Southwest Portland

Police open the books on officer fired over less-lethal mix-up

Police open the books on officer fired over less-lethal mix-up
FILE - Dane Reister.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Police Bureau released documents on Thursday outlining its internal investigation into an officer who was fired for loading the wrong ammunition in a shotgun used to subdue a suspect.

Dane Reister was fired from the police force last month following a two-year investigation. Included in the documents is Reister's termination letter, the Commander's Review and Findings, a review by the Training Division and the overall investigative report.

On June 30, 2011, Reister meant to load his shotgun with less-lethal beanbag rounds, but instead loaded it with live ammunition. He responded to a call in Southwest Portland that day about a man armed with a knife and acting intoxicated. Police said the suspect, William Monroe, wouldn’t listen to commands and Reister fired at him several times.

Monroe was hit by five shotgun pellets in the hip. He was critically injured, but survived.

The inadvertent shooting led to Reister facing criminal charges and the city agreeing to pay a $2.3 million settlement to Monroe. The city was on the hook for about $1 million of the settlement, with insurance covering the rest.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, Reister was fired for violating two specific police directives. The first, titled Unsatisfactory Performance, states that officers must "maintain sufficient competency to properly perform their duties and assume the responsibilities of their positions."

The second, titled Less Lethal Weapons and Munitions, states that officers should only load lethal shotgun rounds into designated weapons. "Under no circumstances will a member carry any standard 12-gauge lethal rounds on his/her person or utility belt while also carrying a less lethal weapon," the policy states.