Portland Officer Uses Choke Hold On Suspect

Friday night, East Precinct officers responded to the report of a suspect with a warrant in front of a residence in the 9300 block of Southeast Ramona Street. 

Officers talked with 31-year-old Johnathon Harris and gave him instructions, so he could be safely taken into custody. The suspect did not follow the officers' instructions. 

Police says that as officers attempted to take the suspect into custody, he actively resisted the officers' efforts and directions. As the suspect continued to physically resist the officers' attempts to take him into custody, officers observed the suspect was in possession of a firearm. An officer reportedly attempted to apply a carotid neck hold, after which officers were able to place the suspect in handcuffs and seize the firearm that was in the suspect's possession. 

Once the suspect was in custody, officers requested emergency medical personnel respond to the scene to assess and provide any necessary medical treatment to the suspect. Emergency medical responders arrived and assessed the suspect at the scene and determined he did not require additional medical assessment or treatment. 

The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Johnathan A. Harris. Harris was lodged at the Multnomah County Jail on the charges of Felon in Possession of a Firearm and a warrant from Clackamas County for a charge of Theft in the First Degree. Additional charges against Harris are expected as this investigation continues. 

Based on the reported level of force used by an officer in this incident, members of the Portland Police Bureau Detective Division's Homicide Detail responded to perform an investigation into the force used. Pursuant to Portland Police Bureau policy, deadly force includes any use of force likely to cause death or serious physical injury, including the use of a firearm, carotid neck hold, or strike to the head, neck or throat with a hard object. There were no reports that any officer discharged a firearm during this incident. 

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office was contacted and will continue to be consulted regarding this investigation. 

The involved officer in this incident was Officer Larry Wingfield, a 26-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pursuant to Police Bureau policy. There were three witness officers present who assisted in taking the suspect into custody. 

"We are thankful that no one was injured during this incident," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "As with any use of force, this incident will be thoroughly reviewed and we will release additional information when it is appropriate to do so." 

As part of the use of force review process, the Bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board (PRB), which is comprised of community members, Bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division. 

This is an active and ongoing investigation. The Portland Police Bureau's directive outlining the procedures followed after a deadly use of force by an officer may be found at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/656780 

Anyone with information about this investigation should contact Detective Travis Law at 503-823-9786, Travis.Law@portlandoregon.gov or Detective Vince Cui at 503-823-0449 or Vince.Cui@portlandoregon.gov 


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