Grand Jury returns not true bill in June 24, 2021 fatal shooting by an officer

September 15 2021


Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director

Grand Jury returns not true bill in June 24, 2021 fatal shooting by an officer

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that upon the conclusion of the presentation of evidence, a grand jury returned a not true bill regarding the use of force by a Portland Police Bureau officer that resulted in the death of 40-year old Michael Ray Townsend.

Officer Brown and another officer, Officer Emmons, responded to a 911 call on June 24, 2021 placed from a motel off of NE Broadway by Mr. Townsend. Portland Fire and Rescue, American Medical Response (AMR) and Portland Police were all dispatched and present at the scene. Mr. Townsend said he wanted to go to the hospital or return to his room according to the motel manager. Mr. Townsend had consumed a large amount of methamphetamine. When Officer Emmons inquired, Mr. Townsend confirmed that he did want to go to the hospital.

Officer Emmons then explained to Mr. Townsend would need to be patted down prior to being transported to the hospital. Mr. Townsend then began reaching toward his pocket and indicated he did not want to be patted down, prompting Officer Emmons to disengage and walk away. Mr. Townsend then pulled a sharp-ended screwdriver out of his pocket. Witnesses heard Mr. Townsend threaten Officer Brown and saw Mr. Townsend move towards the officer. Officer Brown attempted to back away and ordered Mr. Townsend to stop and drop the weapon. Mr. Townsend continued to advance towards Officer Brown, increasing his pace while brandishing the screwdriver. Officer Brown fired two shots, both striking Mr. Townsend. AMR and Portland Fire and Rescue attended to Mr. Townsend and transported him to the hospital.  Mr. Townsend died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Pursuant to ORS.132.270, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will file a motion and request that the court authorize the release of a grand jury transcript for public review.

It shall be up to the Multnomah County Circuit Court Presiding Judge to determine if the motion to release the transcript will be granted.