Nothing to see here, folks, ignore that smell

It's amazing how weak the mainstream media in the Portland area is. Here we are four days and five nights after the Clark County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a young Black man, and all we have is an exceedingly vague and seemingly self-contradictory official version of what happened.

First the sheriff said the victim, Kevin Peterson Jr., "reportedly" fired a gun at police before they killed him. Later the same day, the team investigating the killing said only that Peterson had "produced" a gun. No witness who has spoken publicly saw the deceased firing, or even holding, a gun.

We're told that three deputies fired at him. Do those deputies have names? Do they have histories of this sort of violence? What kind of training do they have? What are the rules about shooting at fleeing suspects?

Yesterday the medical examiner's "office" up that way did us all the big favor of confirming that Peterson died of multiple gunshot wounds. Peterson's body must have been completely clear of drugs and alcohol, or we would have heard about that.

But how many gunshot wounds? On what parts of his body? The medical examiner's "office" won't say.

And they get away with this!

In my days as a cub reporter, I used to sit behind a city editor named Bob O'Brien. He and I got along swimmingly. If Bob O'Brien told me to call the medical examiner and demand more details, and I couldn't get them, he would call the medical examiner himself.

He would tell the good doctor, "Look, either you're going to give us the details now, or else we're going to run a front-page story tomorrow about how you're covering them up."

And he would mean it. He would run such a story, if necessary.

The Kevin Peterson story needs a Bob O'Brien. But sadly, there's nobody like that left in local journalism. Even his job has probably been cut out at our wimpy news organizations.

If you give the cops four days to make up their story, forget it, we'll never know the truth. No wonder the kids are rioting.

At least KGW is Portland-politely noting the "confusion," here.

For crying out loud, people, does the Clark County medical examiner even have a name? Where is their "office"? Do they give interviews? If not, do they walk out to their car where cameras can show them running away from questions? Have they been involved in shady cases in the past?

And the sheriff – is he an elected official? He needs to get the Bob O'Brien phone call, too. Big time. We want the names of the deputies. They killed a man.

Comments

  1. Well said, Jack. This one is on us. It's in our area and we shouldn't let it go. So many things don't add up. How about the Jiffy Lube employee who said, "“You can’t help but look with all the tires screeching,” he said. “I can’t believe they shot so quick.” Wasn't this described as a foot chase? Even if the cops' story is 100% legit they are doing a terrible job of proving it to the community. Frankly, it looks like they're being silent because the details are incriminating.

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    1. I'm going to walk through what we know with the map later today, if I get time.

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  2. Somebody's got to do it. Once in Oregon the head of prisons was stabbed to death and a Salem tweaker was set up to take the fall. Phil Stanford got involved and would not let it go. This went on for decades. Last year Frank Gable was finally released but not fully cleared in the case. Stanford had stuck with it for almost 30 years. These cases require at least one individual to become outraged and not give up. These are rare individuals and society needs them. In Stanford's case he went on to make a podcast about it called "Murder in Oregon" that was one of the top podcasts of last year. And yet the story of what Phil did didn't make a ripple in the local media in Portland. This story in Hazel Dell has that feel. Nobody's in too much of a hurry to get to the bottom of it. Oh, sure, family members often come through but as far as media types, that kind of outrage is a career killer in our sad sack media world of fluff and bullshit. We've got to find out what happened here.

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    1. How about the case of the Golden State rapist that went cold in California, until Michelle Mcnamara got curious and started bull dogging it over several years, and finally the police recognized she had in fact connected the dots for them.

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  3. These days I count on you for any local news of great import. Yup.

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    1. That is not a smart move. Read everything. But I am glad to contribute a little.

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    2. I do. But I get the best local info from YOU.

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