Live blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge Island, May 18

CASE BACKGROUND: Did police violate the civil rights of 43-year-old Douglas Ostling when they responded to his home for his 911 call, shot him as he held an axe and then refused to let anyone go into his room as he bled to death?

That’s what eight jurors in Tacoma’s federal U.S. District Court will have to decide.

Ostling’s estate, as well as his parents, William and Joyce, are suing the city of Bainbridge Island and its police chief, Jon Fehlman, along with Officer Jeff Benkert, the man who fired the shot that caused the fatal injury.

On Monday, we heard opening statements.

On Tuesday, we heard from Officer Benkert.

And today, we’re hearing from Officer David Portrey, who was with Benkert at the time. There may be other witnesses, too.

3 thoughts on “Live blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge Island, May 18

  1. So both sides seem to agree on Benkert’s position. Where they differ (and it’s a BIG one), the officers testify that Portrey was above Benkert on the staircase and Portrey fell on his back. Ostling, who was at the bottom of the staircase, testifys that Portrey was below Benkert on the staircase and never fell. Wow. That is not even a gray area. Someone is telling a big ole fat lie of the first degree, and judging by the cover ups that appeared from the beginning, I think I know who the perps are.

  2. Josh, I am so disappointed in the very slanted article you wrote after the events of the day. That “expert” was a hired gun – hired by her friend, no less. Her first consulting job. Some expert. The defense ripped her testimony apart and you glossed over it. You spent little to no time reporting what Officer Portrey had to say and he was there! You have never reported any part of Mr. Ostling’s testimony. Or are you waiting to ask his wife? News should be about reporting unbiased information – the whole story. Not this continual effort on the part of the media to bash our police who risk their lives for us day in and day out. The death of Doug Ostlings is tragic. Too bad his parents didn’t do a better job to protect him by housing him in a proper facility. Too bad he armed himself with an axe.

  3. Thank you Jill for calling it like it is. Josh, we appreciate the play by play but you might as well wait for Inside Bainbridge to report the facts then put your slant on that. This entire situation saddens me. How come no one pointed out Douglas was taller than the Officers and standing with a double bladed axe across his chest. And the “expert” who recieved training 30 years ago and didnt have half of the experience Officer Benkert did in patrol? An expert in what again?
    Sunny Spring:In his initial report to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detectives, William Ostling referred to Benkert and Portrey as “The older” and “The younger” officers and “The bigger one.”(see Inside Bainbridge’s coverage). Really? He Obviously did not recall the Officer’s names and a description of their age (which they are pretty close) would not be sufficent in a statement admissable in court. Seems to me like Mr. Ostling guessed wrong and then stuck with his story when it was pointed out that he got the names of the Officers confused. Simple mistake to understand. But coverups are more fun and make for better headlines so maybe this is a coverup orchestrated by the barefoot bandit, bigfoot, and D.B. Cooper. Yeah that wil get some attention. Lets run with it Kitsap Sun!

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