Family of man killed by Tigard Police continues push for reform

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 5:02 PM PST
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TIGARD, Ore. (KPTV) - On Monday, lawyers for the family of the man killed by an officer released a new report on how policies and practices they feel should change within the Tigard Police Dept.

On January 6, 2021, 26-year-old Jacob Macduff was shot and killed by Tigard police after police say officers were called to his apartment for domestic violence.

Macduff’s family claims he was going through a mental health crisis, and it was reckless that he was killed.

After the shooting was investigated, no charges were filed against the officer who killed him.

This past summer, the City of Tigard settled out of court with Jacob Macduff’s family for $3.8 million after former officer Gabriel Maldonado shot and killed Macduff just over two years ago. Part of that settlement allowed Macduff’s family to commission an independent investigation into the shooting by a law firm that specializes in police investigations and police practices. The 45-page report conducted by OIR Group and released by Macduff’s family’s lawyers says above all else, Tigard police did not respond the right way to this call.

“Tigard police in this case condoned the adoption of a false narrative by those officers that were involved in the killing of Jacob Macduff, that they did not believe that he was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time,” said family lawyer, David Park.

The report stresses the need for reform on how Tigard police respond to mental health crises, along with the need for better transparency when investigating police shootings. According to Tigard’s police chief, some changes made include requiring Tigard police to wear body cameras, training on de-escalation with people who have barricaded themselves from law enforcement, and using less lethal weapons. Responding to the report in a letter to Tigard’s city manager, Chief Kathy McAlpine said:

“We are open to many of the recommendations made in the report and will thoughtfully evaluate where they can be incorporated in alignment with national best practices and Oregon law.”

But for the MacDuff family, they feel the case isn’t closed yet.

“Since the state Dept. of Justice did not investigate fully whether a crime has occurred, I’d like the U.S. Dept. of Justice to investigate,” said Park. “This is a civil rights violation, when a police officer unnecessarily takes the life of a citizen.”

The officer who killed Jacob Macduff resigned from Tigard police in spring of 2021.