Video released of police killing fleeing Black suspect in Milwaukie
Viewer discretion advised: The following video shows violence.
Newly released videos show police shooting and killing a 24-year-old man who was running away from them with a gun in Milwaukie on June 18.
A grand jury on Nov. 28 cleared law-enforcement personnel of criminal charges for the killing of Derrick Dewayne Clark, who was Black.
In the video, police can be heard yelling, "Show your hands" and "hands up" while Clark runs away from the officers into the grassy area near Milwaukie's Railroad Avenue. Officers yelled "gun, gun" as they continued to fire at Clark as he continued to run toward the railroad tracks.
Clark's aunt, Carrie Miles, said the video was "awful to watch."
"He immediately ran for his life and never looked back. They shot him as he ran far away," Miles said.
Video confirmed Department of Justice officials' account that Clark did not comply with commands and had a firearm visible in his right hand as he got out of his car and took off running. Video also confirmed the family's assertion that Clark was essentially shot in the back, although an autopsy report still hasn't been released.
Clark raised his weapon in the air at one point as he was fleeing, which family members interpreted as his attempt to throw away the weapon. Before he had a chance to point the gun at anyone, the detective and trooper fired multiple shots toward Clark.
On June 25, around 250 people marched from the North Clackamas Aquatic Park to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to protest Clark's killing by police.
"My son was running away from the police when they shot him. He did not threaten anyone, and he should be with us here today," said Sarah Miles after viewing the video.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum called Clark's killing by police "a tragic incident that everyone wishes had not happened." In a news release, OSP officials said they have asked the Oregon Department of Justice to make a public release of the facts presented to the grand jury because OSP believes it is important for the community to better understand the circumstances when deadly force is used.
DOJ and CCSO officials have not responded to media requests for additional comments or documentation, but they recently released the videos to Miles' attorney, J. Ashlee Albies of Portland. While the video footage is incredibly painful and difficult to watch, Miles believed it was critical for the sake of transparency to release it to the public.
"It's clear that Derrick Clark was no threat to police officers when they began shooting at him," Albies said.
Grand jurors voted after learning about a criminal investigation related to the use of deadly force by Clackamas County Sheriff Detective Daniel Ferguson and Oregon State Police Trooper Zachary Cole that resulted in Clark's death. Clark's family members expressed "profound" disappointment that police will not face criminal charges.
The family is working with an attorney to further investigate Clark's death and to release more information about the circumstances of his death. DOJ officials said the grand jury's role was solely to determine whether the involved officers' conduct warranted criminal charges, and questions regarding matters that are civil or administrative in nature were beyond the scope of the investigation and the grand jury's consideration.
Clark's family members are raising funds for a civil lawsuit against the police at gofundme.com/f/justice-for-derrick-clark.
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