close to half of his life behind bars and on death row, is getting a second chance at freedom.
He was released Tuesday night following an investigation that showed his lawyers during his initial trial did not provide effective counsel.>>
<<In 1998, Johnson was charged with the murder of Harriet Thompson, who was found stabbed to death in her Salem apartment.
Johnson waited six years behind bars to go to trial. At some point during that time, Wolf said he was offered a plea bargain for what he believes would have been a 15-year sentence. Johnson maintained his innocence.>>
<<The Oregon Supreme Court confirmed that death sentence, and Johnson immediately moved for post-trial relief proceedings.
More than 15 years would go by before the appeals court determined Johnson’s lawyers were inadequate during his trial. Wolf explained they missed crucial evidence, like statements from a neighbor near the victim’s house, who said she saw a different man go into her home and heard screaming shortly after.
Wolf said she was never asked to testify, “and she would have been easily found. The post-conviction investigators found her, and she was shocked that nobody had called her to testify in the trial.”
The Oregon Innocence Project said in a statement they also found evidence that the lead detective encouraged that same woman to not say anything about what she saw.
Wolf also said the appeals court found that blood at the scene of the crime, which did not belong to the victim or Johnson, had not been put through a testing database for other potential suspects.
“These deficiencies that occurred had to have a tendency to effect the outcome of the case. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have granted him relief,” Wolf said.
Johnson was set for a new trial in late 2021, which would eventually be set for early 2024.
Wolf says years ago Johnson was offered to plead no contest and gain his freedom, but he refused that offer.
“He was waiting in jail with the jail key effectively in his pocket for this trial in February,” he explained, “so that he could clear his name. I don’t know any guilty person that would do that.”
The prosecution filed for a dismissal. Court documents show that they did so because they said key evidence is no longer around and witnesses have either passed away or are no longer available. Things leading them to believe they wouldn’t be able to prove Johnson’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury.>>
<<The Portland City Council passed an open-use drug ban Wednesday with a unanimous vote.
The ordinance won’t alter BM 110, which was passed by voters in 2020 and decriminalizes the possession of hard drugs and will go into effect as soon as it’s authorized by the Oregon Legislature or a court approves the ban.>>
<<During public testimony, local business leaders from across Portland expressed their frustrations in how drug use has affected them.
Jeff Miller, CEO of Travel Portland, says in 2019 hotel occupancy was 85-90% in the summer. Now four years later, occupancy is at 63%. Miller says he believes the decrease in hospitality is linked to drug dealing and usage.
“Most cities rebook 70% of those conventions in Portland. We’ve rebooked 30%. They said we’re not coming back. Portland is too dangerous,” says Miller. “If leisure in business travel do not come back you as a city, and we as an organization will see those revenues dropped dramatically.”
David Friedericks of Portland Fire & Rescue Station 1 says his station alone responded to a total of 76 overdose calls over Labor Day weekend and calls the high volume of calls is disheartening.
“In some cases we treat the same patient in the same week. And we know through our partners of AMR, that the same patient has overdosed multiple times in a day,” says Friedericks. “I know that even when we try to help, our help is unwanted, wares on all of us.”
Tony Vezina of 4D Recovery Services says he doesn’t think the ban will be efficient.
“It may just kind of hide addicts. I was an addict; I was on the street before I had to hide,” says Vezina. “It may create a limited intervention that is only applied to people we can see in downtown Portland smoking in front of businesses using fatal or high addictive drugs.”
Vezina believes there needs to be a sensible intervention and bring in additional resources to prevent people from getting addicted provide treatment are and provide long-term recovery support.>>
<<The Portland City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to ban the use of controlled substances like fentanyl within the city’s public spaces — if and when it has the power to do so.
Due to a preexisting state law (ORS 430.402), local governments within the state of Oregon lack the authority to prohibit the public consumption of controlled substances. While the emergency ordinance adopted by the city council Wednesday has no current effect on local drug-use laws, the ordinance would immediately go into effect if state lawmakers amend ORS 430.402, or if a court granted local governments that power.>>
<<In response to this discrepancy between state and city law, the city council also unanimously passed a resolution that directs the city’s Office of Government Relations to work with the state legislature to find solutions for improving Portland’s health and public safety. One of the directives listed in the resolution is to work with state lawmakers to amend ORS 430.402 and “empower local governments to enact and enforce” laws related to the public consumption of controlled substances.>>
<<After about two hours of public comment on Wednesday, Portland City Council voted unanimously to prohibit public drug use in the city, contingent on a change to state law. Alongside the ban, commissioners passed a resolution directing city officials to push for that state-level change.>>
<<Speakers who were invited to testify on the ordinance by the commissioners largely gave enthusiastic support for the ban, though at least one speaker expressed worry that it would only succeed in pushing rampant drug use further into the shadows, resulting in more overdose deaths and fewer opportunities for intervention.
Other speakers expressed concern about the ordinance representing an overall shift away from treating addiction as a public health issue and back toward treating it as a criminal issue, or felt that it would result in arbitrary enforcement of controlled substance use in public.>>
<<But Wheeler also admitted at the time that the ordinance may not have survived a legal challenge due to existing state statute which prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing local regulations on “using or being under the influence of cannabis or controlled substances.”
As a result, the new version of the ordinance does not go into effect immediately. Instead it includes a “trigger” amendment, meaning the regulations would go into effect immediately after the Oregon Legislature or the courts change or suspend that statute.
If it were to go into effect, the ordinance will add other controlled substances, including fentanyl, to an existing ordinance that prohibits drinking alcohol in public outside of permitted areas. Violations of the ban would be punishable by a fine of up to $500, a stay of up to six months in jail, or both.>>
<<Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties have collected a combined $300 million and counting in tax revenue, according to Metro, since early 2021 to fight homelessness. While there are success stories, obstacles remain for some who need help.
Back in May 2020, voters in the Metro area approved Measure 26-210, a new 1% income tax on those making above $125,000 per year, couples filing jointly with income above $200,000 per year, and businesses with gross revenue above $5 million per year, all funding Supportive Housing Services.
The tax started getting collected through the Metro government in 2021, and according to data from all three counties, the funds have placed nearly 5,000 people into housing, and prevented over 16,300 evictions.
In Multnomah County, the most recent Point in Time Count survey conducted in Jan. 2023 found 6,297 people experiencing homelessness.
Despite a surge in funds for Multnomah County, a Metro spokesperson says Multnomah County did not spend all of its budgeted Supportive Housing Services funds in the past fiscal year. According to Metro, Multnomah County budgeted over $127 million for Supportive Housing Services program costs in Fiscal Year 2023, but underspent by $45 million. These funds, according to the spokesperson, will carry over to next fiscal year. Back in August, Metro and Multnomah County agreed on a corrective action plan to ensure funds are used in a more timely fashion in the future.>>
<<But for Southeast Portland resident Ryan Mikesell, having housing again has been over a decade in the making. He has been housed in an affordable housing unit for a little over a year, but 13 years prior to that, he lived on the streets of Portland in an RV with his dogs.
Mikesell says it took him a decade to get on a waitlist for an affordable housing unit, and another three years to secure his apartment. Mikesell says in 2007, he started receiving disability benefits after physical and mental injuries from an abusive childhood made it difficult for him to keep a job.
“Untreated injuries from childhood abuse; what happens is you get arthritis from being knocked around,” said Mikesell. “So when I was 27, I had x-rays and they told me my arthritis was so bad, I looked like I was 70.”
After a breakup with a partner in 2009, an estranged relationship with abusive family members, and nothing to survive on except $600 a month in disability benefits, Mikesell began living on the streets of Multnomah County. He says over the years his disability payments increased to a little under $1000 a month, but it never was enough.
“We don’t have any choice. If we don’t have family who can take us in and help support us, we’re on the street.”
For a decade, Mikesell says he tried to get on waitlists for affordable housing complexes, but there simply were no spots available. He says he became more hopeful in 2020 when voters approved the Metro Supportive Housing Services Tax, dramatically increasing the amount of funding available to expand rent assistance and permanent housing to those in the Metro Area who need it most. To date, those taxes have generated over $140 million alone for Multnomah County.
In 2021, Mikesell reached out for help through Multnomah County Coordinated Access, a program designed to help house the most vulnerable populations living on the streets.
But after an evaluation, he was told he wasn’t eligible because he did not have a high enough ‘vulnerability score.’ This, despite being disabled and homeless.
“The girl told me that people have to have 20 or 21 points, and I had 14,” said Mikesell. “They want you to destroy your life to get enough points on that application. You get points if you’re a criminal, you get points if you owe court fines, you get points if you’re a sex worker, you get points if you’re a drug addict.”>>
<<Erin Pidot is a program manager at Portland and Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services. She helps oversee Coordinated Access and works on expanding Supportive Housing Services in the county. She says she and her team understand there are a great number of people who need help but may not qualify for Coordinated Access. Pidot says there are other resources available.
“If you aren’t already connected to an organization that’s supporting you with housing, search and placement, supporting you to connect you to resources that you need to resolve your homelessness, I would start with (calling) 211, or one of the other access points in the community,” said Pidot. “It could be a day center, a shelter. Outreach teams are making a relationship with folks on the street every day who can support people through this navigation process. So I would really encourage folks to build a relationship with an organization.”
There are several dozen nonprofits and agencies in Multnomah County contracted with the joint office to use Metro’s Supportive Housing Services funds. Pidot says if someone is not eligible for Coordinated Access, then these organizations can provide rent assistance or other supportive housing help.>>
Reaching out to these organizations and agencies is an avenue Portland resident, Michelle Mei, has taken in recent years, but she has not had quite the success she needs after trying to get back on her feet.
“I have been housing insecure since 2018 when I was fleeing a domestic violent relationship with my ex-husband, and was suffering from some mental and physical health issues, and at the time I was couch surfing with a friend of mine and trying to get help.”
Like Mikesell, Mei only has as about $1000 in disability benefits per month to survive on. She was diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease in 2014, a disease that affects blood flow in the brain, which Mei says causes her dizziness, trouble concentrating, and chronic fatigue, which prevents her from working. Mei says during the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment benefits combined with disability benefits allowed her to get her own housing and barely get by while still seeking long-term rent assistance. But since pandemic unemployment benefits have now ended, she is constantly behind on rent, and has gone from nonprofit to nonprofit in Multnomah County to try and get long-term help, only to be told she is not eligible because her situation is not dire enough.
“I’m 62, I’m permanently disabled, I have no money, I’m low income, proved low income. I’m on food stamps, I’m on Medicare,” she said. “You just think, am I going to spend the rest of my life every month trying to stay housed? And borrowing money from people I have to pay back?”
Back at the Joint Office, Erin Pidot says the overall goal is to connect as many people as possible to housing or rent assistance, but she says permanent supportive housing resources are limited. Pidot does feel optimistic about the future, because of the large influx of Metro Supportive Housing Services tax dollars.
“The Joint Office has been working with our partners to significantly expand a large range of resources, including rapid rehousing and other permanent housing options for people who may not have that acute vulnerability that’s going to get someone into supportive housing, but like you said, are really low income, can’t afford market rate rent, and need support in order to be stably housed,” said Pidot.
Pidot also says her team at the Joint Office is working on developing a more Multnomah County-specific evaluating tool for Coordinated Access, in the hopes that the help Coordinated Access provides can be expanded to more people as more resources become available.>>
<<Washington County cops have long been on the lookout for a 42-year-old career criminal named, coincidentally enough, Jason Sherriff.
Sherriff has been eluding police in Washington County since at least 1997. When police pull him over, he has long favored a dubious strategy: speed off. Over the years, he’s crashed into a ditch, a house and even a police car that was boxing him in as he attempted to flee.
Sgt. Eric Stoneberg, 20-year veteran of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, took pride in training deputies how to eventually catch criminals like Sherriff, who seems to enjoy leading cops on high-speed chases through quiet Hillsboro neighborhoods.
But car chases, long a staple of Hollywood thrillers and the nightly news, have gone out of fashion.
For one thing, they’re dangerous. Researchers estimate that around 300 people die from police pursuits nationwide every year. A third are innocent bystanders, including a 40-year-old Portland woman killed earlier this month by a silver Buick Regal driven by a suspected armed robber who was being pursued by a Gresham police officer.
For this reason, policymakers don’t like car chases. In recent years, law enforcement agencies across the country are having cops chase less, telling them to focus only on reckless and dangerous drivers. In 2021, the state of Washington banned cops outright from chasing drivers suspected of low-level crimes. (This year, legislators in Olympia rolled back some of the restrictions.)>>
<<In recent years, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has decided to limit car chases “to drivers who pose an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to another person,” according to the department’s annual report. Washington County followed a similar policy shift at the Portland Police Bureau, which allows pursuits only in limited circumstances: reckless drivers or felony suspects.
Meanwhile, the number of police car chases in Washington County plummeted. According to the sheriff’s annual reports, there were 43 in 2018 and, most recently, 26. (The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t publish similar reports. PPB says chases have dropped from 197 in 2016 to 23 in 2022.)>>
<<Lt. Mitch Coley, who oversees westside patrol, told his deputies to back off, according to an email that surfaced in a subsequent legal case.
Deputies could respond to 911 calls involving Sherriff, Coley wrote, but should stop pursuing him.
“Given the repeated eludes by Jason Sherriff, and that he is known to carry firearms, please do not actively pursue him—this includes not developing missions to capture him,” Coley wrote.>>
<<One month after the order, Sgt. Eric Stoneberg wrote a message protesting the policy to the other on-duty sergeants on his in-car computer, according to a lawsuit later filed in Washington County on behalf of Stoneberg.>>
<<Stoneberg was demoted to corporal the following month. He resigned in July and is now a rank-and-file deputy in Yamhill County.
He’s suing the Washington County Sheriff’s Office but declined to comment for this story.>>
<<On March 28, Salem police say 53-year-old Marganne Allen was hit and killed while riding her bicycle through the intersection of High and Leslie Street.
The Salem Police Department confirmed a few days later that the driver who hit and killed Allen was 37-year-old Samuel Landis, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration who was on duty at the time of the crash.>>
<<In the months since the crash, Baird and others who know Allen have shared concerns and home surveillance video with investigators.
The footage appears to show a pickup truck speeding up in the neighborhood, and seconds later, a different camera shows the same truck appearing to run a stop sign at the intersection Allen was cycling through.
Salem police said Allen died from her injuries after she was rushed to Salem Health.
The Salem Police Department initially investigated the crash, and revealed days later that DEA special agent Samuel Landis was driving the vehicle that hit Allen, and was on duty at the time.
Since the Salem Police Department works closely with the DEA on drug crimes, they handed the case over to Keizer police in late March, then months went by.
Michael Baird, a retired Oregon state trooper who specialized in accident reconstruction, says he is puzzled why the investigation took so long.
“Marganne’s husband told me the night that Salem police came out and notified him that Marganne had been hit by a car, or ran into a car, and died subsequently at Salem hospital, they told him that they had clear evidence that the driver of the vehicle had run a stop sign,” Baird said. “They told him that right from the get-go, and I thought to myself, ‘Why wasn’t he cited if they had evidence of that?’”
For weeks now, FOX 12 been asking Salem police, Keizer police and the Marion County District Attorney’s Office what has been holding up the case. Only Keizer police gave a real response, and said they turned the initial investigation over to prosecutors first in May, and then did two more follow-up investigations since then.
FOX 12 learned a grand jury was looking into the case starting last week, and on Wednesday, they indicted Landis on criminally negligent homicide charges, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.>>
<<A DEA Special agent was indicted Wednesday on charges stemming from a crash that killed a cyclist in Salem back in March.
Salem police say Samuel Landis, 38, was driving a pickup truck eastbound on Leslie Street when it crossed the path of the cyclist, Marganne Allen, 53.
According to investigators, Allen had been riding her bike Southbound on High Street when Landis entered the intersection and “crossed the bicyclist’s path of travel.”
Allen suffered critical injuries and later died at the hospital.
Landis faces a charge of criminally negligent homicide.>>
SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD
<<Martin Castaway is currently serving seven years in prison for theft convictions in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. Castaway led a crime ring known as the “Castaway Crew,” which hit big box retailers throughout the Portland area.
We spoke with him inside the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario. The conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Kyle Iboshi: Did the presence of a security officer or loss prevention impact your decision on whether to go into a store or not?
Martin Castaway: Not really. If I see a security dude with a gun, I know he can’t touch me. I got to a point where it was almost like a game to me. I wasn’t stopping for nothing. Now, if I see a suspicious car in the parking lot who looks like a police officer, I’m going to have second thoughts on that. I’ll probably just cruise through and keep going.
What factors did you consider before hitting a store?
The most I could get in the least amount of time. I would go into a store, steal $5,000 to $6,000 worth of merchandise and be out in two minutes.
Did you go into a store knowing what you wanted to steal?
Ninety percent of the time I knew exactly what I was going after.
What did you steal? Most of your cases involved theft of apparel, right?
Anything. Tools. If it is wintertime, I’m stealing $350 North Face jackets. Summertime, it is Nike. I love selling stuff to women. Coach purses, perfumes, makeup from Ulta.>>
<<The Oregon state legislature tried to address shoplifting by passing several bills, including harsher penalties for those convicted of organized retail theft. Do you think tougher laws will help reduce shoplifting in Oregon?
I don’t think so at all. I think anybody who is engaged in this type of crime — I would say 70 or 80 percent of them are on drugs. They need treatment, not prison.
So, what can be done in our community to help reduce shoplifting?
We need more treatment programs for those struggling with addiction. They’re worth it. And I hope they get help because this s— ain’t worth it. We should address the problem when it starts. When they first catch someone for theft before they get too far out there when it gets worse.
They call it organized retail crime. Is it organized?
I would say it is pretty unorganized. Everyone is messed up on drugs. This is kind of embarrassing, but I’m going to be straight with you. I would find people who were on fentanyl, who were on drugs. I would exploit that. I would recruit them. They’d be running around with me.
Were drugs a factor for you?
I was on drugs, meth, and drinking. But more so, I think my addiction was gambling (video poker) and the adrenaline from committing these crimes. I liked to have another car every month. A different car. That was because I was burning the cars up in the process of doing crimes.
(By “burning the cars up’” Castaway meant police were on the lookout for vehicles he was associated with, so he’d have to change vehicles.)
Several stores have instituted tougher security measures to prevent shoplifting. For example, some Safeway stores in Portland have a separate section for high-theft items and certain Fred Meyer locations check customer receipts at the exit. Would that stop you?
No, not at all. What, some old lady is going to say, ‘Sir, Sir!?’ By that time, I’ve already got that stuff in my car. While they’re trying to pull out their phone, I’m already out of the parking lot.>>
<<Most retailers tell their workers to avoid physical confrontation, so nobody gets hurt. Good advice?
Yeah, don’t get involved. Don’t get hurt over it. It’s not worth it.>>
<<Danielle Outlaw, who served as Portland’s police chief for two years until leaving to lead the Philadelphia force in 2019, has announced that she’s leaving that job as well. She’ll become the deputy chief security officer at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.>>
<<Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw will step down this month to help lead a New York-area transit system, the mayor said Tuesday, ending a turbulent three years in which she guided one of the country’s largest police forces through pandemic lockdowns, Black Lives Matter protests and frequent turmoil over race and policing.
Outlaw, the first Black woman to run the 6,000-member department, came aboard just before the pandemic shutdown and quickly had to oversee the city’s safety as intense protests broke out in Philadelphia and across the country in the summer of 2020 over the police killing of Black people.>>
<<Tensions between Philadelphia police and the public escalated after George Floyd’s killing in May 2020, when mostly peaceful protesters who shut down a major city expressway were met with tear gas and rubber bullets. The city council issued a statement calling the police response “brutal,” “excessive” and “unacceptable,” but Outlaw initially defended the strategy. The city later paid a $9.25 million settlement to hundreds of protesters.>>