Deschutes County DA John Hummel has cleared the Redmond Police officers involved in the arrest of five people after an alleged hit and run incident in June. The arrests that were caught on video and led to an excessive force investigation.
The arrests happened on June 29th when Redmond officers responded to a report of a drunk driver in the area of NW 12th Street and NW Sprucewood Court. Officers ultimately ended up arresting five people, but not before a scuffle. The arrests were recorded and the cell phone videos were shared widely on social media.
According to a release from the District Attorney’s office, “allegations were made by some members of the public that the arrests of some of the suspects were unjust and that excessive force was used by the officers when they arrested some of the suspects.”
The DA’s office reviewed the evidence and determined the officers did not commit a crime and will not be charged. Additionally, the Redmond Police Department’s internal review concluded the officers used just force during the arrest and did not violate any department policies.
“Our community entrusts our law enforcement officers with the privilege of deciding when and how to take away a person’s liberty by arresting them,” Hummel said in a statement. “With this privilege comes the responsibility to exercise this power judiciously, respectfully, and safely. Because of this, when it is alleged that an officer arrested someone unjustly, or that they used excessive force in making an arrest, I take the matter seriously and personally review the evidence and law. After doing so in this case I determined that the arrests were lawful and the force used to make the arrests was appropriate given the circumstances.”
Six officers responded to the call, but not all of them were part of the internal investigation.
Four people face charges following the incident.
· Cash Reese, an 18-year-old resident of Redmond, was charged with disorderly conduct in the second degree and interfering with a peace officer.
· Kameron Leisek, a 19-year-old resident of Redmond, was charged with disorderly conduct in the second degree, interfering with a peace officer, and resisting arrest.
· Lorence Ortega, a 19-year-old resident of Redmond, was charged with disorderly conduct in the second degree and interfering with a peace officer.
· Brett Blake, a 39-year-old-resident of Redmond, was charged with driving while under the influence of intoxicants, failure to perform the duties of a driver, reckless driving, and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.
Hummel said, “Reese, Leisek, Ortega, and Blake are presumed innocent and have the right to a trial.”
Charges were dropped against a fifth person at the scene.