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Vernon Clifford Allen, 48
Portland, Oregon
May 19, 2005

Agencies: Portland Police Bureau Oregon

Last updated: 8 months ago

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Allen, 48, was killed in the early morning of May 19 on West 5th and Burnside. He allegedly wrestled with Officer Kai Ho (#39661), who broke free as backup arrived. Although witness descriptions differ, the police claim Allen lunged with a knife at the four officers on the scene and three of them, Darrell Shaw (#28923), Mark Friedman (#36237) and Ho, opened fire and killed Allen with 6 bullets. The initial 911 call that attracted police concerned Allen kicking trashcans in the area.

Interestingly, Friedman was the officer who, fully trained in Crisis Intervention Training, fired a "beanbag" round at John Vitale in February while an officer he was with fired her gun.

Witnesses whose accounts were carried in the newspapers (Oregonian and Portland Tribune, May 20) stated, conflictingly, that Allen was three feet away from officers when they shot and that he was far enough away that police were not justified in killing him. Two witnesses who talked to Portland Copwatch said that they didn't even see a knife in Allen's hand. Other anecdotal reports say that he had dropped the knife when the police shot him or that the object was not a knife. Police handily noted that Allen's last known address was the Washington State Penitentiary. Chief Foxworth, playing the "they had to shoot" card, stated "The suspect's actions forced the officers into making a decision which no officer wants to make."

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