Pearl and silver

It's never a good thing when the Portland cops pull out their guns and start shooting. They've been doing a lot of that this week, and it's only Thursday morning. There have been three shootings by police, two of them fatal, since midnight Sunday morning. 

Last night the deceased was some dude who had reportedly been firing a gun in front of a house out at roughly 126th and Burnside. 

Witnesses who live nearby told KOIN 6 they saw a man shoot in the air, then aim at officers before police returned fire.

The police in question were, alas, with the "focused intervention team," which is the old gang enforcement squad, gussied up for 21st Century P.C. I believe this may be their first dead body.

On Saturday night/Sunday morning the morgue welcomed a 19-year-old kid who shot off his pistol during hand-to-hand combat with a couple of cops who were wrestling with him, trying to arrest him. That one was at 148th and Clinton.

On Tuesday night, the cops shot at a truck that allegedly rammed a police car and then tried to run over an officer on Fessenden in St. John's, just past the railroad tracks north of the Fred Meyer. The suspect in that one got away; no one knows if he was hit. It's not 100 percent clear to me exactly where in the sequence of events the police pulled the trigger. They're forbidden to shoot at suspects fleeing in vehicles.

Of course, whenever these things happen, the nattering nabobs of "All Cops Are Bastards" immediately jump up. Like them, I'm always skeptical of the police's version of events, but so far I'm not seeing anything to indicate that any of the officers who fired in these three incidents were in the wrong. Here are some things I do know:

If you shoot a gun while the police are wrestling with you, they are going to kill you.

If you shoot a gun and then point it at the police, they are going to kill you.

If you try to run over police officers with your truck, they are probably going to kill you.

Those things said, I am completely open to seeing evidence that the two killings were not justified. Apparently there was some dude from the Cop Watch outfit taking video of the Clinton Street incident as it happened; if the cops looked bad in any of that footage, I think we would have heard about it by now. 

I can't get over that while the police are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with a suspect, there is some guy from an anti-police organization standing right there filming the whole thing on his phone to hold it against the cops. He's lucky he didn't get shot.

Of course, what should have happened is that all the police were wearing body cameras, and a civilian police review board saw all the raw footage immediately. But this is Portland, and that makes too much sense for the mayor, the police chief, and the police union. So the red tape and b.s. about the cams drag on and on. As does the rampant mistrust.

I believe we're up to 53 homicides in the city in 2022. Last year, we set our all-time record with 90. By my math, we're currently on pace for 93.