PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Multnomah County grand jury has found no criminal wrongdoing in the fatal shooting by a Portland police officer of a 36-year-old legally blind man who had schizophrenia.
The grand jury found Officer Consider Vosu’s shooting of Andre Gladen on Jan. 6 was a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person, the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Friday.
Vosu responded that day to a report of an “unwanted person” sleeping outside Desmond Pescaia’s house. Police have said Gladen wouldn’t leave the property and the officer requested backup, then reported “shots fired.”
Pescaia told the Oregonian/OregonLive that Vosu used a Taser on Gladen after Gladen ran inside. The man fell to the ground then got up, Pescaia said, and after Vosu opened fire, Pescaia said he saw a knife fall from Gladen’s hand.
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Police also have said that Gladen was armed with a knife, but no further information has been released. Police spokeswoman Lt. Tina Jones said the Police Bureau will release its reports on the shooting as soon as they’re available.
The grand jury’s ruling was announced before Gladen’s parents and siblings met at City Hall Friday with Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as police commissioner, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, and other city leaders.
Andre’s twin brother, Fonte Gladen, had asked for the meeting to answer questions about the incident.
After the meeting, Andre Gladen’s mother and other family members said they felt the city officials and police chief listened but many of their questions remain unanswered. They were told to wait for the grand jury transcripts, not expected to be made publicly available for two to three weeks, according to their lawyer, Tim Volpert.
His sister Donna Martin called the police shooting “shameful” and “unnecessary.”
Gladen’s family said he had been at Portland Adventist Medical Center before he wound up on Pescaia’s doorstep, less than half a mile away.
His family members said they believed Gladen went to the hospital’s emergency department earlier that day, and walked out, and had been experiencing hallucinations.
His family argued that police lack the training and skills to de-escalate an encounter with people suffering from a mental health crisis.