PPB Clarifies Details and Role Surrounding Death of Community Member-Seeking Public's Help

Portland Police Badge
Portland Police Badge

June 11, 2019 17:52


On May 27, 2019, East Precinct Officers were dispatched to a call of a death in the 3500 block of Northeast Rocky Butte Road. Upon arrival, officers discovered a deceased individual, later identified as 31-year-old Otis Gulley, who we later learned identified as a trans-gender community member. Medical personnel responded and confirmed Gulley was deceased.

The Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene to assume the investigation. Criminalists from the Portland Police Forensic Evidence Division also arrived to photograph and collect evidence.

The Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death to be suicide. Per Oregon Revised Statute 146.090, the Medical Examiner is the lead on the investigation and certification on the manner of death.

Today, the Police Bureau has learned from a media report that there may be community members with additional information and/or video of the incident. A member of the Detective Division has made contact with family in an attempt to gather more details. If anyone has information about this incident or the circumstances leading up to it, please contact Detectives at (503) 823-0400. Detectives will share this information with the Medical Examiner's Office.

The Portland Police Bureau would like to provide clarity about the roles and responsibilities during a death investigation. For example, the Police Bureau does not determine cause or manner of death, does not perform autopsies, does not determine whether or not an autopsy should be performed, and does not have the authority to release documents from other agencies. The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office has these roles.

Additionally, this community member identified as a member of the LGBTQ community and was houseless. We continue to strive for increased trust and understanding with our LGBTQ and houseless community members. We encourage anyone with information about this incident to reach out to the Detective Division.

Help is available for community members struggling from a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts. The Multnomah County Mental Health Call Center is available 24 hours a day at 503-988-4888.

If you or someone you know is in mental health crisis please visit Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare's Urgent Walk-In Clinic. The clinic is located at 4212 SE Division and is open from 7am to 10:30pm, 7 days a week. Services are free and available to individuals of all ages.
Lines for Life is also available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Information about the Portland Police Bureau's Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) and additional resources can be found by visiting http://portlandoregon.gov/police/bhu



Media Relations:
Phone: 503-823-0830
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Portland, OR 97204