City Ordered to Give Newspapers Reports of Police Taser Case
Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard
The Lane County District Attorney's Office has ordered Eugene officials to provide to the media the police reports detailing a Sept. 22 incident in which an officer used a Taser to subdue a Chinese college student mistaken as a trespasser in his own apartment.
The order issued Monday afternoon came after The Register-Guard and the Eugene Weekly separately asked the District Attorney's Office to overturn a city decision that asserted state laws pertaining to personnel records required the police reports to remain secret until the city completes a misconduct investigation into officer Judd Warden's actions.
The order written by Chief Deputy District Attorney Patty Perlow supports the newspapers' position that the city improperly withheld the reports.
The Register-Guard argued that the city's classification of the police reports on the Taser use as personnel investigation records was overly broad and that the public interest requires disclosure of the basic elements of law enforcement incidents.
Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns on Tuesday said he expects the city to release the reports on Thursday, after the city attorney's office reviews them.
Two weeks ago, Kerns held a news conference and wrote a guest opinion piece in The Register- Guard arguing that he could not share even basic details about the case with the media or the public because the misconduct investigation was under way. City attorneys advised him that releasing any information under those circumstances would violate state personnel records law and the city's contract with the police officers' union, Kerns had said.
The controversial Taser incident unfolded Sept. …