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Deschutes County Sheriffs Investigating Knee-on-Neck Incident

Sheriff launching investigation after image surfaces on social media of deputies using force on woman near Bend

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The Deschutes County Sheriff's office announced Monday that it is investigating an incident that may have involved sheriff's deputies placing a knee "on or near a woman's neck" as they were arresting her. The incident looks like it happened last year, DCSO stated.
According to DCSO, an image is "circulating on social media that appeared to show two of our deputies holding down a female subject, while one of them had a knee on or near her neck. The photo appears to be a screen shot of cell phone video taken on June 11, 2019."
COURTESY DESCHUTES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy Deschutes County Sheriff's Office


A news release from DCSO today said the deputies were at a home in Deschutes River Woods to locate a child who a judge had deemed to be in danger.

"The mother was resisting and blocking deputies and repeatedly called 911 while the deputies were at the residence attempting to locate the child. The mother received warnings about the crime of Improper Use of 911, yet after they left the residence, she called 911 again when no emergency existed. Deputies returned to the residence to arrest her for Improper Use of 911 when this incident of force occurred," the release read.



The child was found later in the day riding bikes near the home, DCSO Sgt. William Bailey told the Source, and was returned to their father. The department is not releasing the names of the woman arrested, as "the case is currently being prosecuted by the Deschutes County DA's office," Bailey wrote in an email. The deputies' names are also being withheld pending an internal investigation, Bailey told the Source.

Seeing what appears to be an officer put a knee on the neck of a person being arrested is a pain point in a country currently rocked by protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died May 25 after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

"Sheriff Nelson has ordered a complete review of this image and the force depicted in it. The sheriff’s office takes these matters very seriously and he promises a complete review of the force utilized by the two deputies. We are working to obtain a copy of the video from the subject that posted the image to social media," the DCSO release said.

This story is developing. We will add new details as they become available.

-An earlier version of this story stated that the incident "may have happened last week." That was an error. As stated in the press release, it was 2019, not 2020.

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. (Blame her for everything since then.) Favorite car: A Trek commuter bike. Favorite cat: An adopted dog who looks like a Jedi master. Favorite things, besides responding to your comments: Downton Abbey re-runs, Aretha Franklin albums, and pink wine.

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