Eugene police upset over handling of standoff

EUGENE — Police officers in Eugene have taken steps to file a formal complaint over how the department handled a standoff with a potentially armed man.

The Eugene Police Employees’ Association on Wednesday submitted a letter to the city's police auditor asking for a formal complaint to be filed against the department's command staff, reported The Register-Guard. The letter criticized the command staff's decision to retreat during the Tuesday standoff, calling it "unethical, cowardly and irresponsible."

Capt. Sam Kamkar said they decided to call off the standoff with a convicted felon after six hours because the suspect was not posing an active threat. The man was suspected of pointing a gun at his girlfriend and threatening to kill her earlier in the day.

The standoff ended abruptly after repeated loudspeaker announcements that officers weren't going anywhere.

Kamkar said the department would continue to investigate the incident and arrest the suspect at a later time. Police shut down a street for four hours Wednesday morning after hearing that the suspect was inside a residence there. They again left without making an arrest.

The letter from the employees’ association does not reference Wednesday's incident. It does, however, ask the Lane County district attorney's office to review the Tuesday incident for any violations of state law.

“Our officers are telling us that they feel ashamed to work for command staff that makes these types of decisions and that they are eroding public trust by needlessly endangering the citizens that they are sworn to protect,” the letter reads.


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

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