A march, followed by a candlelight vigil in Tigard drew more than 100 people to the suburban city Thursday evening, Jan. 7, following the shooting death of 26-year-old Jacob Macduff by Tigard police the day prior.
Protesters marched through downtown Tigard to the police headquarters, where some smashed a glass door and left graffiti on the building. En route, some left spray-painted messages on several commercial buildings. The crowd quickly dispersed before police came out in riot gear and declared an unlawful assembly. Police later classified the event as a riot and announced one person was arrested.
March condemned police responseWednesday's officer-involved shooting in Tigard that prompted the protest and vigil took place at an apartment complex near Southwest Hall Boulevard and Bonita Road shortly after 4 p.m.
According to police, the call was classified as a domestic disturbance. When they arrived, they tried to arrest MacDuff for domestic violence.
"Officers confronted Mr. (Macduff) in his vehicle … and discovered that he was armed with a knife," according to a police news release. Police stated Macduff "refused to surrender to police" and was shot and killed by an officer during a struggle to arrest him.
Macduff died at the scene.
The incident is being investigated by the Washington County Major Crimes Team.
Thursday's march and subsequent riot called for an end to sending police to respond to mental health calls. Several people alluded to the shooting as a fatal outcome to a call for help for a man in a mental health crisis.
That information has not been confirmed by police, but Macduff's roommate told Pamplin Media Group that the call to police was made by a neighbor concerned about Macduff's mental state.
"He was my roommate and I was his only real friend," Theresa Chapin said of Macduff. "He was a good man, very kind hearted, and was just having an episode."
Chapin said Macduff could be "aggressive" but never violent toward her. Prior to police arriving, he was smashing his head into a wall, prompting a neighbor to call police for help. She said she expected a crisis team response, but when officers arrived, things turned confrontational, then deadly.
Tigard business owners cite 'Portland-style' tactics
Thursday night's scene was remniscent of the vandalism and smashed business windows that have become a constant in downtown Portland for months.
Earlier that afternoon, Tigard business owners said they were alerted by city officials of a protest planned later that day. They weren't sure what to expect, but didn't want to take any chances.
Chris Cach owns Main Street Commercial Properties in downtown Tigard. Cach said he and several other shop owners were advised to prepare for that evening's planned anti-police demonstration. They bought plywood to board up their windows and doors.
"From the state our country is in right now and what's happening in downtown Portland, you say the word protest and it's like saying 'bomb' on a plane," Cach said. "We're looking at what's been happening in downtown Portland. The same thing could happen here."
A block away, one of the owners of Tigard Spirits was also busy nailing plywood to the exterior of the liquor store.
Hours later, Cach's brick building and several others had spray-painted messages scrawled on them.
Protesters who gathered before the march through downtown called for de-escalation training for officers, and a dramatic shift in the roles of law enforcement.
"When I heard about what happened last night, I was distraught because that could have been me or my husband or someone that's in my family, because we're all in a mental health crisis right now, every person has something going on," Cyncyrie Cruz said. "I've spoken with people who were there. I've spoken with people in the community, and it was a mental health crisis. The individual had a knife and was shot ... by police who were fully armed and protected with each other."
Cruz said she worries that police are too quick to use force for noncompliance, noting the presence of police often can incite fear and anxiety in people.
"The lights are scary, the red and blue lights flashing, the sounds, the way their boots stomp when you walk up. Anyone is immediately scared whether or not you did something wrong. ...Who is gonna respond positively to that? Nobody."
The circumstances of the fatal incident remain murky as the case remains under investigation.
Kelsey Anderson, public information officer for Tigard Police, declined to comment beyond what had been released by the agency.
When asked whether officers who responded were wearing body cameras, Anderson noted the department uses dashboard cameras in its patrol vehicles, but "only a few officers wear cameras now."
The city outfits its K-9 officers, school resource officers and motor patrol officers with cameras, but not the entire department.
"That's something that's certainly up for discussion now," Anderson noted, referring to ongoing talks within the agency about body camera use and funding.
Tigard voters in May 2020 approved a bond measure to bolster the city's police services and add eight new officers. More recently, in November, a Public Safety Advisory Board was established as part of a larger effort to combat institutional racism within city offices there.
Note: The spelling of the victim's name has been corrected in this story.
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