Jacklynn Ford’s shooting death by Salem officer was justified, grand jury rules

Statesman Journal, May 21, 2014

Jacklynn Ford

Jacklynn Ford

A Salem police shooting that resulted in the death of an armed woman earlier this month was a justified use of deadly force, a Marion County grand jury ruled Wednesday.

READPress release on officer’s use of force (PDF, 231KB)

READWitnesses question Salem police shooting of Jackie Ford (HTML)

READLinks to all other coverage on Jackie Ford’s death (HTML)

Jacklynn Rashaun Ford, 25, died from two gunshot wounds in the shooting. The shooting occurred about 10:15 p.m. May 9 after Officer Trevor Morrison stopped Ford’s van for improper registration and improper signaling of a turn near Eastgate Basin Park in Salem.

Marion County Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson said the grand jury convened Wednesday and heard from 11 witnesses, including civilians, police officers, investigators from the Oregon State Police and Ford’s mother.

It also examined a host of evidence, including photographs, diagrams, dispatch recordings and autopsy results, before concluding that Morrison reasonably believed his life was in danger when he confronted Ford, who had pointed a loaded 22-caliber revolver at Morrison before he fired two shots that struck Ford in the head and chest.

The grand jury determined that following sequence of events:

Morrison, a 12-year veteran of the Salem Police Department, was driving a marked vehicle with his police dog Baco on his way to assist with another call when he noticed Ford’s van. He determined the van was not properly registered and had made a turn without signaling properly.

When Morrison stopped Ford, she identified herself first as Chrystina Ford, then Chrystina Lloyd with a date of birth of July 1986. She could not provide registration or a driver’s license but claimed the van belonged to her sister. She refused to give Morrison her sister’s name.

During the conversation Morrison saw a knife in Ford’s pocket and he requested that she not reach for it. She said she had no other weapons.

Morrison offered Ford the chance to give him her real name but she maintained that her name was Chrystina Lloyd. He returned to his police vehicle to confirm her identity and then noticed Ford was moving a lot inside her van. She then stepped out of the van to face him and he ordered her to get back into the vehicle but she instead ran toward Eastgate Basin Park.

Ford ignored verbal commands by Morrison to stop so he released the police dog to assist in arresting her. The dog stopped Ford at the park and had her on the ground when Morrison caught up. When he ordered her to show him her hands, she kept her right hand behind her back. She eventually put her right arm in view and Morrison took control of the dog.

Ford then stood up and Morrison ordered her to get onto the ground so he could arrest her. As she went to her knees she held a loaded revolver and pointed it at Morrison as she stood up and faced him. She repeatedly tried to pull the hammer back. Morrison responded by pulling out his own gun and striking Ford twice. The dog then dragged Ford away from her weapon.

Additional responding officers arrived on the scene and attempted to apply first aid. She was taken to Salem Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Morrison and police dog Baco were not harmed in the incident.

In further investigation of the park, officials found a holster with about 7.9 grams of methamphetamine, two knives and a cell phone belonging to Ford. Oregon State Police, who assumed the investigation, also found the weapon that she brandished. In searching the van, officials found additional weapons and drug paraphernalia.

The grand jury determined that Ford likely fired once at Morrison and witnesses reported hearing three shots. Preliminary toxicology reports showed the presence of methamphetamine in her system, but those results are pending confirmation. She had two outstanding felony warrants for burglary in the second degree and possession of methamphetamine. She was on probation for a menacing conviction and had a criminal history dating back to 2011 for theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.