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Portland police chief resigns after lying about shooting his friend in the back

Portland, Oregon's police chief accidentally shot a friend while squirrel hunting in April, but he told local police the manshot himself — in the back.

by VICE News
Jun 28 2016, 3:51pm

Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP

More than two months after Portland, Oregon's police chief shot his friend in the back and lied about it to authorities, he is finally stepping down from his role as police commander.

Larry O'Dea accidentally shot a lifelong friend with a .22-caliber rifle while squirrel hunting in April, but he told local police the man had shot himself — in the back, according to investigators.

The injured man reportedly told police what really happened.

"The victim made it pretty clear he didn't shoot himself,'' Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward told the Oregonian in May. "The victim knew who shot him.''

"If an accident happens, you raise your hand and say here's what happened'," Ward added.

Portland's Mayor Charlie Hales put O'Dea on paid administrative leave on May 25, but it has taken more than a month for the police chief to resign from his post. A criminal investigation is ongoing.

Related: Oakland has gone through three police chiefs in nine days amidst sex and text scandals

"Larry has served Portland so well, and I'm sad, and we should all be sad, to lose his service," Hales said at a press conference Monday.

The mayor has appointed Mike Marshman, a police captain, as chief.

O'Dea is the latest US police chief to resign or be fired over alleged misconduct in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests that sought to expose police wrongdoing and brutality and increase transparency and accountability in departments across the country.

This month, Oakland went through three police chiefs in just nine days after a series of scandals involving alleged sexual misconduct and racist text messages.

The heads of law enforcement agencies in Chicago, Baltimore, and Ferguson were also recently ousted following recent scandals. Tom Angel, Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's former chief of staff, also resigned recently over racist emails he sent from his work account while at his previous job with the Burbank Police Department.

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