The cops' story changes

The dead guy.

There's some disturbing news this morning, about that hair-raising crime spree of Monday morning, which led the police to shoot and kill a carjacker in the middle of busy Interstate 5 in Portland. Last night the police changed a key detail in their version of what happened. Zane Sparling, just moved from the Merc to the O, reports:

[Brandon] Keck, 30, soon ditched the vehicle and carjacked a driver at gunpoint in the Lloyd District, police said. He then began driving the wrong way onto Interstate 5 and attempted another carjacking, according to police.

Police initially said he shot another motorist in the process. But police reported Wednesday the motorist wasn’t injured by gunfire and that detectives were working to determine the cause of her injury.

Sadly, this switcheroo reminds me of the aftermath of the Kevin Peterson killing in Vancouver last year. The cops started off by saying Peterson had fired a gun at them. Turned out, that was false.

Meanwhile, I guess the cops involved ths time – the shooter supposedly was an officer named John Hughes – have been getting the customary long time to lawyer up and get their story straight. It's been three days since the incident in question; Hughes probably is just now giving his precious "interview." Whatever the killer police say at this point, it's little wonder that observant people will take it with a grain of salt.

Even if Keck didn't shoot at anyone, what he was doing may very well have justified the police killing him. But it's a shame that the official version of events like this can never be trusted.


  1. On Monday you wrote: "We need more cops, badly, and right away. It would be nice if they were good cops, but at this point I'm ready to take any that are not utterly rotten to the core." Does that sentiment still hold?

  2. Gee, the deceased seems like a real nice fella:

    1. Well maybe he was using the getaway car, with the woman inside, to try to turn his life around? He figured that if he drove the wrong way on the freeway, that it would reverse all of his past wrongs.......kind of a back to the future thing. When he got to where he was going he would be redeemed, and have a new wife to boot.

  3. And had they instead held off on releasing information until all facts were fully verified, you would have called the delay suspicious. As a lawyer you are well aware that complex fact patterns, particularly when pieced together by various witness statements, often contain nuance or contradictions that are not immediately apparent. But hey, cool headline.

  4. Standard procedure: Wheel out what a bad bastard the dead guy was. What drugs did he have in his system? That has nothing to do with whether the police killing was justified.

    The points of this post are that the cops floated false information at the scene, and that for several days thereafter, they have hidden, leaving the shooter to make some more stuff up. The stuff some bad-cop sympathizers call "nuance" and "contradictions." The stuff I call "bullshit."

    I stand by those points.

    I think this killing was probably justified, but even when they're in the right, the Portland cops always have to gild the lily. Which is why so may people distrust them. Which is a large part of why the city is in the toilet.


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