No charges for Gresham cop who fatally shot Portland man
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Friday that a Multnomah County grand jury declined to charge Gresham Police Officer James Doyle for the fatal shooting of Israel Mark Berry.
"My office takes the work of presenting facts and evidence to a grand jury very seriously, and never more so than when the case concerns an allegation of an excessive use of force by law enforcement," Schmidt said in the July 9 announcement. "In this case, after considering all evidence, the grand jury determined that Officer Doyle's conduct was lawful under the circumstances. We respect that decision, and thank the jury for its careful and thorough deliberation."
According to the announcement, on the evening of May 31, 2020, Gresham Police Department officers were providing mutual aid in the city of Portland while the Portland Police Bureau managed several large demonstrations. Around 9:30 p.m., Doyle and several Portland police officers responded to a call of a disturbance in the 12400 block of Southeast Kelly Street in Portland involving a man reported to be engaging in threatening behavior. The man was later identified as Berry.
Body-worn camera footage and other evidence showed that Doyle shot at Berry as he drove his vehicle toward Doyle, and Berry was hit and killed by one of those rounds, the announcement said.
As part of the investigation, in March 2021, Schmidt took the rare step of appointing criminal defense attorney Samuel Kauffman as an outside co-lead prosecutor on the case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt and Deputy District Attorney Kelley Rhoades worked collaboratively with Mr. Kauffman in presenting the matter to the grand jury.
"I would also like to thank attorney Samuel Kauffman for his work as a special prosecutor on this matter," Schmidt said. "Justice requires both objectivity and transparency of process, and it is my hope that his willingness to work alongside my office as an objective outside legal expert will provide the community with additional assurance that this matter was thoroughly and fairly handled.
"I do wish to acknowledge the pain and grief of Mr. Berry's family and loved ones. I am sorry for your loss."
Doyle was hired by the Gresham Police Department in 2018. At the time of the shooting, he had more than two years of law enforcement experience. He has remained on paid administrative while the case was pending.
The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office is seeking the release of the grand jury transcripts in this case pursuant to Oregon state law because the public interest outweighs the need to maintain the secrecy of the grand jury proceedings, officials said. A motion for the release will be filed with the court. Under Oregon law, the involved officer's attorney has 10 days after receiving the motion to file a motion for a protective order. If the court grants the District Attorney's motion, the transcripts will be published on the Multnomah County District Attorney's public website.
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