Man Fatally Shot By Portland Police Had Long History of Mental Illness

by Alex Zielinski



The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has identified 30-yr-previous Samuel E. Rice as the man who was fatally shot by an officer on Wednesday morning.

Rice was shot in the head by PPB Officer Kelly VanBlokland during a perceived hostage state of affairs on the Del Rancho Motel on SE 82nd. Officers stated Rice had attempted to stab a lady and was holding her hostage in a lodge room. It’s still unknown if the officers entered the room or if Rice opened the door, however “sooner or later through the incident, an officer fired a shot, hanging and killing the suspect,” in response to PPB spokesperson Chris Burley.

Ken Hansen says he was not stunned to listen to of his former shopper’s dying.

Hansen is the state director of a program that contracts with native governments to offer help for individuals with mental and developmental disabilities. He asked the Mercury to not point out the identify of the program and noted he was speaking solely on his personal behalf. Hansen says he and his colleagues labored intently with Rice for a five-month period earlier this yr, and that Rice suffered from a developmental disability and psychological illness. Hansen says he’s certain that at the time of his dying Rice was within the midst of a mental well being crisis.

“What police did not know was [that Rice was] dwelling utterly outdoors of reality, in a psychological psychosis,” Hansen says. “He had no concept what was happening or who he was talking to. That’s the story missing from the stories to date. It’s simpler for the group to handle a nasty-man versus good-man story.”

Hansen alleges that Rice had been coping with extreme mental well being issues for many years. Hansen also stated he was current when those issues turned violent, just like the time Rice threw a cinderblock via Hansen’s automotive window. Hansen says he and his coworkers have referred to as PPB at the very least a dozen occasions in an try and get Rice long-term assist.

“It’s the unlucky reality that we’ve to go through the police,” says Hansen. “There aren’t other options.”

PPB knowledge helps Hansen’s claims. In a press release despatched this afternoon, Burley notes that in the past, PPB sent out Behavioral Health Unit officers to attach Rice with mental well being providers. However, Burley notes, Rice declined PPB’s assistance. As an grownup, Rice had the proper to take action, but Hansen says PPB should have executed extra.

“He was declining providers, but he wasn’t understanding what that meant. He was too deep into a state of psychosis,” says Hansen, who witnessed a lot of Rice’s interactions with PPB officers. “He needed to be arrested, positioned on a police hold, and then positioned in psychiatric care.”

In response to PPB directives, an officer can forcibly detain somebody when, “because of a mental health disaster, a person might lack the capacity to make sound judgments about their private state of affairs.”

A Multnomah County Grand Jury will decide whether or not VanBlokland’s…

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