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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cops: No Video of Ferguson Shooting After All

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

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Tipped off by an attorney working with the girlfriend of Darryel Dwayne Ferguson—a 45-year-old man shot by two police officers last December after they said he aimed a replica handgun at one of their heads—Portland detectives last month got hold of a hard drive believed to contain security camera footage of the incident.

But Lieutenant Robert King, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, told me me this morning that no footage was found. "Detectives attempted to mine data on the hard drive," King said in an email, "but none was there." Update 2:25 PM: King has not yet responded to a question about how the data was handled—whether detectives copied the data on site or whether computer equipment was taken off site and either returned or retained.

The Mercury and other media outlets had asked for a copy of any footage after attorney Benjamin Haile of the Portland Law Collective alerted reporters about his contact with police.

In a letter sent to the Mercury last month, Haile said the manager of the apartment complex where Ferguson was shot, the Ventura Park Apartments in Southeast, had told witnesses he'd seen footage of the shooting. Previously the apartment manager, Robert "BA" Amsden, had told detectives investigating the shooting that the cameras in the hallway outside Ferguson's apartment were malfunctioning that night. Amsden has declined to tell the Mercury what, if anything, he might have seen.

Haile is working with Ferguson's girlfriend, Marsha Lawson, who is worried the investigation into Ferguson's death is "not complete." The two officers in the shooting, Jonathan Kizzar and Kelly Jenson, are the only witnesses to their encounter with Ferguson. A grand jury cleared Kizzar and Jenson of criminal wrongdoing but both could still face police bureau discipline.

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