16 September 2022

To Protect and Serve

It turns out that the Portland Police Bureau is making a serious attempt to be recognized as the worst police agency in the nation.

Case in point, the PPB refused to investigate a murder because they did not like the victim:

Portland police quickly obtained key evidence in the 2019 killing of anti-fascist Sean Kealiher, but waited more than two years to arrest the suspect, according to investigative file documents obtained by OPB.

For more than two years, the Portland Police Bureau has insisted its detectives diligently investigated the 2019 killing of a well-known anti-fascist activist.

Those claims now appear shakier than ever.

New records obtained by OPB through a public records appeal show police collected significant evidence at the scene of the crime that pointed to a clear suspect just days after the homicide.

Portland police spoke to the main suspect, Christopher Knipe, in the days after the killing of Sean Kealiher. They also had likely obtained surveillance footage implicating Knipe more than two years before officers arrested him on Aug. 4.


The city of Portland only released the additional records in the case following a successful legal appeal by OPB, which had first requested the records in June 2021. OPB had argued that the homicide investigation had made no progress for several years and that the full record should be made publicly available to address concerns from Kealiher’s mother and friends that police were slow to make an arrest due to Kealiher’s critical views of law enforcement.


Knipe initially told detectives his car had been stolen the night of the incident, according to a probable cause affidavit for his arrest. That document also says that security camera footage shows Knipe driving the Ford Explorer away from Kealiher and his two friends, then turning around and accelerating back toward them and running over Kealiher. According to prosecutors, the footage also allegedly shows Knipe and Caudle “nonchalantly walking away from the crash.”


Over the ensuing weeks and months, records indicate, detectives collected and analyzed fingerprints taken from the Ford Explorer and interviewed witnesses. According to the newly released records, most of the investigation appears to have stopped around February 2020 and didn’t resume again until June 2022 when police again interviewed Knipe.

OPB and The Intercept, another media organization, were both engaged in legal action against Portland to release details of the investigation, and the cases were coming to a head around the time police revisited Knipe on June 28.

We need to dismantle the whole rotten edifice of law enforcement in the United States.


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