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Jun-24-2017 00:38printcomments

Grand Jury Determines Officer's Use of Deadly Force Justified in May 2017 Shooting

Johnson was struggling with drug addiction which may have affected his mental health.

Terrell Kyreem Johnson
24-year-old Terrell Kyreem Johnson from an April 29, 2017, arrest.
PHOTO: Portland Police

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - On Thursday June 22, 2017, a Multnomah County Grand Jury determined that a Portland Police Bureau officer was justified in the use of deadly force in the May 2017 shooting of 24-year-old Terrell Kyreem Johnson.

The grand jury determined that the use of deadly force against Johnson was a lawful exercise of self-defense under Oregon law.

The Portland Police Bureau officer involved in the shooting is Samson Ajir, an eight-year-veteran of the Bureau assigned to the Transit Police Division. The Bureau anticipates he will be returning to full duty next week.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputy partnered with Officer Ajir in the Transit Police Division was Deputy AJ Ajir -- Officer Ajir's brother.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Johnson was acting erratically and threatening people at the Flavel Street Transit Station which prompted a 9-1-1 call for police.

The caller described Johnson as a white male, provided a clothing description, and a description of Johnson's behavior to the call-taker with the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC).

The first arriving officer at the scene was Officer Jacob Howell of the West Linn Police Department, assigned to the Transit Police Division.

Officer Howell was in the early stages of his investigation into the report and was speaking with Johnson, who was non-compliant and would not sit down.

As Officer Ajir and Deputy Ajir arrived, Johnson ran from the officers -- first westbound on Flavel then back eastbound before running northbound on the MAX bridge over Johnson Creek.

Officer Ajir was in close proximity to Johnson during the foot chase.

Johnson reversed course and turned towards Officer Ajir and advanced towards him while displaying a utility knife, prompting Officer Ajir to unholster his handgun and fire multiple times, striking Johnson.

After Johnson was down on the ground, additional officers arrived and approached Johnson with a shield for officer-safety, then began rendering immediate medical aid until paramedics arrived.

Paramedics determined that Johnson was deceased. A utility knife was recovered from the scene.

As part of the use of force review process, the Bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board (PRB), which is comprised of community members, Bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division.

At the time of the shooting, Johnson did not have a fixed address and a family member had an active restraining order/protective order against Johnson.

According to Johnson's family, he had been struggling with drug addiction that they believe may have affected his mental health. Johnson had no mental health history on file with the Portland Police Bureau.

Source: Portland Police Bureau

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