PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A group is rallying in Northeast Portland to demand justice for a blind, mentally ill man who was killed by Portland police in January.
Members of Andre Gladen’s family held a press conference Saturday afternoon followed by a march on NE Killingsworth to the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct.
“The police that took my son’s life,” Sylvester Gladen said. “I hope that they have a family that he has to look at every day and pray that they won’t be taken out the way my son was.”
Gladen, who was 36 when he was shot to death January 6, was legally blind and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. On that day, Gladen pounded on the door of an apartment at 96th and SE Market.
The resident, Desmond Pescaia, called police.
When Officer Consider Vosu arrived, Pescaia said Gladen started pounding on the door again and trying to get inside. Pescaia opened the door, Gladen ran in and pulled out a 6-inch blade.
Then he charged at Officer Vosu with the knife.
“[The] police officer said ‘You need to stop or I’m going to tase you,'” Pescaia told KOIN 6 News that day. Vosu did Tase Gladen, but it had no effect.
“The police officer warned him 5 or 6 times. He never listened and three gunshots went off,” Pescaia said.
Gladen’s family is still looking for answers and asking the city for justice.
“This is not something you can sweep under the rug,” Gladen’s uncle Junior Floyd said.
“Things are not normal,” his sister Donna Martin said. “We shouldn’t be afraid for our lives. We shouldn’t have to submit or die that shouldn’t be an option.”
A grand jury found the officer acted in self-defense and was cleared of wrongdoing.