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City of Ashland, Oregon / Police / City News

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APD Mistakenly Arrest African American Man


News Release from Ashland Police Dept.
Posted: November 28th, 2018 3:03 PM

The Ashland Police Department mistakenly arrested and jailed a man on Monday November 26, 2018.

The man who was arrested is a 20-year-old, African American member of the community. He was arrested after officers responded to a complaint of a physical harassment having occurred about 8:00 p.m. Monday night at a store on Siskiyou Boulevard. The complainant described the suspect as an African American male wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt.   A few minutes later, police officers stopped a person matching that general description a short distance away from the incident, arrested him, and took him to Jackson County Jail.  The man was released from jail custody at 8:00 a.m. the next morning.

Follow up investigation conducted the following morning (Tuesday, the 27th) indicated the man who was arrested was not involved in the incident. The District Attorney’s office was immediately contacted to ensure that charges would not be pursued against him. Later on Tuesday, Chief Tighe O’Meara spoke with the man and his father, at their home, acknowledging and apologizing for the department’s mistake.

The Ashland police department is conducting an investigation into the causes of this misidentification and deficient follow through, and will take steps to ensure that it does not happen again. At this time, it appears that the officers involved did not take crucial investigatory steps, subsequent to detaining the man, to verify that he was, in fact, the person wanted for the harassment.  There is no indication that the officers were intentionally negligent in their arrest of the man, however, the police department and the City recognize this as a police department failure.

The Ashland Police Department, and the City of Ashland remain committed to providing the best possible, fairest services to the entire community.

Contact Info:
Chief Tighe O'Meara

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