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Family of man killed in police shooting to receive $350K


PORTLAND, Ore. -- The City of Portland was set to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a man shot by police in 2004.


Officer Jason Sery shot James Jahar Perez three times during a traffic stop when he saw Perez pull a clenched fist from his right pocket, thinking he was pulling out a gun. A second officer, Sean Macomber, then fired his Taser gun at Perez.

Investigators later found no weapon on Perez or in his car, but a Multnomah County grand jury two weeks ago didn't find enough evidence to indict Sery.

Documents showed the city council approved a payment of $350,000 to be made official Wednesday, according to the City Auditor.

"This settlement will give needed assistance to Mr. Perez's infirm mother and provide assurance there is money available for his small child to receive an education," Mayor Tom Potter said in a statement Tuesday.

Sery was cleared of any wrongdoing, but the shooting sparked a public outcry and led Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk to hold a public inquest.

Sery resigned a few months later, saying he had decided to become a teacher. He was hired by the Beaverton Police Department in 2008.

"The shooting was fully reviewed by the District Attorney's Office, including a public inquest, and I believe the officers' actions were justified. Any loss of life diminishes not only a family and the officers involved, but our entire community," Potter said.

"And every death raises old questions of trust between the community and the men and women we have asked to protect us. We must continue working together to break down the stereotypes that keep us from being true partners in building the Portland we all desire. I hope that the settlement will bring closure to the officers and their families and to the family of Mr. Perez."

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