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.