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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Grand Jury Clears Police Officers in Southeast Portland Shooting

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The hallway outside Fergusons apartment, the day after his shooting.
  • The hallway outside Ferguson's apartment, the day after his shooting.
A grand jury today found no criminal wrongdoing in the December 17 police shooting of Darryel Dwayne Ferguson, a Southeast Portland man gunned down by two officers after he opened the door of his apartment while holding a realistic-looking BB handgun.

Ferguson, a registered sex offender battling mental health issues and substance abuse, according to court records, was the fifth person shot this year by police. Police initially responded to Ferguson's apartment complex at 122nd and Burnside after they were called about a drunken dispute between neighbors. They left after they were told the matter was resolved but came back after another call said one of the neighbors was making threats with a 9mm handgun.

Police said that when they knocked on Ferguson's door he answered while holding what looked like a black handgun, and officers Jonathan Kizzar and Kelly Jenson opened fire. Neighbors say as many as 20 shots were fired. Autopsy results released this month said only that Ferguson "died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen."

One of the questions raised by Ferguson's sister, according to the Oregonian, was whether police identified themselves as such before knocking on Ferguson's door. The district attorney's office, however, said only that it "determined that the shooting was justified under the criminal law."

A judge will decide whether to release transcripts of the hearing on Tuesday. If the judge allows it, transcripts will be available next Friday, January 7.

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