A now-retired Portland police officer is accused of driving into an alleged looter who ran from a shop during a riot this summer — and while the former officer has been indicted, the alleged looter’s charges have been dropped, the Oregonian reported.
What are the details?
A Multnomah County grand jury charged Scott Groshong with official misconduct, third-degree assault, and failure to perform the duties of a driver, the paper said, citing a source familiar with the investigation who’s not authorized to speak about it.
Groshong — who retired in August after a 27-year career — was working undercover surveillance and driving an unmarked van during a mid-June protest, the Oregonian said.
Here’s video of incident:
Alleged Portland skate shop thief struck by police van
Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, condemned Groshong’s prosecution and suggested politics is playing a role in the case, the paper added.
The Oregonian noted that while the indictment hasn’t been filed in court, the police union and the manager of the Portland Skate and Snowboard shop said the incident occurred June 15 just before midnight.
More from the paper:
Groshong and Portland police Sgt. Chris Kenagy were doing surveillance in the area of Northwest Ninth Avenue and Davis Street and heard glass breaking, according to court records from arrests made that night. Groshong drove up to the skate shop and recorded one man reaching in and taking two skateboards and another snagging a third board before running off, the records indicate.
A short time later, another man walked up to the store, stole a helmet and darted across the street, said shop manager Kevin Nimick.
A video by an area resident caught an unmarked black van racing east on Davis Street up to the alleged helmet thief, who was running across the street near 9th Avenue, and shows the van strike him near the intersection, knocking him off his feet and onto the sidewalk. […]
The driver’s side door of the black van opened but no one appears to have stepped out of the vehicle, and the man who had been struck ran off, according to the video.
The alleged looter — who appears to drop the stolen helmet and leave it behind before running away — was arrested a few blocks away, the Oregonian said.
But his burglary and criminal mischief charges were later dismissed, the paper said, and he actually accused Groshong later on of driving into him and then driving away.
According to Turner, Groshong said that allegation is false, and the alleged looter ran in front of the vehicle of an independent witness near the scene and didn’t show any sign of injury, the Oregonian noted.
“Instead of the suspect facing consequences for looting, this veteran police officer finds himself the target of misplaced criminal charges,” Turner said in his statement, according to the paper. “Incredibly, this suspect now claims the police knowingly hit him with the undercover surveillance van when the officer drove towards him to document his criminal acts. That claim is false, self-serving, and runs completely counter to the independent eyewitness who observed the suspect running away from the scene of his crime.”
Also, Turner said the grand jury didn’t hear from the independent witness when the case was presented by an outside prosecutor, the Oregonian noted.
“There is no justice when politics are injected into the criminal justice system,” he noted in his statement, according to the paper, adding that “once the full picture is revealed, we are confident that justice will prevail and the officer will be exonerated of all charges. We stand by our officer, truth, and justice.”
Kenagy, who was riding with Groshong, has not been charged, the paper said, adding that Groshong’s lawyer did not return a call for comment Wednesday night.