Judge rules against officer in shotgun shooting

Judge rules against officer in shotgun shooting

PORTLAND, Ore. – A grand jury won’t be hearing evidence that a Portland police officer thinks will clear him after he mistakenly shot a man with real ammunition instead of a beanbag round in June.

Officer Dane Reister wanted to argue the city’s procedures and lack of safeguards led to the mix-up between live ammunition and non-lethal rounds, but a judge ruled Tuesday to not let a grand jury hear that argument.

On June 30th, Reister shot a man armed with a knife and behaving erratically in Downtown Portland.

His lawyer wanted to question city officials, including the police chief, Mayor Sam Adams, Commissioner Dan Saltzman and police supervisors about why they have officers use shotguns capable of firing both kinds of rounds.

“That would show deliberate decisions made not to employ alternative platforms that would have avoided the problems that occurred,” said Reister’s defense attorney Janet Hoffman.

The city’s lawyer argued underlying factors like training and procedures are things for a trial judge or jury to consider at trial if a grand jury decides to indict Reister.

“There is no authority by a criminal defense attorney to subpoena anyone into a grand jury proceeding,” said Deputy City Attorney Jim Rice.

The grand jury is deciding whether to indict the Reister in the shooting.

Monday, the judge ruled the district attorney can tell the grand jury about a training incident in 2006 when Officer Reister forgot his tear gas gun was loaded and he fired a round that struck another officer in the leg.