Pamplin Media Group – Ex-Forest Grove Cop Found Not Guilty of Misconduct

The charges stemmed from an incident involving a Black Lives Matter flag and a ride home.

Former Forest Grove Police Officer Brad Schuetz was found not guilty on Friday July 15 of first degree official misconduct.

The charges date back to the early morning of October 31, 2020, when Schuetz drove co-worker Steven Teets home after Teets, according to police records, drunkenly pounded on the door of a Forest Grove residence at the controls of held a “Black Lives Matter” flag and shouted at residents to come out and fight it, prompting the family to call 9-1-1.

The incident was investigated by the Beaverton Police Department and a grand jury indicted Schuetz and Teets in May 2021.

Teets is due to stand trial for a pair of second-degree misdemeanors – criminal misconduct and disorderly conduct – beginning Wednesday, July 20.

Schuetz’s verdict was determined in a bench trial, in which the defense agrees to allow a judge, rather than a jury, to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

In Schuetz’s case, Washington County Circuit Judge Brandon Thompson ruled on the latter.

“I find him not guilty because I don’t believe his actions were intended to benefit (Teets),” Thompson said Friday afternoon, explaining his decision. He did not use Teets’ name in his statement.

Thompson added: “I think, and I believe the defendant in this case knows this, he made some very bad decisions, but his intention to this court was very clear. It was not not to follow the policy – it was having someone else do the work the policy dictated because he was afraid of impacting the investigation. That’s what he understood. It’s not criminal under the law, and I in no way believe, on the evidence that has been adduced, that he intended to confer any advantage on the unnamed officer in this room. hearing.”

Schuetz was fired from the Forest Grove Police Department in March.

If convicted, he could face up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $6,250, or both.

On Wednesday morning, Schuetz and his attorney, Steven Myers, waived their right to a jury trial in order for Thompson to hear the evidence and make the decision.

Myers told Pamplin Media Group that he tried to avoid a trial, but the Washington County District Attorney’s office “had their heels in the sand.”

Myers added, “They were going to pursue this case. … I tried to get them to see that he didn’t commit a crime. He committed policy violations.”

For three days, Myers successfully argued that Schuetz’s superior, Sgt. Jeremy Lazenby – who left Forest Grove Police Department last summer – could have ordered Teets arrested, but he gave no such order. The state did not subpoena Lazenby.

“Brad took him home. It was his only place to go. Jail wouldn’t take him. He knew it was a safe place. It was only four blocks away. It’s a safe place. sure,” Myers said. “I’ve been representing the police for 30 years now – probably over 300 cases, many of them use of force – and I’ve never seen a case like this where there was absolutely no evidence that he has tried to take advantage of it (Teets).”

Schuetz and Washington County Assistant Attorney Sara Loebner, who led the prosecution, declined to comment on the ruling.

Schuetz has been subpoenaed for Teets’ trial and may appear as a witness.

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About Jessica J. Bass

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