REDMOND, OR -- Deschutes County DA John Hummel has cleared Redmond Police officers of Excessive Force allegations, stemming from 5 arrests made in June.
39-year-old Brett Blake is accused of nearly hitting a small child while driving drunk on June 29th. He was confronted by the child's parents, who were in turn confronted by 4 of Blake's friends or family members. Police arrived on scene and arrested 5 people, using force. The arrests were recorded and the videos shared on social media, with some people alleging that force was excessive. Hummel says he's watched them all, including those recorded by the Police. "So, I looked at every video that exists, read all the witness statements, and the accounts of the police officers, took into account what the suspects said, as well, of course, then at that point, you're driven by the facts and the law. and the facts and the law, in this case, indicate that the officers did not commit any crimes, so they weren't charged with any crimes."
After completing his investigation, he believes the Officers' use of force, at the time, was appropriate. "You could say, 'Alright, the officer had the right to use force because the suspect was being a bit aggressive, but that could mean that The OFFICER could get him in handcuffs and then beat them after they're cuffed. No. The officer could use the reasonable amount of force to subdue a person, and once they're in custody, handcuffed, and the threat is taken care of, then you can't continue to use force. And that's what I saw here." He continued, "The officers had a legal right to use force, because of some actions from the suspects. They used the appropriate amount of force, and once the suspects were in custody, no more force was used. And so, that's what happened here, so no crime committed by the officers."
5 people were arrested during that June 29th event, when an impaired driver was pulled over by Redmond Police, and the District Attorney's Office is pursuing charges against 4 of them: Cash Reece, Kameron Leisek, and Lorence Ortega are charged with Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with a Peace Officer, and Brett Blake was arrested for DUII, Reckless Driving, and 2 Counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
The Redmond Police department conducted an Internal Review of the allegations as well and concluded the force used by the Officers did not violate Redmond Police Department policies.