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Macduff Family Settles With City of Tigard, Details of Deadly Police Shooting Revealed (Photo) - 07/27/22

Maria Macduff announced her family has reached a settlement of $3.8 million with the City of Tigard over the shooting death of her 26-year-old son, Jacob Macduff, by Tigard Police on the evening of January 6, 2021. Macduff blamed the Tigard Police Department for use of unnecessary deadly force in the death of her son.

“We now know what I believed all along — there is no way my son Jacob should have been shot and killed that night,” Maria Macduff said in a statement.  “My deepest desire since this happened has been to do everything possible to make sure no other family loses a child the way I have. I believe we’ve accomplished that.” As part of the settlement, the City of Tigard has made and has agreed to continue to make changes in police policy and training to prevent another unnecessary death of a person in mental health crisis. 

Macduff’s attorney, Scott Levin, said he and co-counsel David Park were able to reach a settlement with the city only after gaining access to the Washington County District Attorney’s investigation of the shooting and the medical examiner’s report. Levin brought Park into the case because of Park’s expertise and success in litigating police shooting cases.

Said Levin, “From a thorough examination of these records, we learned Jacob Macduff was shot and killed within an eight second sequence initiated by the police in an unnecessary plan to forcibly remove Jacob Macduff from the cab of his pickup.”

Park told reporters this eight second sequence can be followed through the audio and video recorded by the police dash cam video, even though the actual events cannot be seen. He and Levin used accurately scaled computer aided images to recreate the events for purposes of negotiating the settlement. 

Using those images and police photos, Park described for reporters what happened:

  • At 4:09 pm, police arrived at Macduff’s apartment in response to a domestic disturbance call. Because of three previous calls to the apartment, they knew Macduff suffered mental health issues.
  • Although police determined no one had been harmed, they charged Macduff with domestic harassment, a charge that required them to arrest him.
  • Police located Macduff locked inside the cab of his pickup. He wouldn’t come out.
  • For an hour and 14 minutes, six police officers moved freely about Macduff’s pickup without guns drawn, frequently turning their backs to Macduff. They seemingly did not consider him a safety threat.
  • Sometime after 5 pm, for no apparent reason and without summoning or consulting with officers trained in crisis de-escalation, the police on site developed a plan to remove Macduff from his pickup with the use of force.
  • The plan was to use a window punch to break the driver’s door window, then reach in, unlock the door, pull Macduff from the truck and place him under arrest.
  • At 5:48:12 pm, one officer gave the other officers the “go” signal. At 5:48:14, without warning, an officer positioned a few feet from the front of the pickup shot bean bag rounds into the truck windshield. By 5:48:20, Officer Gabriel Maldonado had shot Macduff four times and killed him. (Five shots are heard on the recording, but one shot missed. Later in the video, three more shots can be heard, but evidence showed the fatal shots had already been fired.)

Park said there is zero evidence Macduff was ever armed or posed a threat to the police officers. He also pointed to a police photo that shows Jacob Macduff’s truck was blocked in and there was no risk of him going anywhere. 

As a consequence of Macduff’s death and the settlement, Tigard Police are making substantive changes in how they deal with persons in mental health crisis. The agreement lists fourteen changes that include de-escalation training and the formation of a Washington County mental health response team.  

The settlement also provides that the City of Tigard will cooperate in an independent critical incident review and analysis of the police actions that resulted in Macduff’s death and the post-incident steps taken by the City of Tigard in the wake of the death. The report of that independent review will be made public upon its completion. 

In a sympathy card received by Maria Macduff on December 7, 2021, Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine acknowledged the City of Tigard failed to protect and serve Jacob Macduff. 

Maria Macduff described her son as a kind, gentle soul who was witty and well-liked. She related how, during the Oregon wildfires, Jacob drove food donations in his truck to campsites where survivors were gathered. She said she will remember him for his beautiful smile and twinkling blue eyes.

Levin said that, while the City of Tigard formally denies liability and fault in the settlement agreement, the amount and terms of the agreement demonstrate the actions of the Tigard officers were not defensible.

(Police dash cam video: https://tinyurl.com/4vbx8mfj)

Attached Media Files: Settlement , Declaration , Card
Macduff Family Settles Withe City of Tigard, Details of Deadly Police Shooting Revealed - 07/26/22

Attorneys for Maria Macduff will announce a settlement with the City of Tigard over the shooting death of Macduff’s 26-year-old son, Jacob Macduff, by Tigard Police on the evening of January 6, 2021. They will also provide details about the shooting that needlessly caused the young man’s death.

Who: David Park, Scott Levin, attorneys for Maria Macduff

What: News conference

When: 1:30 pm, Wed. July 27, 2022

Where: Conference room at Elliott & Park law office, 324 S. Abernethy St., Portland (Abernethy & Kelly)