Family files lawsuit over fatal Portland police shooting

Multnomah County

Lane Martin's family says he was having a mental health crisis

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The family of a man killed by police in Southeast Portland in July 2019 filed a lawsuit against the city and officer involved.

The lawsuit claims Office Gary Doran was unreasonable and reckless when he fired 12 shots at Lane Martin.

Witnesses saw a man carrying an ax and swinging it at people just before a police shooting on SE 122nd Avenue in Portland on July 30, 2019. (Courtesy of Timothy Allen)

Police said Martin was caught trying to break into a car and was carrying a weapon similar to an ax or hatchet before he was shot.

The family says Martin was having a mental health crisis and was trying to run away from the police through an apartment complex. The lawsuit claims Martin had dropped his weapon after police used less-lethal force, before the fatal shooting.

“At the time he was killed by Officer Doran, Lane Martin was in the midst of a mental health crisis. He was delusional and paranoid. PPB’s response to these mental health symptoms exacerbated his paranoia and precipitated his flight,” the lawsuit says.

A Multnomah County Grand Jury cleared Doran of wrongdoing, saying he acted in self-defense or in defense of others.

The lawsuit cites 2012 findings by the Department of Justice saying the Portland Police Bureau used a “pattern of practice of unnecessary or unreasonable force during interactions with people who have or are perceived to have mental illness.”

“Our family is heartbroken by Lane’s unnecessary death,” the victim’s mother, Cristi Lane, said in a press release. “And our personal tragedy is further proof that the city has not changed the pattern of police conduct since it was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice. We don’t want another family to suffer like this. The DA won’t charge the officer and the city won’t discipline him. How will we stop this from happening again?”

The lawsuit also claims Doran was “recklessly placing dozens of bystanders in danger” by firing in the apartment complex.

The family said Lane Martin loved life and had “infectious joy.” He was working on a bachelor’s degree at Portland State University and was loved in the community there.

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