Tigard, commissioners decline to review Lukus Glenn shooting
- Barbara Sherman
- The Times - News
Attorneys for Lukus Glenn's family are still seeking a
Despite a plea for a public inquest into the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Lukus Glenn by Washington County sheriff's deputies Sept. 16, the Washington County Board of Commissioners has declined to investigate the case, and the Tigard City Council has chosen to make no response.
Two deputies and a Tigard police officer responded to a 9-1-1 call from the Metzger home of Brad and Hope Glenn early that morning concerning their agitated and drunken son who was holding a knife and destroying property.
The officers repeatedly demanded that Luke drop the knife before the Tigard officer, Andrew Pastore, fired six rounds of beanbags at him.
According to Glenn family attorneys Larry Peterson and Michael Cox, the 9-1-1 tape recording of the incident reveals that sheriff's deputies Mikhail Gerba and Timothy Mateski began firing the first of 11 shots at Luke as the sixth bean bag round went off.
Washington County Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Bletko, who conducted an investigation of the incident, determined that the shooting was legally justified.
However, Peterson and Cox speculated in an Oct. 19 press conference that the beanbag rounds forced Luke to turn and run toward his family and the house, which the deputies used as justification to shoot him. They also asserted that Gerba's statements about the incident are not consistent with the tape recording.
On Oct. 5, Peterson and Cox sent letters to Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen and the Washington County Board of Commissioners requesting that they hold a public inquest into the shooting that would be 'transparent and open to the public.'
They mailed second requests Friday, according to Cox.
On Oct. 11, the commissioners released a statement that they respect the district attorney's decision on the incident.
'We wish to remind the public that the sheriff and his staff are also carefully reviewing this incident, as they would any case involving the use of force by deputies,' the statement read. 'The sheriff's office is examining existing policies and will determine whether policy changes are needed.
'The sheriff's office is working to ensure that deputies have access to all the resources and equipment needed to successfully resolve such incidents without resorting to deadly force if possible. Through this effort, they will also identify lessons learned that can be included in the regular use-of-force training received by all deputies.'
Dirksen said that as far as he is concerned, 'I think the whole incident is very tragic and unfortunate. If it happened inside Tigard, it may have been appropriate for us to look into it. But because it took place outside the city and involved Washington County deputies, I don't think it's Tigard's place to call for a public inquest. It's just not appropriate.'
Cox said that he is 'extremely disappointed' in the district attorney's investigation and conclusion.
'I don't understand how he could not go back and re-listen to the tape and re-interview the deputies,' he said. 'We don't know all the facts. In our case, the deputies said they did not have Tasers available. The Tigard officer had it available, but we still don't know why he didn't use it.'
According to Cox, the deputies and police officer were no more than 15 feet from Luke, and Tasers can be used up to 21 feet.
'We still have questions,' Cox added. 'We are still hearing from a lot of concerned people who think a fair, non-partial review is called for. This is so hard on the Glenn family.'