PORTLAND – A police cruiser video taken on the night Jonathan Mitchell was wounded by a Portland officer has been removed from the Internet.
The video had been posted on the website Portlandpolicebrutality.com. It was created by the family and defense team of Mitchell, who was shot twice by police in April.
J.P. DeGrinney, Mitchell’s attorney, confirmed Tuesday that the video and website had been taken down, but declined to say why.
“I am really not in a position to make a formal comment,” DeGrinney said, but he may have more information today.
The video was obtained by DeGrinney as part of the court discovery process to prepare for trial.
DeGrinney said the purpose of the video was to show that Mitchell was not using his vehicle as a dangerous weapon and was not threatening officers Robert Miller and David Schertz when Miller shot Mitchell twice — once in the neck and once in the shoulder.
Police were responding to a report that Mitchell had broken into his ex-wife’s apartment in Portland, and they chased him to Fairfield Street, a dead end. Mitchell pulled over, but then sped away as officers approached the car.
He was indicted earlier this month on charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, being a habitual driving offender, criminal trespass, failure to stop for an officer and refusing to submit to arrest. Mitchell is being held at Cumberland County Jail.
District Attorney Stephanie Anderson could not immediately be reached for comment about the website. Tamara Getchell, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said there was no court order requiring that it be taken down.
Acting Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck declined to discuss the case and the ongoing investigation.
One of the video segments on the site showed Mitchell driving the car rapidly away from the officers, with Miller firing at him. Miller is alongside the driver’s side rear door when the shots are fired and Schertz is to his left, which DeGrinney said shows they were not in danger.
The video shows that as Mitchell accelerates, he is turning to the left, the side the officers are on.
Defense lawyers said Mitchell’s parents, Roger and Kim Mitchell, asked that the website be created.
The video also shows Mitchell’s parents reading a statement that says he was wrong not to stop for police, but he should not have been shot for that mistake. The video shows Mitchell was not trying to hurt the officers, they say, and he now has permanent health problems, including difficulty swallowing.
Staff Writer Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: