Michael Fesser hopeful for change after West Linn meeting

Clackamas County

Concerned community groups and residents hosted the meeting to discuss ways to promote change

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The man who was wrongfully arrested through a racially-motivated police probe met with West Linn city officials Tuesday to share his story.

Michael Fesser, a black man living in Portland, was the victim of a conspiracy involving former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus and Fesser’s employer. Timeus and Fesser’s boss at A&B Towing made up allegations that Fesser stole from the company. The false accusation led to Fesser’s arrest and detainment by Portland police officers.

Fesser filed a federal lawsuit in 2017 against the City of West Linn. The city agreed in February to settle the suit but said the decision “is not an admission of liability.” Also last month, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a federal civil rights investigation into the allegations of criminal wrongdoing by West Linn police.

Fesser and his family met with the city manager, police officers and other officials on Tuesday in a private meeting as part of the city’s settlement agreement.

“I trust in God so I understand that he is guiding this and this is an opportunity that something can really take place here and be great,” Fesser told KOIN 6 News. “They just really have to come aboard and want change if that is what West Linn wants to do.”

Meanwhile, community members attended a second meeting at West Linn Lutheran Church to voice their concerns over Fesser’s situation and how to create a more welcoming environment in the city for all races.

One of the groups that hosted the community meeting — Concerned Citizens of West Linn — plans to hold a march to the police department on March 14 to present a list of demands.

KOIN 6 News has reached out to the City of West Linn for comment and is awaiting a response.

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