Provided by Portland Police Bureau
On Friday April 3, at 9:33 p.m., an East PORTLAND police officer was driving in the area of Southeast 142nd Avenue and Stark Street when he saw a woman in the middle of the street waving around a large butcher knife.
The officer watched the woman walking westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic on Stark Street, forcing vehicles to stop in her path. The officer saw the woman approach the driver’s side of one of the stopped vehicles while swinging the knife violently.
The officer called for additional cover and began to verbally address the woman and gain her attention. The woman ignored the officer. She continued to swing the knife and walked away westbound towards a TriMet bus.
The officer maintained a distance from the woman and continued to ask her to drop the knife.
At Southeast 141st Avenue, the woman turned towards the officer, who again asked her to drop the knife. The woman tossed the knife on the ground then ran away westbound again. The officer picked up the knife and followed the woman until a cover unit arrived and she was taken into custody without incident.
The woman was later identified as having a significant history of mental health crises. She was taken to a Portland hospital, on a Police Officer Hold, for a mental health evaluation.
The Portland Police Bureau news release states “Help is available for community members struggling from a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts. Suicide is preventable.”
Editor’s Note: And may we add, including suicide by cop.
We celebrate and deeply commend this Portland Police Officer for his thoughtful and thoroughly professional handling of a very challenging and difficult situation. Of course no two incidents are exactly the same, but it’s heartening to see this particular dangerous confrontation in Portland end with such a positive outcome. It would by no means be automatically expected to turn out this way in many other communities across this country.
Our personal experience covering Lincoln County law enforcement reveals a very close resemblance to the professional conduct of this particular Portland Police Officer. And for that we can all be justly proud and supportive of our law enforcement protectors. We only wish the same for EVERY American citizen, everywhere in our country.