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Sgt. Kyle Nice under investigation for pulling gun and flipping motorist

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by onearmedswordsman, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Portland Sgt. Kyle Nice under investigation for pulling gun and allegedly flipping off another motorist in Washington County

    By Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
    April 06, 2010, 4:13PM

    Portland police are investigating an off-duty traffic confrontation involving Portland Sgt. Kyle Nice, one of the officers disciplined in the James P. Chasse Jr. death in custody case, and another motorist, who says Nice flipped him off in traffic and later unholstered his gun during their encounter.

    The incident occurred about 2:47 p.m. on Saturday in Washington County. Washington County sheriff's deputy responded to Southwest 80th Avenue and Oleson Road on a menacing call. No one was cited, and now Portland police are conducting an internal inquiry.

    The accounts of the two motorists significantly differ, but one independent witness who lived near where the altercation occurred told police that Nice seemed to be the more aggressive one of the two motorists.

    When the sheriff's deputy arrived, he found Nice standing beside his two-door Chevy pickup truck, holding up his police identification. The other motorist was in his vehicle.

    According to motorist Neil Ruffin, 34, he saw Nice's pickup truck pull up really close to him at Southwest Garden Home and Oleson Road. The motorist, he said, honked his horn at him, looked over and was "flipping him off" and mouthing an expletive at him, before driving on.

    According to Nice, he said Ruffin had run a red light going east on Southwest Allen Boulevard at Scholls Ferry Road, and almost hit his truck. He said his six-week old child was riding with him. Nice said he caught up with Ruffin at the Southwest Garden Home intersection with Oleson and rolled down his window.

    Nice, 42, says he raised his thumb and told Ruffin, "Nice, thanks for almost hitting me back there.''

    Ruffin said he pulled behind Nice to try and get him to pull over because he didn't understand what he had done. Nice drove to Southwest 80th Avenue, and Ruffin followed him in his 1996 BMW. At one point, Ruffin said he signaled he was pulling over, and Nice did too.

    Ruffin said he opened his door but before he got out saw Nice standing behind his truck with a pistol out. He said Nice had the pistol close to his left side, but the barrel was pointed at him, and Nice was yelling at him. He said Nice was saying, "You (expletive) can't drive you (expletives).''

    Nice said he pulled over because he did not want Ruffin following him home and was not sure what kind of person he was. Nice said he got out of his truck and walked toward the BMW, which pulled behind him. He said he couldn't see what Ruffin was doing or see his hands so he drew his pistol and put it to his side, not aiming at Ruffin at any time. Nice said he told Ruffin, "You don't need to be following me.''

    Ruffin called he called 9-1-1 because he didn't know if Nice was "crazy or what.'' After dialing the number, Ruffin said he looked up and saw Nice holding his police identification. He said Nice told him, "Go ahead and call the police.'' Ruffin told the dispatcher to have the police hurry up because he wasn't sure if Nice was going to shoot him or not.

    The sheriff's deputy advised both drivers that following another "to make sure you get a chance to say your peace (sic)" is not the smartest thing to do.''

    Independent witness Elizabeth Johnston said she drove past the two and pulled into her driveway. She said she heard some yelling and saw Nice reach for what looked like a gun and hold it to his side.

    “Our deputy felt it did not rise to the level of a crime,’’ said Washington Sgt. Dave Thompson, explaining why neither motorist faced menacing charges. “The deputy felt the officer was justified in pulling his gun out. There was a dispute as to whether or not he pointed it at Ruffin, and the independent witness said he didn’t. ’’

    The deputy felt Nice was justified for pulling the firearm, and keeping it ready, considering he was concerned about the well-being of his young child and himself, Thompson said.

    As for whether or not Nice flipped off Ruffin at the start, Thompson said it was a matter of two completely different accounts. “Whether or not he flipped him off or gave him a thumbs up, is not critical. It's not a crime. It appears both of them got angry. We don’t have to decide whether or not Nice made good or bad decisions. That’ll be the role of the Portland police bureau.’’

    Portland Officer Thomas Brennan, who had raised concerns to his precinct commander last October after he said the sergeant “grossly overreacted’’ on a call to move along two homeless men playing music outside Huber’s Restaurant, contends he was punished instead, becoming the first uniformed officer to be transferred to work in the property evidence warehouse.

    “I received a lot of grief because I let supervisors know this guy was a ‘loose cannon’ ,’’ Brennan said Tuesday. “Supervisors told me his ‘oil levels’ were being monitored, and his ‘oil levels’ were fine and to mind my own business. Instead of fixing the problem, they fix the blame.’’

    Nice was one of the officers involved in the Sept. 17, 2006 police struggle with James P. Chasse Jr., a 42-year-old man who suffered from schizophrenia and later died in police custody. In November 2009, police commissioner Dan Saltzman recommended Nice and fellow transit Officer Christopher Humphreys each be suspended without pay for 80 hours for failing to have Chasse transported by ambulance to a hospital, both before and after he was taken to jail

    http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2010/04/portland_sgt_kyle_nice_under_i.html
     
  2. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    That wasn't very Nice of him. :laugh:
     
  3. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like this "Nice" guy is an idiot and doesn't deserve a badge.
     
  4. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like they were both idiots, but Nice was the one that did most of the escalation.
     
  5. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    I agree, it seems like both were being idiots. Cops should know better and have better self control than that though. If nice really was road raging, then he needs to lose the badge.
     
  6. Ravenous

    Ravenous West Linn, OR Member

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    I am sure they were both being a-holes. Nice should of known better than to act that way with all the criticism the Portland police are getting right now. I am normally on the side of the LEO until proven guilty but this is definately a case of bad judgement. This guy sounds like he needs to be put behind a desk for a while. That being said, I used to work on the West Side and if I had a dollar for everytime some hot bubblegum in a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus cut me off or acted like an asshat, I'd have a new ACR right now!:laugh:
     
  7. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    If this action is representative of his attitude/self control, I think he needs to realize this is not the job for him. But I also know I am living in a world where I see purple skies and rainbows. I know officers that are great to deal with and in control and ones that are a bit....well.......controlling, but in an overbearing sort of way.

    This action is not representative of the Police we have. On a bigger note, I think both the public and the Police need to realize the Police are "Peace Officers", not "Law Enforcement", as silly and small as that seems, I think it represents a large shift in perception. Over the past 40yrs. or so, we have gone from ensuring/keeping the peace to enforcing laws. Along with that a lot of common sense has gone out the window.

    Common sense for anyone in this case would be to shrug it off.
     
  8. TAT2D

    TAT2D Portland Member

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    Wasn't one of the Chasse incident officers also involved in a report of a over-aggressive traffic stop? Someone said the cop yanked their arm out the window of the car and bent it backwards?

    Was that also this Nice guy or someother?

    MrB
     
  9. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Same guy.
     
  10. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    That is one turd that needs to be flushed then.
     
  11. bearingman

    bearingman Tualatin Member

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    I wonder if Ruffen was a chl holder. It seems to me someone (not in uniform) walking toward me with gun drawn puts me in fear for my life, he's lucky to be alive.
     
  12. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I have had the displeasure of meeting this guy. I would not believe a word of his version. he struck me as the perfect example of someone that should not be allowed to have a badge.
     
  13. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Gladstone, OR Member

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    You guys are way over-reacting to this. Remember that these officers go through a stringent psych evaluation prior to the hire, and it is this evaluation that excludes the majority of applicants .....
     
  14. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who has driven on public roads has had driving confrontations, how many have you stopped at and pulled your gun? The responsible person would not be in the that situation.

    We've all pissed someone off driving equal and proportionately to the amount someone has pissed us off driving, things happen. It is how we handle these incidents that shows the difference between someone who has control of their emotions and someone who is a loose cannon.

    I would be the first guy to point out that you had two loose cannons in this incident. The problem is one has a badge so he should be way more in control of his emotions than the civilian but the fact that he escalated the incident to involving a weapon in a situation that he could have ended without so much as another word shows he is out of control.

    Look at it like this, how would he explain the shooting had he used his weapon? If he told the truth he would have to admit that he chose to have the confrontation. I honestly feel he would have lied and made up some wild story where he was the hero shooting this unarmed "madman".
     
  15. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    If you think that weeds out all of the applicants with bad tempers (or those who might develop bad tempers due to the stresses of a difficult job), you're kidding yourself.

    Psychological testing is an inexact science when it's at its most accurate. When used to determine quantifiable traits (like intelligence or cognitive impairment) or diagnose specific conditions (like ADHD), it can provide answers only within the bounds of defined levels of uncertainty: just statistically probable answers. Sometimes, highly probable.

    When psychological testing is used to determine if a police recruit currently has, or has the potential to develop, any of the dozens of psychological traits that might make him or her a bad officer, it cannot possibly be as accurate. This doesn't even take into consideration the fact that some applicants with propensities toward temperamental or violent behavior might mislead department psychologists.

    I'm sure the testing's able to weed out plenty of bad apples, but the only accurate way to evaluate an officer is to look at the way he does his job. Unfortunately, most of the bad ones are protected from discharge by civil service rules or union contracts by the time they've been on the job long enough for their fitness to be determined.
     
  16. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Of course he would have.

    The cop who broke my arm last fall for no reason wrote an entirely fanciful report accusing me of repeatedly slamming his head in my door.

    Of course, his sergeant - standing three feet away - neglected to include that "fact" in his report.

    Some of these guys must just get so used to lying that they don't even think about it anymore - they just automatically tell/write stories that make them look good.
     
  17. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Gladstone, OR Member

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    Isn't the reason for pulling the gun that the guy was following him. A simple middle finger gesture (if thats what was given, and I suspect it was) does not call for him to follow the officer. That is an aggresive act, as is motioning for him to pull over. Had the Officer continued home do you not think the other guy would have followed. The Washington County Deputy said that pulling the gun out was justified (nuff said). There is no proof at all that he pointed at the guy. If your going to throw out what if's, Had the officer not said something to an individual who ran the light, how would he feel when the guy ran the next light and killed someone.

    It's just fortunate that those making judments are not the ones hiring the police officers. Lets leave that up to professionals and not internet knowalls ....
     
  18. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    If someone I had a confrontation with (no matter how minor) was following me home I would stop and do what I could to dissuade them.
     
  19. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    You've never had someone mad from a perceived incident follow you? I had one last month follow me from the freeway on ramp at 205 and Glisan to I-5 and Alberta just last week and it didn't end with a confrontation he just finally got tired of following and turned off so by your standards I should have stopped and pulled my gun? I say Bull, the cops pride was hurt and he wanted to bully the guy. I can say with 100% confidence I am a more stable individual than officer Kyle.


    The reasonable off duty officer would have called 911.

    And if officer Kyle was my comrad in arms I probably would have said the samething, that wouldn't make it right!

    No there is just the word of an irresponsible off duty police officer.

    Pfft! what if the world ends on 2012?

    I initially responded to your "internet judgment" call fella, so I think it's people that don't share your judgment that you seem to have a problem with. ;)
     
  20. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    Though, I know they go through stringent testing, there are still people out there that no matter how qualified they are, shouldn't be police officers. I am not saying this guy is one of them, but the odds are not looking in his favor. There are people that can pass all sorts of test and be really smart, but they still wouldn't be people I would want to have around.

    Mama always said, it's not what you say or do, it's HOW you say it or how you do it.