from The Oregonian
Roiling over police shootings
As I read the articles and letters surrounding the shooting death of Lukus Glenn, a few things occurred to me.
Glenn's GPA, polite demeanor and football skills are irrelevant. His mom called 9-1-1 to report that her son was "out of control" and "threatening to kill everybody." She also informed a dispatcher that her son was "threatening to kill himself . . .." These were the facts the police officers were faced with.
One letter writer mentioned the use of tranquilizer darts, as are used on lions and grizzly bears. Would you prefer a gun or tranquilizer dart if you were being charged by a lion or bear, say, at 20 feet? Would you feel confident the dart would have itsdesired effect?
It is important not to confuse speculation with facts. It is easy for us to react emotionally with our two cents. But the fact is, in this case, police were given only four minutes and limited yet critical information.
Ultimately, he was shot as he approached the front door of his home with a knife --the same front door that was protecting his mom and her family, [after he had] threatened to kill them.
DENNIS J. ORTEGA
The recent killings of citizens by the Portland and Washington County police can, at best, only be labeled as gross incompetence, and flat-out outrageous.
The excessive blunt trauma to James Philip Chasse Jr., who was severely mentally ill, has provoked strong protests from eyewitnesses. The shooting of 18-year-old Lukus Glenn, who was drunk and suicidal but armed with only with a small pocket knife, was totally unnecessary and demonstrates abysmal police training in handling mentally disturbed individuals.
Only luck prevented the wounding or death of Glenn's 72-year-old grandmother from police bullets that penetrated the family's house.
I have been watching numerous "Animal Planet" shows in which Steve Irwin and his staff were able to totally control massive, ferocious, man-eating crocodiles, armed only with ropes and netting. I strongly suggest that all police squad cars be equipped with ropes and nets for these type of confrontations.
ALAN B. LACHMAN, M.D.