Fairview declares shooting justified
The Fairview police officer who fatally shot Larry Maurice McKinney in late January was justified in his use of deadly force and possibly saved lives as a result, according to an internal review by the Fairview Police Department.
Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson on Wednesday, Feb. 22, released his administrative review of the shooting, which was the department's first fatal police officer-involved shooting. The department also released the 9-1-1 call from McKinney's mother, Sandra Kelley.
Officers Mike Morton and Joe Kaiser responded to the 9-1-1 call before Friday, Jan. 27, at the Wood Creek Apartments in Fairview. Sandra Kelley said she called 9-1-1 because McKinney was intoxicated and she wanted police to remove him from the apartment.
The officers said they were walking up the stairs to Kelley's second-floor apartment when McKinney darted out of the apartment. McKinney reportedly threatened Kaiser and attacked him with a kitchen knife. Morton then shot McKinney three times, killing him.
'Officer Morton used sound judgment and reacted appropriately, most likely saving the life of himself, Officer Kaiser and possibly saving the life of Sandra Kelley,' Johnson wrote.
Sandra Kelley and her brother, Gerald Kelley, disputed the officers' version of events. They said McKinney did not attack the officers and that they did not give McKinney enough time to drop the knife after they ordered him.
A Multnomah County grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing in early February.
Johnson said he reviewed evidence such as the police reports, transcripts of tape-recorded interviews and the grand jury transcripts; he also conducted interviews with the involved officers.
Johnson said inconsistent statements from Sandra Kelley, Gerald Kelley and witness Mary Mosqueda, an assistant apartment manager, to police and to the grand jury influenced his decision.
Johnson said he also reviewed photographs of the crime scene and the autopsy and found there was no evidence that Morton and Kaiser were at the bottom of the stairs when Morton shot McKinney, as Sandra Kelley claimed.
In addition, the Use of Force Review Board found that Morton did not violate any of the department's policies.
'I did not find anything that would warrant further review or changes to our training, policies or procedures relative to this incident,' Johnson wrote.
Johnson's summary of his findings and conclusions, as well as the 9-1-1 call, are available online at fairvieworegon.gov.