PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The family of a man shot and killed by law enforcement in Milwaukie held a vigil Saturday to demand change days after a grand jury found the shooting was justified.
Derrick Clark’s family was incredibly disappointed to learn neither an Oregon State Police trooper nor a Clackamas County detective would face criminal charges in the June 18 shooting following a high speed chase just before 1 a.m. They gathered near the spot in Milwaukie where the shooting took place, SE Railroad Avenue and Wood, west of the North Clackamas Aquatic Park.
“The only thing that’s going to change the policy and legislation is for us to be out in these streets,” the said.
With signs, speeches and flowers at the vigil, Clark’s family said the grand jury’s decision is outrageous.
“We were able to view the footage yesterday. And now finally after 176 days we are able to see what exactly happened. And the public will see what happened next week, and the footage speaks for itself,” said Carrie Miles, Clark’s aunt.
“Derrick was my first born grandson. He was loved by his family and had so many friends that cared and loved him,” said his grandmother Colleen Miles. “He was doing so many good things and he will be deeply missed forever.”
Clark’s family suggests the video shows he was shot in the back.
The family has a list of demands for change, including the release of lethal force video footage to families of victims shot by law enforcement within one week of the incident. They also demand that officers involved not be allowed to view the video evidence before giving their official statements, release grand jury transcripts and increase training.
After the Oregon Department of Justice’s independent investigation into the shooting, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said, “This was obviously a tragic incident that everyone wishes had not happened. I want to thank the Clackamas County grand jurors for their service as well as the Oregon City and Lake Oswego police departments for their thorough investigation.”
And though they said the grand jury’s decision means they won’t get the accountability they were seeking immediately, they told KOIN 6 News their fight is not over.
“We’re not going away. We’re here to fight, that’s what Derrick would do for us and that’s what we’re doing for him. He was our family’s protector, and we’ll be his protector now,” Carrie Miles said.
Neither the Oregon State Police nor the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a KOIN 6 News request for comment about the Clark family’s statements.
However earlier in the week, the agencies acknowledged the impact lethal force has on everyone involved while thanking the community for their patience and the grand jurors for their “comprehensive review of the facts.”