June 1st, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts

32 Shots: Keaton Otis Shooting Audio and Documents (Updated with Details from Reese and Adams News Conference)

Keaton Otis

Portland police today released audio from their fatal shooting last month of 25-year-old Keaton Otis as well as documents (PDF) from the investigation into what happened during the May 12 traffic stop in the Lloyd District.

At a news conference this afternoon, Chief Mike Reese handed out this diagram of the scene and answered questions about the incident, in which Officer Chris Burley was shot twice in the legs. Police say it was Otis who shot Burley.

Reese said members of the HEAT team, formed to police gang activity and violent crime, pulled out of a coffee shop that afternoon and happened to pull into traffic behind Otis' car.

That's the first time Reese has directly addressed the reason the officers were following Otis — Rev. LeRoy Haynes of the Albina Ministerial Alliance has suggested police may have stopped Otis simply because he looked like a gang member.

Reese said Otis began making unsignaled turns and lane changes, which is why police pulled him over. But Reese said the fact that Otis was wearing a hoodie in warm weather, was slouched down in his seat and was watching the police in his rear-view mirror also "drew their attention."

Otis initially pulled over and then tried to drive away, Reese said. When police pulled him over a second time, officers called for backup and boxed in Otis' car to prevent him from fleeing and triggering a pursuit, Reese said.

When Otis attempted to reach for his glove box, he was Tasered by three different officers. At least one prong from each Taser hit Otis, but it appears the shots weren't effective, Reese said — possibly because the prongs were stuck in Otis' hoodie, he said.

Officer Burley put Otis in an arm hold to try to pull him out of the car, Reese said. But Otis pulled out of the hold and drew a gun out of the glove box. Burley had backed about 20 feet away from the car when Otis fired an unknown number of shots, police said.

Three officers then opened fire on Otis — Jim Defrain, Cody Berne and Andrew Polas. A detective at the news conference said they fired 32 shots, hitting Otis 23 times.

Here are excerpts from the interview with Burley:

burley interview excerpt

burley interview excerpt

Reese said Burley will return to duty later this week.

The gun Otis used was reported stolen in a 2006 burglary in Milwaukie, the detective said. Mayor Sam Adams, who also spoke at the news conference, said one of the cops' goals is to find out how Otis received the gun. Otis' parents have said he suffered from a mood disorder, and Adams said he aims to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness.

Adams said with a projected 9-percent state budget cut, it will be more difficult than ever to repair Oregon's frayed mental-health and addiction services. He touted items in his proposed budget that aim to do so, including funding for a sub-acute crisis triage center run with Multnomah County.
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