Ore. DOJ: Trooper, detective justified in fatal officer-involved shooting
The 24-year-old man's family questioned why LEOs "appeared to go against policy by pursuing" him
By Austin De Dios
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. — A Clackamas County grand jury found that the Oregon State trooper and Clackamas County detective who shot and killed a 24-year-old Tigard man in June acted lawfully, the Oregon Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The grand jury returned a “not true bill” Monday night, meaning they believed the use of force was justified.
Clackamas County Sheriff Detective Daniel Ferguson and Oregon State Police Trooper Zachary Cole fatally shot Derrick Dewayne Clark on June 18 at the intersection of Southeast Wood and Railroad Avenues in Clackamas County.
They suspected Clark was driving under the influence and tried to stop his car around 1 a.m., but he didn’t pull over and drove into a ditch, according to the Department of Justice. Clark ran from the car, reportedly with a visible firearm, and Ferguson and Clark fired multiple shots at him, the department said. Clark was shot twice and died at the scene.
The Oregon City and Lake Oswego police departments conducted the investigation along with the Department of Justice. Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth asked the Oregon DOJ to lead the investigation and to prosecute.
Clark was a volunteer teacher-in-training at The Insight Alliance, a nonprofit that works with adults and youth in prison.
He was introduced to the organization while at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility for a 2015 second-degree robbery. Clark was 17 at the time of his conviction.
The Insight Alliance and Clark’s family said they had questions for law enforcement following his death, including why Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies appeared to go against policy by pursuing Clark.
In September 2021, Clackamas County Sheriff Angel Brandenburg told deputies in a memo to engage in vehicle pursuits only “when there is a reasonable suspicion to believe the suspect committed a felony person crime or where the suspect’s driving conduct, prior to the initiation of a stop, displays a willful disregard for the safety of others that reasonably places the public in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death.”
Insight and Clark’s family questioned why police pulled him over since suspicion of DUI is a misdemeanor.