Eds. Note – the text below is from The Portland Indymedia Video Collective. Their online film was an important inspiration to the makers of Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse.
In the early afternoon of September 8, 2005, police encountered Fouad Kaady shortly after he was in an accident that left him in shock and bleeding, burned over much of his body. Rather than calling for medical help, the police commanded him to lie on the pavement, even though they could see the burned flesh hanging from his body, and even though they said he appeared to be “in a catatonic state.” When he did not comply with their orders, but instead continued to sit on the ground in a daze, they tasered him repeatedly. And then, they shot him to death.
In a report that was typical of the corporate media’s response to this killing, Channel 8’s ever-mealy-mouthed Kyle Iboshi held up a wad of papers left over from the “investigation” into the death, saying, “you can see how extensive this investigation was.” He then commenced to highlight (literally, with a yellow highlighter pen) what he claimed to be the relevant details of the case. Not surprisingly, Iboshi was very selective in what he chose to focus on. He accepted, without question, everything that the PIO had told him to say. He never asked a single question about why two officers might have shot an obviously unarmed man to death. And, he concluded his report by implying that Kaady must have been “on drugs” at the time of the killing, as if that might excuse the officers’ behavior.
And so, in a pattern of violence that is repeated almost every day in this country, the police got away with murder. So far, anyway. They did so because they have the power and the authority to carry guns and to use them, and to avoid facing the consequences of their actions. And, they got away with it because the complicit corporate media helped them to weave a story that would lull the public into silence. As in so many incidents like this one, they told a story that was engineered to cause people to blame the victim, and accept the violence. No questions asked.
The truth about what happened to Fouad Kaady is important. It’s important to bear witness when a member of our community is cut down like this. It’s important to stand up for the person he might have been, rather than accepting the media’s portrayal of him as merely some drug-crazed monster who “had it coming.” It’s important to know just how deep the culture of police violence runs through our cities and towns, and just how fist-in-glove the corporate media has been with the police state. And that’s why this video is important. Even if you think you know the story, you’re not going to believe this. Over the course of a year and a half, Videoistas painfully and meticulously gathered evidence, combed through records and reports, spoke with witnesses, and pieced together the real story. It’s much more disturbing than what you might have seen on KATU, but it’s the truth. And the least we can do for a fallen comrade is to take the time to learn the truth about what really happened to him.
Believe it or not, this story is told in the officers’ own words. And you won’t even believe what you hear.
This five part video series was made by The Portland Indymedia Video Collective and does not represent or speak for the Kaady family.
28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady, Part 1 of 5
28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady, Part 2 of 5
28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady, Part 3 of 5
28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady, Part 4 of 5
28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady, Part 5 of 5