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What Happened To Fouad Kaady: Grand jury clears officer, deputy who shot naked man

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Grand jury clears officer, deputy who shot naked man


SANDY -- An officer and a deputy were justified in fatally shooting a naked, unarmed Gresham man last month, according to a Clackamas County grand jury that ruled Monday there was no criminal wrongdoing on the part of the authorities involved.

"The grand jury in this case had a very specific responsibility. Under Oregon law, their job was to determine if all the evidence taken together proved that a crime was committed," said Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote. "The grand jury members did not find that they were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that there was evidence that a crime had been committed by these police officers."

Fouad Kaady, 27, was shot and killed after his car crashed in flames on a rural road near the town of Sandy. The sheriff's office identified the pair who shot and killed him as 24-year-old William Bergin, a Sandy Police officer, and 44-year-old Deputy David Willard of the Clackamas County Sheriffs Office.

His family maintains police overreacted when Kaady was obviously suffering from burns and needed help. But some authorities and witnesses at the time of the shooting had contended that Kaady was acting like he was on drugs -- even though no toxicology reports have yet been released.

Foote said the grand jury heard a great deal of testimony that led them to their conclusion. He indicated there are very strict standards to bring a criminal charge in this type of case.

“These seven grand jurors have worked extremely hard on this case. Over the past five days, they have listened to the testimony of more than 40 witnesses,” Foote said. “Unlike anyone else, they have had the opportunity to observe each person who testified and evaluate their reliability and credibility.”

There will still be a formal internal review, as is procedure following all police-involved shootings, according to Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, who spoke briefly during a news conference Monday afternoon that followed the grand jury's decision.

Roberts said the shooting review board will release recommendations within 30 days that will outline whether the officer and deputy involved followed proper policies and procedures during the incident as well as whether they used the correct tactics and equipment.

Last week, at least two witnesses testified before the grand jury that Kaady should not have been shot.

“I have no idea why they shot him. I honestly don’t. I thought they were there to help him," witness Elaine Thornlimb told KGW.

She said she called 9-1-1 when she saw him bleeding, burned and naked, walking alongside the road north of Sandy. She said at first he smiled and waved, but as she followed him, he grew agitated.

“At one point he did turn around, yell something and jump on my car and jumped up and down on my sun roof and left blood on my car,” she said. Kaady wasn't armed.

On the day of the deadly shooting, the officers received a report of a hit-and-run car accident and arrived to find Kaady naked. As police tried to get him under control, he became combative, they said. The officers tried to taser him but were not able to get Kaady to calm down.

At one point Kaady got on top of a patrol vehicle, which is when at least one of the officers shot him. Kaady died at the scene.

“There must be an accountability of some sort to those that misused their position of authority to use it to take life when life should not have been taken,” Zania Kaady, Fouad Kaady's sister said last week as protesters gathered outside the courthouse while grand jurors heard testimony in the case.

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