Justice Is Everyone's Business
Seeking to Restore Integrity and
Justice will not be served until those who are
unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
The Siege on Summer Street (Salem, Oregon 22 January 2019)
3. The Lone Ranger Rides Again
This is the third of a seven-part story.
Let us consider the role of the citizen we are calling "The Lone Ranger." All of the following is based upon the police reports for the incident and the first level conclusions that may be drawn from the information therein. Everyone's Business makes no assertions about the veracity of the police reports or the name of anyone described in the reports. The police reports should be given the weight deemed justified by the reader. This article concerns only the figure portrayed by the police reports.
As told in the Introduction, on the morning of 22 January 2019, Ketchem was looking for a friend’s house but went to a wrong address on Capitol Street, NE. He and the homeowner at that address had a confrontation. The homeowner pulled a gun on Ketchem. (Everyone’s Business will call that homeowner "The Lone Ranger.") Ketchem fled, but The Lone Ranger, still brandishing the gun, chased him down public thoroughfares.
Oregon State Law is clear on this matter:
2017 ORS 163.190 Menacing
Oregon law also states:
2017 ORS 166.190 Pointing firearm at another
When the Lone Ranger chased Ketchem on public streets (or alleys) with a drawn gun, all the points of Oregon State Laws ORS 163.190 and ORS 166.190 were satisfied. No one could argue he was defending himself, his family, or his property when he chased Ketchem. And quite obviously, Ketchem was in fear of physical injury when he fled, a fear intentionally inflicted by The Lone Ranger.
The events are not in dispute. They are documented in the police reports and witnessed by neighbors. Why has the Lone Ranger not been arrested charged with the crime of menacing?
But as if that were not enough, the Lone Ranger initiated several false reports about Ketchem that turned the incident into "a total clusterfuck," as it was described by homeowner Graves.
The Lone Ranger accused Ketchem of likely entering his basement, having a gun, threatening to shoot the Lone Ranger, and firing the gun through the window after entering the Summer St. home. Also (according to the Lone Ranger), Ketchem pointed the gun at him and yelled, "I have a firearm," which under the circumstances would be a clear threat.
Source: Incident Supplement, Det. Daniel Chase, Pg. 4 of 15, Bates 00225.
However, though the house was completely renovated, with every square foot of finishing removed, no gun attributed to Ketchem was ever found.
False reports to the police can be quite troublesome to law enforcement and have been criminalized by the legislature, including a special provision when the false report results in calling out the SWAT team, as happened in this case.
2017 ORS 162.375 Initiating a false report
But the Lone Ranger has not been charged with any of that.
As a victim, the Lone Ranger was invited to attend Ketchem's bail hearing on November 26, 2019. He told the court that the community was still traumatized by those events of almost a year previous and argued against lowering the bail, because Ketchem would be a continuing danger to the community and his own family.
The Lone Ranger did not take a witness oath before his testimony. No one asked how he knew the emotions of the whole neighborhood, nor did anyone question the propriety of allowing hear-say in the hearing. Instead, Judge Hart permitted him to advise Ketchem to plead guilty on all counts, and to opine at length on the sentence Ketchem should receive. He speculated on the possibilities of Ketchem's rehabilitation from his alleged criminal career and alleged drug and alcohol problem. What expertise could he have on those subjects? Since the court did not qualify him as an expert witness, even the court does not know.
The Lone Ranger mentioned in the course of his testimony that he had been "involved with Marion County at various levels." Perhaps that involvement lent him special status in the eyes of the staff in District Attorney Clarkson's office, including immunity from prosecution for criminal conduct. He also seemed to have special status as an adviser to the court on everything from invisible evidence and legal strategy of the defense to sentencing guidelines and drug rehabilitation.
Section starts at 8:01.