Joint Press Release

For Immediate Release Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sponsored by: Administrative Office

Joint Release Regarding Settlement of Lukus Glenn Case

 

Washington County and the family of Lukus Glenn announced today that they have reached a settlement of all outstanding issues in the case of Glenn v. Washington County, U.S. District Court No. 3:08-CV-950-MO.

On August 30, 2012, a federal court jury in Portland returned a $2.5 million verdict against Washington County and two sheriff's deputies arising out of the shooting death of 18-year-old Lukus Glenn in the Metzger neighborhood of Washington County, near Tigard. Following the verdict, the estate of Lukus Glenn filed a motion seeking over $1 million in attorney fees and costs. Today the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved settlement of $2.575 million for all outstanding claims, including attorney fees and costs in this action, and the Glenn family has accepted this settlement, which will be subject to formal approval by the Washington County Circuit Court, Probate Department. The County said it will not appeal the verdict.

The parties gratefully acknowledged the assistance of U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez in conducting a judicial settlement conference that enabled final resolution of this case.

Washington County and the Glenn family also acknowledged the hard work done by the court and jury on a very emotional and challenging case, and said they were all motivated by a desire to bring this matter to closure without subjecting the parties to the costs and further delay that an appeal would bring.

Sheriff Garrett has told the Glenn family that since this incident his agency has instituted many changes including mandatory crisis intervention training for all patrol deputies, initiation of a Mental Health Response Team in February, 2011, with specially trained deputies and accompanied by mental health clinicians to respond during peak hours (noon to 9 p.m.) to calls involving persons in behavioral crisis, replacement of all "beanbag" shotguns with 40mm "sponge" round weapons that have less potential for serious injury, and issue of Taser electronic control devices to all patrol deputies. Washington County Sheriff's Office policies and training emphasize evaluation of the mental status of persons with whom deputies come into contact, and focus on de-escalation techniques before resorting to use of force where practical. Additional training has been added to further enhance de-escalation skills. Sheriff Garrett said that since January this year the Mental Health Response Team has been able to successfully de-escalate and bring about successful resolution without use of force in over 570 incidents in the county. Additional potentially violent incidents were resolved in a similar manner by other deputies.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is committed to learning from experience in order to improve its performance and the essential services it provides to the public. As a result of lessons learned from the Lukus Glenn incident and other incidents, the Sheriff's Office has made changes in policy, resources and training. If Sheriff's deputies were to respond today to an incident involving circumstances similar to those presented by Lukus Glenn, the Sheriff's Office would anticipate a different outcome. Sheriff Garrett said police work still includes calls that are dynamic, uncertain and rapidly evolving. He added that in this context, his office will continue to closely monitor use of force incidents and to carefully examine policies, training, supervision and resources to seek continued improvement and adapt to changes in legal and social expectations.

Funds for payment of this settlement will come, first, from the County's Liability Fund and the remainder will be spread over the next two fiscal years from County operating funds.