Fairview Police Chief Says Officer’s Actions Saved Lives

By Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian, Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson reads a statement at a press conference this afternoon following the release of the grand jury verdict finding no criminal wrongdoing in Fairview's first fatal police shooting.

Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian
Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson reads a statement at a press conference this afternoon following the release of the grand jury verdict finding no criminal wrongdoing in Fairview's first fatal police shooting.

Saying his officer “did what he had to do,” the chief of the Fairview Police Department said Wednesday that an internal review of a January fatal police shooting shows it was not only justified, but likely saved the lives of three people.

“It’s been a difficult time,” said Chief Ken Johnson. “The grand jury cleared the officer. I agree with them.”

Just before midnight January 27 Officer Joe Kaiser and Officer Mike Morton arrived at an apartment complex at 20341 N.E. Halsey St. in response to a 9-1-1 call from a woman who said her son, just out of jail, was drunk and had attacked her.

Kaiser climbed almost to the top of a flight of 14 stairs when Larry M. McKinney darted out of the second-floor apartment, holding a carving knife in a threatening stance.

Kaiser believed that McKinney was going to stab him. Morton fired three times, fatally wounding McKinney.

A Multnomah County grand jury later cleared Morton of any criminal wrongdoing.

Johnson said an internal police review showed that deadly force was justified. He said Morton “reacted appropriately,” and “most likely” saved his life, Kaiser’s life and “possibly” the life of the woman who had called for help.

The incident was Fairview’s first fatal police shooting since the department was created in 1977.


Note: Chief Johnson can be reached at (503) 674-6200 johnsonk@ci.fairview.or.us

Read: What happened to Larry M. McKinney

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