Lights out at Motel 6

Portland's challenging heat wave got off to a bad start last night as the police shot and killed a man at the Motel 6 in the Lloyd District. Details are sketchy, to say the least. The guy was holding a knife or a screwdriver. Apparently he was having some sort of mental health crisis. He went in and out of a room at the motel. 

The most reliable sources are saying that the dead man was white and that the officer who shot him was Black. One resident of the building across the street said the guy was running away from the cops when they shot him. OPB quotes a witness as saying that another man, a stabbing victim, had been taken away from the motel in an ambulance before the shooting occurred.

The scene was on Grand Avenue, a block away from our wonderful Convention Center. "This is Portland," indeed. Go by streetcar!

Anyway, to make a bad situation worse, a few dozen black bloc-heads and assorted other weirdos showed up at the crime scene and got into it with the cops. The police say the "demonstrators" pepper-sprayed one cop, threw things at other cops, broke a window on a patrol car, slashed a tire, and grabbed one officer by the baton. As best I can tell, no one in that crowd was arrested.

Police Chief Chuck was in town for a change. He made sure that they made a video of him making a speech right there at the crime scene. "See? I'm here!" was the main message. This morning he got a congratulatory phone call from Ron Wyden.

Now we will have the customary silence about what happened, while the "investigation" takes place. It will be months before we know much more than we know now, and we may never know more, except for whatever dirt the PoPo can dig up on the victim. Maxine Bernstein at the O had all the pertinent details shortly after the incident went down. Her report is here. The Weed seemed more interested in what the "protesters" were yelling; their contribution to your knowledge is here.

It was the second police killing in Portland in a little over two months.