Eugene chief says officer shouldn't have cursed

EUGENE — An officer mostly followed Eugene Police Department policy during an incident in which an off-duty state trooper was ejected from a University of Oregon football game, according to Police Chief Pete Kerns.

The chief said Officer Jed McGuire made just one error: He shouldn't have cursed at Trooper Marc Boyd, who filed a misconduct complaint after the incident that unfolded in the stands during the Washington State game in October.

Officials with the Eugene Police Auditor's Office announced this week that two of the three allegations Boyd had made against McGuire were unfounded, the Register-Guard newspaper reported.

Kerns ruled that McGuire did not use excessive force and did not break policy by refusing to identify himself to Boyd, as the trooper had alleged. The chief, however, sustained an allegation that McGuire used profanity.

“If you swear, you're going to get dinged,” police Lt. Nathan Reynolds said during this week's meeting of the city's civilian review board, which discussed Boyd's complaint.

Police internal-affairs investigators interviewed another officer involved in the incident who recalled hearing McGuire use an “F-bomb” while dealing with Boyd after a reported altercation involving several spectators, board member Eric Van Houten said.

Boyd, 48, was not jailed or charged with any crime. He is on paid administrative leave while state police conduct a personnel investigation.

Police typically eject dozens of rowdy spectators from the stadium during football games, and most involve intoxicated people. In Boyd's case, McGuire wrote in his report that the off-duty trooper smelled of alcohol and acknowledged having consumed “a few” beers prior to being ejected.

Another Eugene officer, Matthew Grose, wrote in a separate report that Boyd wore a T-shirt that read “Beer is the answer. Now what was the question?”

Boyd was not interviewed as part of the misconduct investigation. He notified Eugene officials in January that he intends to file a lawsuit against the city alleging police violated his constitutional rights.

Boyd accuses McGuire of “jabbing the butt end of his flashlight” against him and cursing at him before asking for his identification. Boyd denies resisting officers’ efforts to handcuff him, and claims that police misidentified him as having been involved in the altercation.


Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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