The City of The Dalles Police Department has been made aware of the Wasco County District Attorney’s (WCDA) decision to seek dismissal of over 100 cases tied to former Officer Jeff Keinlen. Former Officer Keinlen was dismissed from The Dalles Police Department in March of 2021 after being placed on a “Brady List” by the WCDA. A “Brady List” is a reference to the legal case Brady v. Maryland (Brady v. Maryland: 373 U.S. 83 (1963)). This case held that suppression of evidence favorable to an accused who has requested it violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution. Former Officer Keinlen was placed on the “Brady List” by District Attorney Matt Ellis after former Officer Keinlen was demoted for dishonesty and ultimately dismissed from the Department.
The District Attorney is within his powers and authority to take this legal action which must be presented to a judge for evaluation before any case can be retroactively dismissed or expunged.
In reviewing the cases, the WCDA partnered with an outside legal advocacy group to review cases involving former Officer Keinlen. The Dalles Police fully cooperated with the DA’s Office as well as outside investigators in good faith. The report issued by the outside advocacy group pointed out areas of concern surrounding former Officer Keinlen’s use of force and interactions with the community. The report suggested several areas of possible improvement for operations within The Dalles Police. Fortunately, these suggestions have already been addressed before this issuance of this report.
Chief Worthy said, “I’m pleased with our progress in modernization and reforms that have been undertaken in the last several years. There is no place in our agency or profession for unethical policing. Our voluntary, proactive efforts at becoming an Oregon accredited agency have allowed us to take a deep look at our policies, training and oversight, while reflecting our operations against industry best practices and the President’s Report on 21st Century Policing. Compliance with the criteria outlined by the Oregon Accreditation Alliance is verified by outside professionals. I am eager to continue to build a team of community guardians who seek positive, equitable outcomes for everyone while being committed to our philosophy of community policing and public safety.”
The Dalles Police investigates every complaint, including anonymous complaints and voluntarily began submitting data to the National use of Force Database prior to the mandate by the Oregon Legislature. The Dalles Police has implemented an electronic Administrative Incident Management system that collects data on all use of force, pursuits, citizen compliments and complaints and gives early warning when any officer shows a concerning pattern of behaviors or activities. Additionally, The Dalles Police Officers receive all training required in Oregon including de-escalation, dealing with persons in crisis and frequent case law updates from the Wasco County District Attorney. Our policies are posted on our web page for easy review by anyone who cares to examine them.
Chief Worthy said, “I’m pleased that the DA’s Office has reached its final disposition in this matter and I look forward to leading the women and men of The Dalles Police as we continue to professionally serve our community. It is wrong to conflate the actions of one with the good work of many. We know that trust is hard to win and easy to lose. Our officers work hard every day to ensure that our community feels served and protected, and we will continue to do so.”