A Former Portland Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Keaton Otis Is Now a Prosecutor
The Multnomah County District Attorney stands by the hiring of Cody Berne, which has outraged protesters of police violence.
By Johanna Bernhard | Published September 13, 2016 Updated October 3, 2016
Last month, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office hired a new prosecutor with an unusual background: Cody Berne is a former Portland police officer who in 2010 fatally shot Keaton Otis, a mentally ill black man.
Berne’s hiring has outraged protesters of police violence against African-Americans. Otis was the last black man to be killed by Portland police, who fired 32 bullets at him after he shot an officer in the legs. Berne fired 11 of those rounds.
“It’s pretty troubling that he is now on the other side of the criminal justice system, determining who gets charged and how that person gets charged,” says Jo Ann Hardesty, a civil rights activist and one of the organizers of a monthly vigil for Otis…
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