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What Happened To Fouad Kaady: 2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Another Month of Delayed Justice for Fouad Kaady

author: Lew - published on Portland IndyMedia

I think by now, most readers of Indymedia are aware of the circumstances surrounding the death of Fouad Kaady. If not, search out a copy of a very fine video (now on DVD!), "28 Seconds: The Killing of Fouad Kaady." You will be astounded.

If you ever believed that the system of justice works, you will re assess your views. Since another month has passed without justice, I need to publish a reminder. It is all I can do.

A short synopsis here: On September 8, 2005, 27 year old Fouad Kaady was involved in several wrecks, described by police as hit and run incidents. Investigation reveals that he was probably on fire at the time, so he might be forgiven for failure to stop and render aid. He was transporting gasoline in his father's vehicle, in an attempt to bring fuel to his own vehicle which was out of gas. At some point, apparently the gasoline burst into flames.

Fouad was first observed, driving erratically (go figure) , and appeared to be waving his arms wildly. The car appeared to be cloudy inside, possibly from smoke. After striking a couple of vehicles (no injuries), he ran his father's car off of the road, and bailed out, shedding his remaining clothes which were on fire. He was pretty likely in shock, and a great deal of pain (police described him as very badly burned, skin hanging from his body, and bleeding.) He ran into the woods.

Enter the first responders: Fire department and EMTs were first on the scene, which was soon saturated with police. Two intrepid officers (Clackamas County Deputy David Willard, and Sandy Police Officer William Bergin) were first to locate the victim who was (in the officer's words) "seated Indian style alongside the road, rocking back and forth, moaning, and catatonic." The officers both stated that they knew immediately that the naked man was unarmed, but for some reason began shouting unreasonable orders (to lay his burned body on the hot pavement), and when they were not obeyed, began discharging both of their tasers into the victim. When this senseless response to an obviously injured and in shock victim failed to immediately achieve the desired results (results which neither officer could articulate), the victim fled the pain. He jumped up to the top of the police cruiser, which in Oregon is apparently a capital offense. At this time, because neither officer was willing to touch his bloody body, they chose instead, to exterminated him.

This obvious miscarriage of any form of justice was given sanction by the District Attorney, who could not seem to find an indictment to save his career. Then, the Sheriff even went so far as to state that good police guidelines were followed, and no policies were violated.

We disagree. Apparently, we are not alone, as the Gerry Spence (Ruby Ridge, Silkwood, and many other high profile cases) Law Firm has taken the civil case pro bono. See the film, see if you agree. It is available on You Tube at the following links, but the DVD is much easier to watch. Keep watching in your local library or supermarket, for free copies.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

the state of mind of kaady's killers

author: global roaming - published in Portland IndyMedia

Fouad Kaady was killed on September 8 2005, by a Clackamas County Sherriff's deputy named David Willard and Sandy police officer William Bergin, despite being unarmed and seriously injured from burns. He had evidently torn his clothes off to escape the flames of a fire in his motor vehicle.

The basic scenario is so outrageous that it has left many people completely appalled. But one thing that hasn't been talked about much is the state of mind of the cops who killed Kaady.

Fouad Kaady was killed on September 8 2005, by a Clackamas County Sherriff's deputy named David Willard and a City of Sandy police officer named William Bergin, despite being unarmed and seriously injured from burns. He had evidently torn his clothes off to escape the flames of a fire in his motor vehicle.

The basic scenario is so outrageous that it has left many people completely appalled. But one thing that hasn't been talked about much is the state of mind of the cops who killed Kaady.

The officers responded to a series of calls reporting a vehicle fire and a number of ensuing hit-and-run collisions, and reports of an irrational, severely injured burn victim running naked from the scene. (See

Officers chose to focus on suggestions that the man was "irrational" and -- they surmised -- "on drugs," as a catchall to explain "irrational" behavior, and chose to react by treating Kaady as a "suspect" instead of a citizen in need of urgent assistance.

This initial choice on their part proved disastrous. Even though they observed, by their own admission, that the man was in a "catatonic" state and incapable of following their orders, they proceeded to bark a series of senseless orders at him, including trying to force him to lie on the ground, a totally illogical demand in view of Kaady's burn injuries. When he refused to heed these commands, they immediately escalated to "less lethal" weapons (tasers), and finally, when Kaady attempted to flee, they shot him to death, citing his proximity to an unattended weapon they had left on the hood of their squad car as the reason.

It seems clear that the reports the officers received from witnesses of Kaady's behavior prior to their confrontation with him completely framed their own eventual interactions with him. Over and over again, they cited their fear of coming into physical contact with him, emphasizing that he was "covered in blood." They explicitly described their fear of contracting blood-borne pathogens, which risk they thought was heightened by their assumption that the man "must be a drug user." This fear of coming into physical contact with the man they killed helps explain their rapid escalation to force, and finally lethal force.

When the officers were asked if they could have or should have handled the situation differently or better, they responded "no."

Despite the appalling mistakes committed by the officers, it seems patently unlikely that they were motivated by bloodlust, and wholly believable that they were in fact "afraid," afraid of fantasies concocted in their own imaginations on the strength of partial and partially digested reports from previous eyewitnesses. Out of these reports they concocted a scenario of a "bloody, deranged drug addict," possibly infected with hepatitis or HIV, against whom they had to protect themselves. All of these notions turned out to be totally false.

Based on what we know so far, it would probably be a mistake to paint the officers involved in the killing as being far outside the norm. It is not at all hard to believe that many if not most other officers, faced with the same circumstances, would make the same or similarly appalling errors in judgment. Hence the quick decision by the Grand Jury not to prosecute them. Of course, however, all of this makes the situation MORE APPALLING, not less. Because the odds are that, even were Willard and Bergin cashiered, even prosecuted, the underlying social and cultural assumptions that led the officers to behave as they did would persist unaltered amongst the rest of their colleagues.

Thus, it could be useful for those who know more about the case to explore the ramifications of the state of mind of the officers, their cultural and social backgrounds and assumptions, and how prevalent the same assumptions are amongst their colleagues. Because unless these underlying mental dynamics are challenged and altered, it is inevitable that tragedies like the one that befell Kaady will happen again, if not at the hands of these officers, then by their colleagues.

Friday, April 27, 2007

28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady Now On Youtube

author: Videoista - published on Portland IndyMedia

28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady is now online on youtube.

Youtube links 1 through 5. You can also look up more video's under youtube user name "portlandvftr."

part 1 of 5:

part 2 of 5:

part 3 of 5:

part 4 of 5:

part 5 of 5:

In the early afternoon of September 8, 2005, police encountered Fouad Kaady shortly after he was in an accident that left him in shock and bleeding, burned over much of his body. Rather than calling for medical help, the police commanded him to lie on the pavement, even though they could see the burned flesh hanging from his body, and even though they said he appeared to be "in a catatonic state." When he did not comply with their orders, but instead continued to sit on the ground in a daze, they tasered him repeatedly. And then, they shot him to death.

In a report that was typical of the corporate media's response to this killing, Channel 8's ever-mealy-mouthed Kyle Iboshi held up a wad of papers left over from the "investigation" into the death, saying, "you can see how extensive this investigation was." He then commenced to highlight (literally, with a yellow highlighter pen) what he claimed to be the relevant details of the case. Not surprisingly, Iboshi was very selective in what he chose to focus on. He accepted, without question, everything that the PIO had told him to say. He never asked a single question about why two officers might have shot an obviously unarmed man to death. And, he concluded his report by implying that Kaady must have been "on drugs" at the time of the killing, as if that might excuse the officers' behavior.

And so, in a pattern of violence that is repeated almost every day in this country, the police got away with murder. So far, anyway. They did so because they have the power and the authority to carry guns and to use them, and to avoid facing the consequences of their actions. And, they got away with it because the complicit corporate media helped them to weave a story that would lull the public into silence. As in so many incidents like this one, they told a story that was engineered to cause people to blame the victim, and accept the violence. No questions asked.

The truth about what happened to Fouad Kaady is important. It's important to bear witness when a member of our community is cut down like this. It's important to stand up for the person he might have been, rather than accepting the media's portrayal of him as merely some drug-crazed monster who "had it coming." It's important to know just how deep the culture of police violence runs through our cities and towns, and just how fist-in-glove the corporate media has been with the police state. And that's why this video is important. Even if you think you know the story, you're not going to believe this. Over the course of a year and a half, Videoistas painfully and meticulously gathered evidence, combed through records and reports, spoke with witnesses, and pieced together the real story. It's much more disturbing than what you might have seen on KATU, but it's the truth. And the least we can do for a fallen comrade is to take the time to learn the truth about what really happened to him.

Believe it or not, this story is told in the officers' own words. And you won't even believe what you hear.

Monday, April 23, 2007

No, I'm Not Okay

published in Slabtown Chronicle

No-one really knows what happened to Fouad Kaady, 27, a Lebanese-American resident of Gresham, OR before he was shot to death by a Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Sandy Police Officer on September 8, 2005. What we do know is that he is dead and the circumstances of his death raise serious questions about how police handle confrontations with injured and angry people.

The Clackamas County Shooting Review Board found that Deputy Dave Willard, one of the officers who fired shots at the naked, bleeding young man, had “acted within existing rules and regulations and according to current training.” If this is true, there should probably be some changes made to current training and existing rules and regulations.

Kaady’s death has become such a polarizing political issue that it is difficult to separate fact from opinion. The Sandy Post, a local paper in the Portland suburb, won an award for its reporting on this case and their website provides the clearest information. From their reporting of the police files released in October, 2005 it is clear that police acted in fear and created as much danger for the community as Kaady did. It is also clear that the officers distorted the facts in their version of the story.

Officers say that they feared the young man, who was bleeding severely from injuries and burns suffered during a car accident, “possessed chemically enhanced strength.” They are trying to imply that Kaady was under the influence of hard narcotics. There is no evidence of this at all. The evidence that might be able to prove the officers’ allegations, a Toxicology report, has not been released.

Most of Kaady’s friends said that he never used drugs, other than tobacco. There is some evidence that he may have been smoking marijuana earlier in the day, but it seems more likely that Kaady was under severe emotional stress, aggravated by a serious head injury and repeated Tasering by the officers.

Why did the officers Taser Kaady, a naked, injured man with a severe head wound and second and third degree burns over much of his body? Because he refused to lie down on his burned skin and they were afraid to touch him because he was covered with blood.

How did 27-year-old Foaud Kaady end up injured and burned and then shot to death by the police? That’s a harder story to tell.

Foaud Kaady was a graduate of Gresham High School and was well known around Gresham and Sandy. He was a painter and always willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbors. He had recently become a licensed real estate agent and was reportedly excited about joining his mother in the real estate business. The day of his death Kaady had planned to pick his mother up at the airport after a trip.

Friends said that Kaady had not been acting like himself for days, or even weeks, before his death, but no-one knew exactly what had happened. Sarah Maness, who knew Kaady for two years, said that he had been depressed and angry for a few weeks. “He’s been pissed at everything,” she told the Sandy Post.

Kaady’s father said that Kaady had recently broken up with his girlfriend. Other family members agree that he was under financial pressure, stressed about his break-up and some other unnamed problem. Other family members argued that he was not depressed and that he was very happy with his life.

Whatever Kaady’s state of mind, his actions on September 8, 2005 were odd. At 6:30am Kaady was spotted driving erratically in the parking lot of Mount Hood Community College. He was doing “donuts” and “burn-outs” in his pickup truck, some people do that for fun and the lot was probably empty at 6:30, but when a campus security officer approached Kaady acted strangely.

Security Officer Jefferson Potts said that as he approached the vehicle, Kaady accelerated the pickup and hopped over a three-foot embankment and onto Stark Street, bottoming out on the pavement. It is unclear how close Potts got to the vehicle, but he reported that it had a “strong smell of marijuana.”

Kaady was next seen at his father’s home wearing a suit. Rashid Kaady said that his son’s behavior was not unusual in any way.

At about 9:45am Kaady stopped at his usual drive through tobacco shop on Stark St. and bought two packs of cigarettes. Rudd McGarity, a clerk at Hilton Haven who had sold tobacco to Kaady before, told the Sandy Post that Kaady was not acting like himself. He over paid for his purchase, with change out of a big jar, and would not let the clerk return the extra change.

McGarity said that Kaady looked “frazzled” and he asked the young man if he was OK. Kaady replied, “No, I’m not okay.” McGarity said that Kaady looked “like he had the worst news of his life and had to go deal with it.”

Early that afternoon Kaady was seen parked in his pickup truck in the lot at Rick’s Custom Fencing on Stark about ten blocks from the tobacco shop. Kaady had run out of gas. Employees at Rick’s said the young man was acting “weird.” He “fooled around” in his truck for about ten minutes and then took off running in nothing but a pair of shorts.

Kaady’s sister said that wearing only shorts was Kaady’s “trademark” and that he ran to his father’s house to get a gas can for his truck. She said he returned to Rick’s in his mother’s car with a can of gas, but found that his pickup had been towed. Here’s where things really get weird.

According to the Sandy Post Kaady’s car was not towed from the lot at Rick’s until Saturday September 10, two days after Kaady was killed. For some reason Kaady drove in his mother’s car toward Sandy, a neighboring community.

Kaady’ sister says that a spark from Kaady’s cigarette ignited the gasoline can as he drove and Kaady crashed his car into two other cars while trying to put out the flames. The Buick LeSabre that Kaady was driving crashed into the vehicle of Tiffany Stanko, forcing her off the road.

Kaady then hit the car of Greg Elwell of Boring. Elwell, believing that the driver of the LeSabre was unconscious tried to slow both vehicles with his brakes, but then the LeSabre pulled away and the driver game him a “thumbs up” sign as he passed. Elwell said that Kaady was driving “completely crazy.”

Kaady’s body was severely burned on his upper torso, face and into his scalp, but the Oregon State Police Arson Investigating Team said there was no evidence that the fire started inside the vehicle. They said they found no evidence of a gas can inside the car.

Finally Kaady crashed the LeSabre into the woods, starting several fires in the dry brush. Read the story of this accident at the Sandy Post, you won’t believe it.

Kaady reportedly fought off would-be rescuers and wandered away from the accident before being confronted by the police on SE 362nd Ave. During the confrontation with the injured and distraught young man, Deputy Willard left a shotgun unattended on the hood of his vehicle. Later he said that he feared that Kaady would go for the shotgun and that’s why he fired three shots into the young man’s chest.

Willard also said that Kaady threatened to kill him and Police Officer William Bergin, who fired five shots at the young man. None of the witnesses on the scene heard death threats, but most agreed that Kaady “went crazy” after being Tasered three times and climbed onto the police car. None of them saw him go for the shotgun or lunge at the officers, as they both claimed at different times.

Witnesses on the scene said that Kaady was “docile” and sitting on the ground when the police arrived. He would not lie down at their command and so they Tasered him. Willard reported that Kaady was “kind of catatonic” when he arrived, but that he was afraid to approach him because of the blood that covered most of his badly burned body.

If this is the way Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputies are trained to deal with accident victims then we need to rethink that training. Regardless of Kaady’s erratic behavior I wonder how threatening he would have been if he wasn’t walking naked, after losing his shorts in the accident, and if he didn’t look like an Arab.

Kaady’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against Clackamas County and the officers involved. Portland’s flamboyant attorney Gerry Spence is representing the family so there should be a good story to tell there eventually.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Parade of lawsuits targets Sandy Police Department

City claims no wrongdoing on part of officers

published in the The Sandy Post, Mar 28, 2007, Updated Mar 30, 2007
Top row, the plaintiffs: Jerry E. Woodford, Juan Rubio, Britt Woodring, Samuel Contreras. Bottom row, the defendants: Chief Harold Skelton, officers Ernie Roberts, Bill Bergin and Kalen "K.T." Taylor.

The Sandy Police Department and its officers are facing six lawsuits — including five filed in federal court — that accuse officers of excessive force, harassment and violating constitutional rights.

On Monday, March 12, Sandy resident Samuel Contreras joined Firwood’s Juan Rubio, the family of Fouad Kaady, Jerry Woodford and Estacada’s Britt Woodring in filing a lawsuit in federal court claiming wrongdoing by the department. Rubio also has filed a lawsuit in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

Police Chief Harold Skelton said that before the Woodford lawsuit — the first of the six filed — the department hadn’t been sued for about 20 years.

Officer K.T. Taylor is a defendant in the two Rubio cases, the Woodring case and the Woodford case; Officer Bill Bergin is a defendant in the Kaady and Woodring cases; and Officer Ernie Roberts is identified in the Contreras suit. Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies Brandon Claggett and Dave Willard are being sued in the Woodford and Kaady cases, respectively.

Attorney Edward Merrill of Bend, who represents Rubio, Woodring and Contreras, said his clients filed the lawsuits — which concern four different incidents with the Sandy Police Department — not for monetary gain but to protest the actions of the department and to advocate for change.

“All we can do is try to right the wrongs that we’re alleging, and hopefully a by-product of that is that other (incidents) will be prevented,” Merrill said. “At some point in time you can hope somebody is going to take notice and ask if there’s a deeper, underlying problem here, and what can be done to remedy it.”

Added Rubio, “It just goes on, the same old clique. I think the citizens of Sandy should be educated on how the city government is dealing with its problems.”

Salem attorney Bruce Mowery, who represents the city interests through City/County Insurance, says the sextuple-whammy of lawsuits — he’s not involved in the Kaady case — is “probably something orchestrated by the attorney, since he’s the same one (for all of them, save Kaady and Woodford).”

“A lot of it is just contrived,” Skelton echoed. He said Rubio’s attorneys are “shopping for plaintiffs,” checking the county jail roster for Sandy arrests.

Mowery said in each case there’s evidence that any action taken by city officials was “justifiable,” although he said he couldn’t discuss any evidence supporting that statement.

“There’s absolutely no merit to the claims,” he said.

The city also maintains that the officers can’t be sued for any actual or alleged actions under the doctrine of qualified immunity — a legal doctrine established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982 (Harlow v. Fitzgerald) that insulates officers “insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known,” which Sandy says is the case.

Any time the department receives a use-of-force complaint, Skelton said, it reviews the scenario. “Under the circumstances in these cases, I believe (the use of force) was justified. I believe in all these lawsuits we’ll be exonerated.”

He added, “I have total confidence in my officers. We’re always watching, always paying attention to make sure we’re doing things legally.”

Mowery wouldn’t say whether the city wants to settle with the Rubio camp or how he plans to defend the city in court.

“This doesn’t appear to be an unusual pattern,” City Manager Scott Lazenby said. “The idea is that if you throw a bunch of stuff in the hopper you might have some leverage to get your way. There’s no substance as far as we can tell to any of them.”

Lazenby said he was familiar with the episodes related to the lawsuits and has no concerns regarding the behavior of city police officers.

“I know what has gone on in these very incidents,” he said. “Often they involve a situation where there were a number of law enforcement officers, and reports from them make us pretty confident that there’s nothing of substance to these things.”

Lazenby isn’t worried about a trial. “Frankly,” he said, “I don’t think it would go that far.” That belief leads the city’s charge to get the lawsuits thrown out in court. Mowery is working on it, he said.

Mowery wouldn’t comment as to whether the city is looking for a settlement, and Merrill said the only appropriate out-of-court resolution — which would punish and/or terminate officers and institute new training — doesn’t appear likely.

Skelton, fresh from giving a deposition for Rubio’s trials last week, said the individual officers can turn around and sue Merrill’s law firm for harassment and frivolous litigation. He didn’t say whether the officers plan to do that, but said they will have that ability.

Rubio remains confident. “Do you how much they’re going to lose?” he asked. “They don’t want to cut their own throat. The blade is already up against their throat; they’re just hesitating on when to do it.

“I am going to break this town.”

Lawsuit no. 1: Woodford's federal case

Jerry Eureal Woodford, 48, of Sandy filed a federal case against the city of Sandy last June, 2006, alleging that the police brutalized him while he was staying at a hotel in town.

Woodford, who is disabled, said that he wasn’t able to move in bed on June 11, 2004, because he slept about 16 hours and wasn’t able to take his daily dose of necessary medication.

So when people knocked on his door asking him to come out, he yelled that he was disabled and couldn’t get to the door. At that point, he said he took his medication.

About an hour later, after his medication took effect, Woodford grabbed his crutches and before he could open the door, Taylor and Claggett broke through the door, shooting a Taser, which missed.

When asked to show his hands, Woodford complied. Taylor then tackled him, making him hit the edge of the bed and fall to the ground, where he was Tased three times — which made him involuntarily defecate.

Woodford then alleges that Deputy Claggett put his hand on his back and grabbed his hair before he was handcuffed and taken to the Clackamas County Jail, where he remained for three days.

He was charged with resisting arrest — a charge that was later dropped.

Woodford alleges that Taylor and Claggett violated his fourth and fourteenth amendment rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizures and unreasonable force from the government, since the “use of unnecessary force was unreasonable, excessive and disproportionate based on the circumstances.”

A response filed on behalf of the officers maintains that Woodford “refused to open the door and locked it form the inside.” They also said Woodford didn’t answer the hotel room phone when they tried to call it, and eventually, officers had to break down the door.

The officers “had probable cause” to arrest Woodford, the response continues, and that the officers used “no more force than was necessary” to accomplish that.

Once in the hotel room, police say Woodford was found standing, and that he refused to comply with all fof the officers’ commands and physically resisted arrest. The Taser was deployed to “gain control” of the suspect.

Woodford asks for unspecified non-economic damages resulting from the alleged injuries levied by the officers, as well as unspecified punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The officers are seeking reimbursement of legal fees.

Lawsuit no. 2: Kaady federal case

The family of Fouad Kaady filed a lawsuit against the city of Sandy and Clackamas County last September in federal court.

Kaady was shot and killed by Sandy police officer Bill Bergin and Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Willard Sept. 8, 2005, after a string of seemingly bizarre events including several hit-and-run collisions, a car fire and a possible assault. He was naked, bleeding and severely burned before the fatal police encounter near Cottrell Grade School, northwest of Sandy.

The 31-page lawsuit claims that the county, the city and the officers violated Kaady’s civil rights. The 10-claim complaint alleges excessive force, unconstitutional arrest and wrongful death, among other accusations. Furthermore, it claims that the police-involved shooting was “oppressive, malicious … (and) motivated by evil motive or intent.”

Kaady family members seek monetary damages in an amount to be determined at trial. That amount would include memorial service expenses, the loss of Kaady’s lifetime wages, compensation for pain and suffering, attorneys’ fees and punitive judgments against the officers.

“We’re hoping for a fair and just exploration of what happened, and maybe some result that will be a living testament to Fouad Kaady’s life,” said Michelle Burrows one of the Kaady family’s attorneys.

A Clackamas County Grand Jury cleared Bergin and Willard of all wrongdoing last year and an internal investigation by the sheriff’s office and the Sandy Police Department determined that they had fully complied with department policies and procedures. Both officers returned to duty, although Bergin is currently on personal leave.

Sheriff Craig Roberts and Sandy Police Chief Harold Skelton defended the actions of the officers, saying that in unstable situations such as the Kaady case, sometimes split-second decisions must be made to protect law enforcement officers.

The family has hired Wyoming attorney Gerry Spence, who is known for handling high-profile cases such as the landmark 1984 Karen Silkwood case. He represented Brandon Mayfield — the Portland-area man whose fingerprints were erroneously linked to the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

A trial isn’t expected for six months to a year.

Lawsuit no. 3: Rubio's federal case

The Rubio case stems from an incident during the 2005 Sandy Mountain Festival, in which Rubio had approached Chief Harold Skelton — who was riding in the parade as one of its grand marshals — and began yelling at the city’s top cop about the disappearance of his son, and compared the local police to Nazis.

At the time, Rubio’s son, 20-year-old Carlos, was had been missing for a month. The distraught father, upset by his son’s recent encounters with Sandy Police, asserted that local law enforcement had something to do with his son’s disappearance.

“His screaming in the public venue was creating public alarm,” Skelton noted in a previous interview. “In the right circumstances, that kind of thing could have started a riot.”

Rubio said he never threatened the chief, and yelled because Skelton was ignoring him. Had he received any acknowledgement from the chief, Rubio said he would have accepted it and backed off.

Skelton said he called for backup after Rubio approached him three different times, reporting that he and his wife felt threatened. Police then arrested Rubio on charges of menacing (threatening harm) and disorderly conduct/criminal mischief.

When the case finally went to court on Jan. 25, 2006, Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Steven Maurer threw it out, noting that the facts proved the trial was illegitimate, because Rubio’s encounter with Skelton was just an “upsetting” and “unfair” exercise of his free speech rights. He said the arrest should have never taken place.

“One of attributes of free speech is that it well may be disturbing,” said Maurer in his closing remarks, “you take the good with the bad.”

Although a trial hasn’t been scheduled for the federal case, it is widely expected the trial would begin sometime in 2008 if an out-of-court settlement isn’t reached.

Lawsuit no. 4: Rubio's local case

Rubio also filed a lawsuit against Officer Kalen “K.T.” Taylor in circuit court last summer, accusing Taylor of threatening Rubio during several incidents between 2004 and 2006. He seeks $100,000 for emotional distress.

Taylor declined to comment on the specific allegations made in the pending lawsuit, but speaking generally, he said in a previous interview, “There’s some stuff he’s saying that concerns me. There’s a lot of mistruths.”

Rubio’s first cited encounter was on June 25, 2004, when he responded to a supermarket parking lot where his son, 19-year-old Carlos, was with several Sandy police officers, including Taylor, during a minor traffic stop.

When Rubio arrived to assist his son, the suit claims, Taylor “screamed” at him and Carlos, “referring to them as ‘homies.’ ” Carlos later claimed that Taylor threatened to kill him during that encounter, a claim refuted by Officer Ernie Roberts, who was on the scene.

The second stated encounter with Taylor was on May 27, 2005 – the date Carlos was found guilty of eluding police from an incident the July before.

He said that while at the Clackamas County Courthouse, Taylor “screamed” at him, saying, “I’m warning you, Mr. Rubio, you’re not going to like what’s going to happen to you.”

Rubio said that statement made him “live in constant fear that (Taylor) would carry out his threats against him.” He also says that the experience made him “especially susceptible to severe mental and emotional distress” due to that fear.

The third encounter the lawsuit references was on March 10, 2006, when Rubio encountered Taylor at a grocery store parking lot. He said that Taylor, off-duty at the time, blocked his walking path with his white pickup.

Sandy Police told The Post that Rubio had traveled to Taylor’s house and frightened his wife.

Through the truck’s window, Rubio alleges, Taylor screamed for Rubio to “quit (expletive) with my wife or I’ll (expletive) you up,” and, “I’m gonna get you, you little sucker.”

Rubio says that as a direct result of his encounters with Taylor, Rubio “suffered severe mental and emotional distress, fear, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, loss of reputation and inconvenience,” which totals non-economic damages of $100,000.

Taylor said he will be represented by a lawyer provided by the city, and plans to countersue Rubio for unwanted contact, harassment and libelous comments.

“I’ve had a long career as a police officer,” Taylor said. “I think I need to look after my reputation.”

Merrill says he’s trying to have the trial scheduled for June 19.

Lawsuit no. 5: Woodring's federal case

In January, Estacada resident Britt Woodring filed a $3.1 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that officers Taylor and Bergin broke the law when they arrested him outside a restaurant in Sandy on Feb. 18, 2006.

After a fight with his wife, Woodring left his Estacada home for the restaurant at 38015 Highway 26.

In his official lawsuit papers, Woodring says he hadn’t had any alcohol before arriving at the restaurant, where he ordered a rum and coke. He said was never engaged in unlawful activity nor was he under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs that evening at the restaurant, despite witness and police reports alleging otherwise.

According to the police report, bartender Scott Conerly called the police, later telling them that Woodring “was acting strange as if he was on drugs and harassing several customers … just acting weird and being aggressive towards customers.” When police arrived, Bergin said Conerly told him he wanted Woodring removed.

Woodring’s lawsuit states that Conerly was just concerned about Woodring’s ability to drive and noted that he wasn’t causing problems or was engaged in illegal activity.

According to Woodring’s complaint, Taylor and Bergin approached him and directed him to stand by the door, “where Bergin began circling him and then asked him if he was resisting arrest.”

The complaint then alleges that Bergin “suddenly and forcibly” seized Woodring around his neck and upper chest with his police baton and his other arm, “despite the fact that (Woodring) had not yet even been questioned or warned,” nor arrested.

Woodring said that when he grabbed the baton in an attempt to release the pressure on his neck and chest he was tased on the inside of his right arm, and Taylor punched him hard in the face, which made him bleed and gave him a black eye.

He said Taylor inflicted several knee strikes upon him, and Bergin struck him on his right eye with the police baton and tased him again on the back of his left arm. Woodring said he fell to the ground, where he was tased two more times, which left permanent scars upon his chest.

The police report disputes Woodring’s account, noting that when Bergin told Woodring the bartender wanted him to leave the business, the Estacada man backed away from them.

Bergin said he and Taylor grabbed each of Woodring’s arms in an attempt to escort the man out of the restaurant. Woodring then allegedly broke an arm free from Bergin and pushed Taylor with his open hand.

Witness Andres J. Ford, said in his statement to police that the officers “started off nice” with Woodring until the man started pushing them with an open hand.

“It didn’t look avoidable to go hands on,” reflected Jordan Enos, another witness.

Taylor said he then grabbed the back of Woodring’s neck and told him to get on the ground, delivering two knee strikes to his abdomen area. When he didn’t get on the ground, Taylor punched Woodring in the face. At that point, both officers told him to stop struggling, and that he was under arrest.

When Woodring wouldn’t roll on his stomach or give up his arms, Bergin deployed the taser, striking the man four times total.

“We had given Woodring the opportunity to leave the bar and he would not,” Taylor reflected.

The officers took Woodring to the Clackamas County Jail, where he was incarcerated for about eight hours. He was charged with second-degree criminal trespass and resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped after the case was “no-complainted” when Woodring appeared for his arraignment.

Not long after the charges were thrown out, Bergin re-issued the citation at the urging of the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office because not necessary information was included in the original citation, but about a week before the September 2006 trial, the D.A. dismissed the charges because they learned that the physical struggle occurred before Woodring was placed under arrest.

In all, Woodring alleges that he was “subjected to excessive force, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution by two Sandy police officers,” which violated his constitutional, civil and state rights.

Woodring seeks a total of $3.1 million against Taylor, Bergin and the city of Sandy, plus attorney’s fees, for non-economic damages and punitive judgments. That amount is divided into four claims: Use of excessive force, unlawful arrest and two claims of malicious prosecution — one for the first charges levied against Woodring, another for Bergin’s reissued citation.

The city’s official response to the complaint — filed last month — states that police had probably cause to arrest or otherwise take Woodring into custody, noting that the officers’ physical contact with him was “legally justified” in order for the officers to perform their duties, enforce the law and preserve order.

Calling the Woodring lawsuit “frivolous,” the city’s response includes a counterclaim against the plaintiff, seeking dismissal of the claims and payment of attorneys’ fees.

Lawsuit no. 6: Contreras' federal case

Electrician Samuel R. Contreras says his arrest for possession of a controlled substance, having a concealed weapon and tampering with a witness was a set up.

Kari Kelly called Sandy police after an argument on May 27, 2006, telling police that Contreras had drugs on his person and needed to be arrested. When police showed up, Roberts searched Contreras, only finding a knife that he used for his electrician work. Contreras walked away without incident.

In his police report, Roberts said that when he discovered the knife, Contreras told him he started carrying it after 9/11.

At first, Roberts said he wasn’t sure the knife qualified as a concealed weapon. After speaking with Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy Marcus Wold and researching concealed weapons law, “I felt the knife Mr. Contreras was carrying did, in fact, qualify as a concealed weapon.”

Later that evening, when Contreras was at a local bar, Roberts showed up, searched him a second time and arrested Contreras.

Later, Roberts searched Contreras a third time — a brief examination, Contreras said — this time finding a matchbook in his trenchcoat pocket, which had a small baggie of methamphetamine inside. Contreras was then charged with possession of a controlled substance, in addition to the concealed weapon charge. He spent two days at the Clackamas County Jail.

A third search isn’t unusual, Skelton said. “Sometimes you have to do a fast pat-down when you’re at a hot scene. You just make sure he doesn’t have any weapons and then you put the guy in the car.” The third, more in-depth search takes place at the police station. And sometimes, Skelton said, officers receive information that prompts them to conduct another search.

The complaint questions the discovery of the third search, since no contraband had been found in the two previous searches.

“The only person in physical contact with Plaintiff at any time after he had been placed in handcuffs following the second search at (the bar) was Defendant Roberts himself…” So, Contreras alleges, the only way the matchbook of meth could have made it into his jacket was by Roberts placing it there during the third search.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Skelton said. “It’s the attorney talking. This is just stupid. We’ve arrested him on many occasions for the possession of drugs.” He noted that Contreras has several warrants for his arrest in California related to possession of narcotics, but said those warrants aren’t executable in Oregon.

Kelly wrote several letters confessing that she framed Contreras after the incident. The compliant states that she said she planted the drugs as part of an informal agreement with Roberts to turn in three criminals to keep her out of trouble for her own illegal drug issues — a deal called “give up three, go free.” When one of those letters — which was notarized — reached Roberts, he allegedly threatened Kelly with arrest for tampering with a witness.

On June 4, Contreras got in another argument with Kelly, after which Kelly went to the Sandy Police Department. She then gave Roberts a recorded statement that she wrote and notarized the letter, but did so under threat of physical harm from Contreras, which he denies.

Officers then arrested Contreras for tampering with a witness, and four days later Contreras was indicted for unlawful possession of methamphetamine, coercion and tampering with a witness. He spent another 88 days in jail.

Contreras alleges that his Constitutional rights were violated during the incidents in that he was detained and searched without reasonable suspicion and was arrested falsely. He also takes issue with the alleged informal “give up three, go free” policy.

Taylor is included in the lawsuit because Contreras said the officer told him he was going to “make a special project” out of him, either by forcing him to leave town or go to jail.

For non-economic and punitive damages, Contreras seeks a total of $21 million plus attorneys fees in three separate claims.

Contreras’ record shows two convictions between 1985 and 2006, giving false information to police and a felon in possession of a firearm. He was charged with several other crimes, including criminal mischief, attempting to elude police and possession of methamphetamine, all of which were dismissed.

“He’s been arrested a bunch of times,” Skelton said of Contreras. “He just likes his drugs.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sandy Police need better image

from The Sandy Post - editorial
The sextuple whammy of lawsuits against members of the Sandy Police Department make apparent the fact that the city’s law enforcement agency needs to work on its image.

Some locals have accused the department of being harassers, liars, thugs, racist against Hispanics – allegations that peaked in summer 2005 – and even murderers.

We may never know what happened in each of the cases related to the lawsuits that alleged police wrongdoing – those kinds of judgments should and will be left to the courts – but what we do know is that the department has a serious public relations problem in this city.

A big part of that is the fact that the department seems to be all business. The idea of the neighborhood cop is all but gone, and we feel that the Sandy Police Department must do more to become a community player, or it will continue to generate ill feelings, misunderstanding and perhaps more lawsuits.

The police should learn from their public safety colleagues at the Sandy Fire District. Local firefighters are always out in the community, whether it’s showing up at a Good Morning Sandy event for the Chamber of Commerce, lending a hand to help move furniture out of a business, manning information booths at local events or fitting helmets for free on weekends. These people are extremely visible, and are well-loved and respected.

We proudly display our “I (love) Sandy Fire” sticker on our door because that agency goes out of its way to show people it’s a part of this community.

The police, however, don’t put forth such an effort.

We can understand that the police department has fewer people and a growing demand, which could contribute to the employees just being “all business.” But there has to be a conscious decision in the department that it must join the community in more than just a law enforcement capacity.

Chief Harold Skelton needs to make this a priority, and it doesn’t even have to be that difficult. It could be as simple as having reserve (a.k.a. volunteer) police officers reading to children in the schools, in uniform. It could be having them man information booths at the Hometown Holiday Festival.

Of course, it would be ideal to have officers such as K.T. Taylor and Bill Bergin – the two officers specifically targeted in the recent lawsuits – out in the community in a non-enforcement capacity, so people can get to know them and realize they’re more than just the people you run into before getting busted. They need to be indisputably friendly faces in the city.

Officers are often confined to their patrol cars, offices or behind the impersonal walls and Plexiglas at the police station. They don’t get information out to the public in a timely manner (The Post finds that reports are often filed several weeks after incidents occur – and those are the “simple” cases such as DUII and dog-at-large). And they aren’t forthcoming with important information about cases; we tend to get much more information from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office – which is based in Oregon City – than we do from our own neighborhood police force.

That’s not the kind of open-door policy necessary to build trust and respect. Instead, it creates an atmosphere of secrecy and elitism, one that easily gives birth to conspiracy theories and shocking allegations.

Skelton needs to make community involvement and “sunshine” operations his primary goal in the department to bring credibility and respect back to the Sandy Police Department. The face of the department has to change from one that’s scowling and half-cloaked to one that smiles and is recognizable. Until the chief makes openness and community involvement (outside policing) a priority, the department will continue to struggle, as it is now.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Six lawsuits allege police misconduct

from the Oregonian

Salem attorney Bruce Mowery, who represents the city in some of the cases through City/County Insurance Services, said the claims --which target city officials, Sandy police officers and Clackamas County sheriff's deputies --have no merit.

All of the lawsuits accuse Sandy and Clackamas County officers of excessive force, harassment and violating defendants' constitutional rights. The suits are all separate claims, though three of the defendants share the same lawyer.

The latest case, filed March 12 in U.S. District Court in Oregon by Sandy resident Samuel Contreras, claims Contreras was set up by police and wrongfully arrested for possession of a controlled substance, having a concealed weapon and tampering with a witness. Contreras had previously been convicted for possession of firearms and charged on multiple occasions with drug possession, Sandy police said.

The other cases are:

* Estacada resident Britt Woodring alleges officers used excessive force in his arrest outside a Sandy restaurant last year.

* Juan Rubio, the father of a man whose remains were found in the woods in 2005, claims that Sandy officers were verbally abusive to him and that city officials neglected his complaints during the search for his son.

* Another Rubio lawsuit against a Sandy officer alleges Rubio was threatened during several incidents between 2004 and 2006.

* A federal lawsuit against Sandy and county officers claims the county, city and police officers violated the civil rights of Fouad Kaady, a Portland man killed after a string of hit-and-run collisions, a car fire and a possible assault. The family filed the suit. A Clackamas County grand jury last year cleared the officers of wrongdoing.

* A lawsuit filed by Sandy resident Jerry Eureal Woodford alleges Sandy police officers unrightfully tackled him and stunned him with a Taser while he was staying at a hotel.

The second Rubio suit is filed in circuit court; the others are filed in federal court.

Attorney Edward Merrill of Bend --who represents Rubio, Woodring and Contreras --said his clients filed the lawsuits not for monetary gain but to protest police department actions. Mowery, who represents Sandy on these cases, said the claims are orchestrated by the Bend attorney.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Police as Brownshirts: The Torture & Execution of Fouad Kaady

from Educate-Yourself

Editor's Note: The use of Taser guns by police departments around this country must come to an end. They are invariably employed by a growing army of inhumane fascist cowards wearing police uniforms who invariably employ Tasers as tools of modern torture to force immediate "compliance" with whatever "orders" they bark out, regardless of how unreasonable or unjustified those 'orders' might be. Again, and again, and again, we hear reports of police behaving with an utter disregard for human suffering and a blatant contempt for the constitutional rights of their victims.

They behave as if the non-uniformed denizens of this country are rabid, wild animals, a separate breed from themselves, whom they can abuse and torture without concern or limit- just as long as they say "sir" in a loud voice while they are beating or tazing that citizen to death. That's the important thing you understand, saying "sir" out loud proves to everyone within hearing distance (especially, the Police Review Board) that you aware of the importance of that citizen's right to walk about in his own country unmolested and that you "respect" him as a citizen (if Kafka isn't spinning in his grave by now, he'll never do a turn).

Two such uniformed cretins responded to a call about an auto accident on September 6, 2005 in Clackamas County, Oregon, and within minutes of arriving at the scene, first abused, then inexplicably Taser tortured, and finally murdered a naked, unarmed 27 year old man who had recently emerged from a burning car wreck with burnt flesh hanging from his limbs and completely covered in blood. He had at no time done anything or said anything that was threatening or provoking to his executioners. What movement he did made was in REACTION to the unbelievable pain he must have been suffering from having two 50,000 volt Taser guns emptied into his burnt body, and his desire to GET AWAY from these two uniformed lunatics. But the two Brownshirts had no intention of letting him go anywhere and they also had no intention of touching his bloody body, so they shot him; not once, but seven times in the chest at point blank range. This murder was ruled to be a "justified response" by the Clackamas County Review Board for the two Nazi officers who were in "fear" that they might be killed by the naked, burnt, and unarmed 27 year old man who was trying to desperately to escape from them.

Fouad's execution took exactly 28 seconds. After shooting him, his executioners immediately called their dispatcher for medical assistance, They said in the video interview that that they concerned about getting Kaady medical "help" after his lifeless, bullet riddled body slide off the rear trunk of the police cruiser onto the warm pavement.

I've posted links below to the five part series on the killing of Fouad Kaady posted at YouTube by a person (or group) called "Portlandvftr"

I wonder if they also remembered to call Fouad "sir' while they were shooting him? ...Ken Adachi

Friday, January 5, 2007

Fouad Kaady’s 29th Birthday

author: Lew Nassa - published in Portland Indymedia

On Monday, Fouad would have been twenty nine years old, and presumably enjoying his new found career as a real estate salesman. He would still be the loving son, brother, friend, and human being that so many here have reported about.

On Monday, Fouad would have been twenty nine years old, and presumably enjoying his new found career as a real estate salesman. He would still be the loving son, brother, friend, and human being that so many here have reported about.

That did not happen. Instead, he was cruelly tortured and murdered by the fascist tools of the corporate state, Officer Bergin (Sandy Police) and Deputy Willard (Clackamas County Sheriff.

On September 6, 2005, Fouad was driving his parent's car, apparently carrying gasoline to his pickup truck, which had run out of gas. It was a hot day, and we think that he was clad only in shorts. At some point in this trip, something went dreadfully wrong. Initial reports indicate that Fouad was involved in a rear end collision with a car being driven by a Ms. Tiffany Stanko. From some witness' accounts, he may have already had a fire inside the vehicle, or it may have combusted when he struck Ms. Stanko's car. At any rate, he did not stop, as he may have been otherwise engaged (people who are on fire sometimes do strange things). Ms Stanko started the law enforcement gang rolling with her cell phone cries for help.

Meantime, Fouad was still careening down the rural highway, and struck a couple more cars, before running off the road and bailing out, tearing what little clothing remained from his body, while fleeing the flaming car, which was a total wreck.
Here, a "coincidental" thing happened: Ms Stanko's uncle, who was working on a survey crew nearby, chased Fouad into the woods with a baseball bat. According to him, he caught up to Fouad, and tried to grab him, but since Fouad's skin was burned and peeling, and he was bloody, he lost his grip as Fouad kicked out at him. Fouad fell to the ground at that point, then rose, and continued to run, through the woods, apparently hysterical with pain.

By this time, there are countless first responders in the area, including an ambulance, a couple of fire rigs, and multiple agency police. Enter our two heros: Willard, who a few moments ago was many miles away, finishing part of his lunch and trying to decide whether to have his power bar or his afternoon prayer, and Bergin, a rookie in Sandy, who was also headed for lunch when he heard the calls for aid. Upon arrival in the area, Willard removed his shotgun from his patrol unit, and took off like Rifleman, through the woods, presumably to bag an elk or something similar.

Unable to see the victim (Fouad IS the victim), he returned to the safety of the street, when Bergin came screaming up in his patrol car. About this time, a witness came by, saying that they saw a badly bleeding naked man, about a quarter mile up the road from where this assembly of first responders were congregated. Of course, Willard leaped into Bergin's car, and they screamed off like Batman and Robin, in hopes of being first to "bag" this helpless victim.

When they arrived, according to both officers, Fouad was "seated, Indian style (cross legged), naked, bleeding, with skin hanging from his body, rocking back and forth, in a catatonic state, and moaning." Seeing that Fouad was unarmed, and obviously injured, Willard said and did the only intelligent thing that he did in the entire encounter, he "transitioned to less lethal force (taser), and put down his shotgun. Of course, he had another brain lapse at this point (shoulda had the power bar), he tossed the loaded shotgun onto the hood of Bergin's car, and both officers draw their electric torture tools, and advance upon the victim (catatonic, seated, naked, bleeding, injured, etc.), yelling in typical "Cops" style (can't you just hear them?) for him to prone himself on the hot pavement. When he did not comply with these ridiculous demands, Bergin began tasering him, and continued until his toy ran out of electricity. Then, because the victim was writhing in pain, and they had no idea what to do with him (obviously, the idea of first aid never occurred to them), Willard similarly discharged his taser until empty.

Fouad, when added pain of the tasers ceased to torture him momentarily, did the only thing anyone would do in such a state, he fled the pain givers, and climbed to the highest refuge that he could find, the top of the patrol cars.

The protectors of the public peace had by this time decided (according to their statements) that there was no way that they could allow Fouad to leave, and yet, that there was also no way that they would allow him to touch them (all that icky blood and skin and stuff), so they had no choice. They shot him seven times, and at some point in this homicidal action, Fouad's young life was terminated.

Because of these fine individual's insensitivity to the agony that the victim was suffering, and their unwarranted fear of blood (first responders?), Fouad's family and friends must now SUFFER through his birthday, rather than celebrate it.

Please take a moment to share their pain, and to consider what has brought us to the state we are now in, where such egregious actions were not even condemned by a grand jury, led by the District Attorney, mentioned above. How will you be treated, if ever you are injured, bleeding, and burned?

A quick search of Indy, using Fouad's name will bring up past entries, for those who have just joined us.