Ore. Police Union Defends Officer Indicted for Domestic Abuse

Police union officials in Portland, Oregon, have rallied behind an officer indicted on July 25 for felony assault of a former girlfriend and falsification of police records.

According to the unidentified woman’s affidavit, Michael Pimentel pulled her car over on June 26, 2001, without legal cause and berated her.  He allegedly showed up at her apartment the next day and refused to leave, slamming her finger in a window. The woman also charged that Pimentel seized her biceps, wrists, shoulder and breast, bruising her biceps. When the woman ran to her bedroom and locked the door, Pimentel forced it open and got into bed with her, acc. to the affidavit.  Later in the day, he tried to block her car with his body to prevent her from driving away and then allegedly followed her in his car until she drove to the precinct where Pimentel is assigned.

The alleged false entry and alteration of a police report is said to have happened between Aug. 11 and Sept. 1 of last year. Aug. 11 is also the date on which, according to the indictment, Pimentel allegedly harassed his girlfriend by subjecting her to offensive physical contact.

Meanwhile, many bureau colleagues and the police union have rallied around Pimentel, even as those groups have condemned the societal problem of domestic violence.  Earlier this month, supporters held a benefit to raise money for his legal defense. “In light of what’s happened we are concerned about Mike Pimentel and very concerned about this,” said Robert King, president of the Portland Police Association. “We recognize there may be a trial and that in this system, people are innocent until proven guilty.” [Oregonian 7/26/02]