Portland Denies Surgery For Officer Shot In Line Of Duty, Denies Him Desk Job

Portland Police Officer Chris Barker was wounded in the line of duty and now the city doesn't want to take care of him.

Portland, OR – A Portland police officer who returned to work after he was shot in the line of duty said the department refused to give him a desk job when he could no longer work patrol as a result of his injuries.

Portland Police Officer Chris Barker was responding to a call about a man who had grabbed a woman’s butt in a park in Southeast Portland in 2001 when he was shot by a mentally-ill man, the Portland Tribune reported.

The bullet, which was fired from less than six feet away, entered Officer Barker’s right hand near his pinky, and then traveled up his arm and lodged in his bicep.

Doctors performed numerous surgeries to save the arm, including transplanting nerves from the officer’s leg into his arm, according to the Portland Tribune.

The surgeons warned that his injuries would continue to cause him problems for the rest of his life.

Officer Barker told the Portland Tribune that he vowed to return to his job as a police officer for the Portland Police Bureau.

And after two difficult years of physical therapy, he returned to patrol.

Officer Barker was given a Police Star award from his department in 2002 “in recognition of personal courage and devotion to duty” during the incident when he was wounded, the Portland Tribune reported.

He continued to be a standout officer after he returned to duty, and in 2009, he received a Medal of Valor from the city of Portland for his role in another shooting incident.

In the 18 years since he was shot, Officer Barker’s injuries that were sustained in the line of duty have worsened, despite the best efforts of his physicians, the Portland Tribune reported.

He suffers from a constant dull ache, as well as prickly electrical sensations in his wrist and a bee-sting feeling in his hand and arm.

Officer Barker told the Portland Tribune that the pain worsens throughout the day and “wakes me up pretty much nightly."

Narcotic pain medications don’t help and battling the discomfort is exhausting.

The officer said his right hand has a lot of numbness and shakes when he is tired, the Portland Tribune reported.

Despite the daily physical struggle, Officer Barker continued to serve the people of Portland as a patrol officer for years after he was initially wounded, despite having to use a lot of sick leave to continue dealing with the original injury’s long-term ramifications.

Then the city refused to cover additional surgery to clean up scar tissue in his arm, the Portland Tribune reported.

Without the surgery, Officer Barker will be forced to retire early and lose the full retirement he would have been entitled to if he had stayed on the police force until 2021.

So he applied for a desk job so that he could continue serving his community and was turned down, the Portland Tribune reported.

His past need for sick time was cited as the reason he didn’t get the position he sought, despite the fact that he wouldn’t need as much sick time if he weren’t trying to do patrol work on a daily basis.

Officer Barker is currently answering phones at the Portland Police Bureau but he must return to patrol in November or take early retirement.

He told the Portland Tribune that he would have better job security if he had gotten a DUI instead of getting shot because after a DUI, he would be assigned desk duty forever under the city’s rules.

Officer Barker filed a notice of impending lawsuit against the city in June for unlawfully retaliating against him for rightfully using his own sick time.

He also took his case to the city’s police watchdog entity, the Independent Police Review unit, to ask for its intervention, the Portland Tribune reported.

"This is what happens when you stand up for yourself in this city,” Officer Barker said.

Comments (172)
No. 1-36
IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Well, portland's administration does have a reputation of treating their officers like crap.... I guess he has two months to get a DUI so he can be transferred to a desk job for the next two years. This is truly embarrassing, although not entirely surprising, for the City of Portland.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I wonder whether stricter gun control laws, at the federal level, would have prevented this unfortunate situation.

Anomie88
Anomie88

Not surprised, but sad nonetheless.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

It seems that his disability would be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act since it substantially limits one or more major life activities, and he has a record of such an impairment.

The ADA prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.

Lawyer up.

tfort
tfort

If he can’t do the job as they need him to, they need to find someone else. I bet more surgeries will require more sick leave - with budgets being tight, I can see where the Chief is coming from for the best of the citizens of Portland.

walkintall
walkintall

God bless you Boy for wanting to go back to work, but for the life of me I can't imagine why anyone under any circumstances would want to be a police officer in Portland Fargin' Oregon. I really can't. Portland's a sewer.

Nanaof4
Nanaof4

Prayers that things work out for you! Thank you for your service.

eyebalz
eyebalz

Why would anyone want to be a cop in Portland these days???

Flobow
Flobow

The people of Portland need to stand up against this tyranny. He stood to protect them! The people need to demand that this policeman who has given his best and been rewarded for doing so be given some job that he can work for two years. When I was disabled at a Federal place of employment, at first they denied my claim altogether. I knew that would happen as it happened to another Nurse. When people give service they need to be cared for when they are injured as well! How sickening! I'd never want to live in Portland if the people care no more than that about their police!

cops-kid
cops-kid

Hey next time I'm in Portland we'll get s***faced (my treat), your driving ?

awomanreveals
awomanreveals

It appears this officer must openly support Trump....

Bstn
Bstn

Officer Baker...Stand strong and fight them!! Its so disgraceful for the city and more importantly Portland PD for treating Officer Baker this way....Shameful treatment of a true dedicated cop!!

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

This reminds me a lot of what happens to military vets after they become voided by breakage. Take your token gratitude and move along quietly. Unfortunately, there is precious little recourse after refusal. There is the expensive indignity of legal action - which will make you wonder why you had to file in the first place. No guarantees there. I would lawyer up and take a shot. Make a noise, make it loud, shame the bastards - make them state to the community with peak media volume why you aren’t worth backing up. Its a disgrace you should have to, but......your call.

hatman7663
hatman7663

How hard will it be in the future to recruit good, honest people to man the Portland PD? The city's leaders all seem to be anti police anarchists.

T00R
T00R

Oh, hell no!! GET A LAWYER and take them to the cleaners.

StrikeChief
StrikeChief

Where's the police officers union?

rspurgeon
rspurgeon

I would say that this officer needs a great attorney and take Portland to the courts. This also should serve as a notice for other officers in Portland that their city doesn't stand behind them and their sacrifices

tolja581
tolja581

It's not just Portland. The majority of agencies act nice for publicity only. In real life you're thrown under the bus so fast, so they can avoid blame or responsibility. Too few agencies have supportive leaders or city/county government support.

Buzzy
Buzzy

Portland hates their cops

sizzle937
sizzle937

He be rich now

I want some of it

Kasey01
Kasey01

Get yourself a lawyer the best damn lawyer you can find. This is a worker's comp case take the city to court.

LynnSB
LynnSB

Oregon is just as bad as California -- they can care less about there Officers or the Law -- SUE THE HELL OUT OF THEM !!!!

Dcunningham
Dcunningham

The Portland Police Administration is beyond unreasonable in denying an officer a desk job who wants to continue to be of service to his community after being injured on the job. Maybe the solution is to promote the officer to administration and move one of the administrators to patrol. Oh and let's see how many of them could pass the physical and do the job of an accommodated officer. Give this man a desk job because he deserves it and if not I pray he gets enough money thru a lawsuit to provide for 3 retirements. Administration how do you spell heartless and worthless?

Flagsupporter
Flagsupporter

If he needed a transgender operation Portland officials would gladly hand that out. He needs to tell Portland he’s a maimed man who identifies as an un-maimed man or an 18 year cop veteran who identifies as a 20 year veteran and deserves full retirement.

TamiIami
TamiIami

Sorry no sympathy!!! I support all those the blue! Once I seen Portland, NOPE!

Mntransplant
Mntransplant

He and his police friends should go out drinking. He could get behind the wheel, start the car (without actually driving) and have his friends arrest him for a DUI. Permant desk job obtained.

His own words "if he had gotten a DUI instead of getting shot because after a DUI, he would be assigned desk duty forever under the city’s rules."

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

The problem seems to be INSIDE the Dept more then with the city. Someone could have stood up with him and didn't. Where are the Police Unions on this issue and why haven't they stepped in yet???

Ben h
Ben h

Defending themselves against the lawsuit, and then losing it, is going to cost them far more. The ADA doesn’t give them the option to deny him either the surgery or the desk job, providing he is qualified for it (he must be, since he is currently doing it).

ajl1957
ajl1957

Shame on the powers that be in Portland this officer is a hero.

Joey55
Joey55

That's Portland For Ya ... Is Anyone Surprised! I'm Quite Sure That Our P.O.S. Mayor Is Behind This!

Eramthgin
Eramthgin

Liberal anti-cop cities don't want to ever give the support that cops earned.

Potero1
Potero1

give him his full pension now he earned it and it will cost you a law suit that most likely the city will lose. Give the man what he deserves, the insurance to take care of the problem and his fill pension which is only maybe over a year away depending on the month he started. The man served your city, now it is time you put up or shut up. In the end you will have to put up anyway. Paul D. Otero BTH, BSW, MSW, LCSW, CTL

Robomom
Robomom

Sounds to me like he needs a workmanship comp attorney. They should be required to pay for all future medical treatments.

True Blue 19
True Blue 19

Ignore tfort he or she is probably a journalist hoping you will respond on your departments dime so he can get you fired. Do not respond to this idiot. He will research the IP address and if it is associated with a city paid server, you will be in hot water and or ? Trust me all of us on this forum now this is a moron trying to take down cops.

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

OHSA and Worker's Comp lawyer!!