PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — A Multnomah County grand jury concluded Monday that a Portland police officer who shot and killed a man during a confrontation in July acted lawfully and will not face criminal charges, according to the county district attorney’s office.
The incident happened just after midnight on July 24. Portland police officers were dispatched to a domestic violence call near SE 148th Avenue and Clinton Street. The report indicated that a man and a woman were physically fighting, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
After arriving at the scene, two PPB officers started to detain the man involved, later identified as Johnathan A. Worth, 19.
PPB officers don’t use body-worn cameras, but the incident was captured on video by Christopher Ponte, who was out that night “cop watching” and said he happened to follow the police cruiser as it headed toward the domestic violence call.
The video shows Worth beginning to struggle with the two officers as they are working to detain him, and they all three fall to the ground. As they grapple with one another, Worth’s hand comes up with a gun in it. One of the officers manages to maneuver Worth’s arm so that the gun is pointed up into the air. PPB said that Worth fired a single shot during the struggle.
For a time, it appears that the officer manages to wrest the gun away from Worth. But then, after looking back toward where Ponte was filming, the officer and Worth appear to begin struggling over the gun again.
While the first officer tries to regain control of Worth’s gun, the other officer — later identified by Portland police as Mina Cavalli-Singer, a nearly 5-year veteran of the bureau — pulls her own gun and shoots Worth at point-blank range from her position beside him on the ground. It’s possible to hear six shots on Ponte’s video.
Worth died at the scene, and PPB’s homicide team responded to investigate.
For months, this case and one that happened two days later were the last PPB shootings in which the agency agreed to release the identity of the officer who used deadly force, citing concerns about doxing. Late last week, PPB released the names of officers involved in five shootings that happened in the intervening months.
On Tuesday, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office announced that it had presented evidence in the case to a grand jury, and the jury returned a “not true bill” — concluding that Officer Cavalli-Singer’s use of force was not criminal under Oregon law.
The DA’s office said it will file a motion to request that the court authorize the release of a grand jury transcript for public review. If the motion is granted, the DA’s office pledged to post the transcript on its website.
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