Cop who wrongly arrested black man gets probation

A fired police sergeant in a suburb of Portland, Oregon has been sentenced to probation and ordered to undergo community service and cultural sensitivity training after pleading no contest to first-degree official misconduct for his role in the wrongful arrest of a black man.

West Linn’s former police sergeant. Reeves, 43, appeared by phone from his home in Montana for Wednesday’s hearing in Multnomah County Circuit Court, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Judge Michael Greenlick accepted the negotiated plea on the misdemeanor charge and the jointly recommended sentence.

Reeves arrested Michael Fesser of Portland on a false robbery charge at the behest of then-Police Chief Terry Timeus in 2017. Timeus ordered Fesser investigated on behalf of a friend who was the Fesser’s employer in a towing company. Fesser said the arrest was in retaliation for his complaints about a racially hostile work environment.

Greenlick ordered Reeves to complete a year and a half of probation under the judge’s supervision. He must complete 85 hours of community service with a nonprofit organization and 15 hours of cultural diversity and sensitivity training within six months.

While on probation, he should not apply for any law enforcement jobs in Oregon or any state and should not have any contact with Fesser. In 2021, a state board revoked Reeves’ Oregon police certificate for life for his dishonesty and discriminatory behavior during Fesser’s arrest.

Assistant Attorney General Tobias Tingleaf told the judge that he did not consult Fesser about the deal because he considered the state and the public to be victims of Reeves’ criminal prosecution.

Fesser called it a slap in the face and said he was flabbergasted that the district attorney didn’t think he was the victim in the case.

“I’m beyond shocked, angry and disappointed,” Fesser said. “There is no justice.”

Reeves is the only officer charged with a crime in Fesser’s indictment and arrest. Federal, state and local agencies opened investigations into the arrest after The Oregonian/OregonLive reported in 2020 that the city of West Linn paid Fesser $600,000 to settle his civil rights lawsuit against his forces. police.

Multnomah County prosecutors dropped theft charges against Fesser, and the towing company paid Fesser $415,000 to settle a separate discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.

David Lesh, Reeves’ defense attorney, told the judge that the case against Reeves was “not as black and white” as the state claimed, but Reeves wanted to solve it. Reeves had no comment.

West Linn also fired Police Chief Terry Kruger, who had defended Fesser’s arrest to the city council. Last year, a state board also stripped Timeus of his lifetime police certificate.

Last summer, Mike Stradley, a former West Linn police lieutenant, agreed to resign as police training manager for the state’s public safety academy after being subjected to under investigation for his role in Fesser’s arrest.

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Sandy A. Greer