Oregon Wrongful Death Trial Alleging Police Brutality Toward Unarmed Portland Man Can Move Forward, Says Federal Judge

A federal judge has decided that the Oregon wrongful death lawsuit against Clackamas County, the city of Sandy, and individual police officers over the death of Fouad Kaady can move forward. Kaady, a 27-year-old Portland resident, died after he was fatally shot by local police. He was unarmed at the time of the shooting incident.

Kaady’s family is seeking monetary damages for wrongful death, excessive force, and civil rights violations. The trial is expected to begin next April.

In 2005, Kaady was found bleeding, naked, and unarmed by police after he crashed his car on a rural Oregon road. Rather than calm him down, Deputy David Willard of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and William Bergin of the Sandy Police Department made him lay on the hot ground and Tasered him on his back.

Kaady then reportedly started running around, got on top of a police car, and started yelling at the two cops. Willard says he fired his gun when it looked like Kaady was going to jump off the car and land on him. The two police officers reportedly shot Kaady seven times.

A police report said Kaady’s behavior before he was shot might have been caused by illegal drug use, injury, or mental illness. A grand jury later found that the two officers did not engage in any wrongdoing. Last month, for an unrelated incident, Bergin resigned from the Sandy Police Department and was indicted for license misuse, official misconduct, and identity theft.

Police Brutality
It is illegal for law enforcement officers to use excessive/unnecessary force on a suspect, a person convicted of a crime, or anyone else. Unfortunately, many of these incidents go unreported, with many of the victims never realizing that their civil rights were violated.

Examples of police brutality include shooting someone without provocation or justification, physical assault, sexual assault, false arrests, verbal abuse, intimidation, and racial profiling. These acts of violence by police, prison guards, and other law enforcement officials can result in an Oregon personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if someone is injured or killed as a result.

Judge gives go-ahead to Kaady trial in Ore., Oregon Live, November 28, 2008
The Kaady Family’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit (PDF)

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