PDX Police Chief “Clarifies” Story of Rape Response Delay
Yesterday, just as The Oregonian photographer captured the now-iconic photo of a Portland riot police officer directing a forceful spray of mace directly in the face of an #OccupyPortland demonstrator, Portland Police Bureau Chief and likely mayoral candidate Mike Reese claimed, during an interview with a reporter, that #OccupyPortland was interfering in police response for Portland citizens, citing a rape report that couldn’t be attended to for three hours. Shocking, and horrifying, if true:
Reese, speaking live to a KGW reporter Thursday afternoon while Occupy Portland’s march on downtown banks continued to unfold, was asked how the Occupy events were distracting police from other crimes in the area.
Reese responded: “You know that’s a great question. I appreciate you asking because we are reducing our patrol response. Many days, like today, we’re taking emergency calls only for service. For example, we had a rape victim stand by for 3 hours until we could get an officer to take a report, and that makes all of us very sad.”
KGW: For three hours?
Reese: Three hours
KGW: And that’s directly related because there wasn’t enough staff, because they’ve been doing other things with Occupy Portland?’
The Police Bureau is now “clarifying” that, in fact, there was no rape ongoing, the call came in on November 6th (not a demonstration day) and that the victim was reporting a crime committed two days previously.
The 9-1-1 call came in during the day Nov. 6, not during any of the large-scale Portland police deployments, but when Central Precinct had four officers and one sergeant assigned full time to the downtown encampments. It also didn’t involve a sexual assault occurring at that moment but two days earlier, police said.
It remains to be seen whether Chief Reese’s inflammatory use of an old report of rape, blaming his department’s inability to respond to it on the protesters, will affect his credibility as he becomes less coy about his mayoral ambitions.