Portland police review force used against car theft suspect

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Police Bureau says it is reviewing a case in which an officer struck a man in the head with a shotgun while responding to a report of a stolen car.

The department said the 32-year-old was reaching under a car seat Saturday night when the officer struck him, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. Officers had already removed a knife from the vehicle and later found a replica gun in the car.

Three officers responded to a request for backup from an unarmed support specialist who had checked a report of a stolen car parked under an Interstate 405 viaduct in northwest Portland, the bureau said.

Police said that an officer ordered him to exit the vehicle, but he did not comply and began trying to push obstructing police vehicles out of the way with the stolen car. Officers deflated the vehicle’s tires to keep the man from driving away.

When the man reached toward the floor of the car an officer struck him with his shotgun in the side of the head, the bureau said. Officers then pulled him out of the vehicle.

Police said he told officers he had swallowed drugs. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and observation before being booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.

The incident is being investigated as a deadly use of force, which includes the use of a firearm, use of a carotid neck hold, or a strike to the head, neck or throat with a hard object.