PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland Police Bureau said they are conducting an internal investigation after a man accused of a deadly Old Town stabbing was released from jail the day before the murder, after police say he reportedly assaulted a woman earlier that week.
Now, Portland Police are looking into whether the initial assault investigation went far enough.
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Portland Police arrested 20-year-old Kalil Ford for beating up a woman. Police charged and booked him with assault in the fourth degree.
However, fourth-degree assault is a misdemeanor and the Multnomah County Court requires a felony charge (i.e. assault in the second degree) to hold someone in jail past their first court appearance.
Court records show Judge Rebecca Lease released Ford on Sept. 29, the day after the assault.
Then on Friday, Sept. 30, police arrested Ford again for reportedly fatally stabbing a man identified as Mark Davis in Old Town. Now, Ford is facing murder charges for Davis’ death.
There were multiple witnesses who saw the fight escalate into a stabbing, according to court documents. Bystanders intervened in the attack, including pepper spraying Ford. Court documents also say a security guard used a taser to keep him detained until police arrived.
Officers took Ford into custody after he admitted he intentionally stabbed Davis multiple times, officials said.
However, in new court filings issued October 6, Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs revealed that police did not tell prosecutors the full extent of Ford’s attack on the woman. Gibbs said the officer did not gather the surveillance video at the scene, which captured the violent details of Ford punching, kicking, stomping on the woman and beating her with a broomstick. Prosecutors say the video would have proved Ford committed a felony.
As a result, the Portland Police Bureau said they are “reviewing the response to the September 28, 2022, assault investigation in which Kalil Ford was arrested and charged with assault… We are using the review process to identify lessons that can be learned and improvements that can be made.”
The Internal Affairs Division is conducting the investigation into the entire call response regarding Ford’s initial assault, but police say an investigation does not necessarily mean there is a violation of policy.
Cynthia Smith, Davis’ aunt, said even though PPB is investigating, the outcome for her family is the same — saying she hopes her nephew will be remembered for his humor and how he made others feel.
“He’d put a smile on your face. Like I have one on my face now just thinking about him. I was with him earlier that day and he was cracking jokes, like he normally does. And then to find out later on that that happened, you know it kind of saddens me a bit,” Smith said. “I wish that it didn’t happen, and I’m going to miss him a whole lot.”
Smith says he brought laughter everywhere he went and losing him has been incredibly painful for her family. But perhaps more painful is the fact that she feels the system failed him — telling KOIN 6 News if Ford had been held past his first court appearance, she believes Davis would still be alive.
“I kind of feel like they failed him in a way because if they hadn’t let him out, then he would probably still be here,” Smith said.
Smith described Davis as a jokester who always made people laugh and beyond being a loving father and friend, Smith said he was “funny, lovable, just a really good guy. Wouldn’t hurt a fly, unless they were trying to hurt him.”
“Two days before that happened, he was let out of jail,” Smith said. “I don’t think they should have let him out of jail the first time, or Mark would probably still be here.”
She added, “But that’s how the system works, I guess. Maybe they’ll do something different this time and not let him out.”
Friends and family told KOIN 6 News they plan to hold a vigil for Davis on Saturday at 3 p.m. Smith added that they plan to celebrate Davis’ life and legacy in Old Town in the same location where his life was tragically taken from them.