A grand jury today declined to indict any of the seven Portland police officers or the Multnomah County Sheriff's deputy who fired on a man in a Southeast Grand Avenue homeless shelter last month.
Police shot and killed John Andrew Elifritz, 48, on April 7 after he crashed a stolen car and then ran into a shelter wielding a knife. Witnesses said that Elifritz cut himself with the knife before police officers showed up.
Twenty officers entered the shelter to confront him. Bystander video shot inside the shelter shows officers commanding Elifritz to drop the knife in his hand and firing bean bags at him. Elifritz refused to drop the weapon.
The videos sparked renewed alarm over police use of force. The debate was complicated by questions around how much police knew about Elifritz, who had been an avowed member of the European Kindred, a white supremacist gang that started in an Oregon prison.
Officers Richard Bailey, Justin Damerville, Kameron Fender, Alexandru Martiniuc, Bradley Nutting, Chad Phifer, Andrew Polas, and Deputy Aaron Sieczkowski were placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting. Phifer, Polas and Nutting had previously been investigated for use of force.
The Portland Police Bureau said in a statement tonight that all seven of its officers are expected to return to duty.
The Multnomah County District Attorneys office said in a statement that it had requested the grand jury transcripts be transcribed and released to the public.