Jury in Lukus Glenn wrongful death trial finds fatal shooting violated his rights
From The Oregonian, August 30, 2012
Jurors sided with the Glenn family in the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf on Lukus Glenn, shot and killed by Washington County sheriff’s deputies outside his Metzger home in 2006.
The verdict, read just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday, awarded $2.5 million in damages. Jurors found that deputies violated the teen’s Fourth Amendment rights in the shooting. They also found that former Sheriff Rob Gordon approved of the deputies’ actions in his executive summary, following an administrative review, which said the shooting was appropriate.
The lawsuit, filed in 2008, sought $5 million in damages from defendants Washington County and sheriff’s deputies Mikhail Gerba and Timothy Mateski, who fired the lethal rounds.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman dismissed the suit in 2010. On appeal, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a trial in the case, saying the facts of the case were in dispute and the court was not allowed to act as factfinder on summary judgment.
The Glenns’ day in court came last week, nearly six years after Hope and Brad Glenn witnessed the killing of their only child.
The incident began just after 3 a.m. Sept. 16, 2006, when Hope Glenn called 9-1-1, reporting her son was drunk, armed with a pocketknife and threatening suicide.
Minutes later, deputies arrived to find Lukus Glenn, 18, outside the family’s Metzger home, holding the knife to his neck. With the teen at gunpoint, deputies shouted commands. When he did not drop the knife, a Tigard police officer shot him with beanbag rounds. Gerba and Mateski then opened fire after determining that Glenn was moving toward the house, where his parents and grandmother were inside.
Attorney for the Glenns, Larry Peterson, stressed to jurors a number of mistakes led to a “false narrative” by police attempting to disguise an unreasonable shooting.
William Blair, attorney for the county and its deputies, argued the shooting was tragic but reasonable. The deputies acted in response to the threat Glenn presented to himself, to his family and friends and to them, he told jurors.
Jury awards $2.5 million to mother in Lukus Glenn case
The mother of a Tigard teenager shot and killed by deputies won her lawsuit against the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the two deputies who opened fire.
A jury in federal court awarded Hope Glenn $2.5 million in the wrongful death suit of her son Lukus Glenn.
Lukus Glenn was shot and killed by deputies in 2006 after his mother had called 9-1-1 to report she feared for her son’s safety and the safety of others around him.
Lukus, 18, was armed with a knife at the time. The deputies reportedly told him to drop the knife before firing.
He was hit with six beanbag rounds before Washington County Sheriff’s deputies fired their service weapons, hitting him eight times, when they said he refused to surrender.
The deputies fired the beanbags and the live rounds in a span of just eight seconds. Hope Glenn has always contended the deputies acted too quickly in shooting and killing her son.
“I’m hoping that nobody else has to go through what we went through and other kids won’t be shot,” she said after the jury’s decision.
On Thursday in a federal courtroom, a jury said they agreed that the sheriff’s office should be held accountable.
The jury said that the two deputies and former sheriff Rob Gordon were responsible for the wrongful death.
Sgt. Bob Ray, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said they the department has not yet decided if they will appeal the decision.
“This has been a very difficult ordeal for the family of Lukus Glenn and for our deputies and their families,” he said in a statement.
The deputies were previously cleared of any criminal charges.
When asked whether there was any intention of changing policy or training within the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Pat Garrett said, “You know that is an ongoing process that we take very seriously with an administrative review, with an annual training that we provide every year. So that’s not something that would be new for us. That is an ongoing part of the evolution of our organization.”
It’s not clear if Washington County will appeal the decision.
The decision by the seven-member jury comes after a long legal journey for Hope. It included a judgment against her by a federal judge, which was later overturned by an appeals court.
The decision is historic not only for the rarity of a jury ruling against a law enforcement agency but also for the $2.5 million it decided to award Hope in this wrongful death suit.
Outside the courthouse, Hope and Brad Glenn hugged their supporters, including a couple of Lukus’ friends who were there the night of the shooting and witnessed it.
Lukus Glenn wrongful death lawsuit awaits jury’s verdict
Jurors in the wrongful death trial of Lukus Glenn, fatally shot by Washington County sheriff’s deputies in 2006, left the courtroom to deliberate after 4 p.m. Wednesday.
On the final day of trial, they heard from the deputies who opened fire on the 18-year-old, who was holding a knife outside his Metzger home Sept. 16, 2006. Then, attorneys delivered closing arguments for little more than two hours.
In closing arguments, Larry Peterson, representing the Glenn family, stressed to jurors a number of mistakes led to a “false narrative” by police attempting to disguise an unreasonable shooting.
Hope Glenn called 9-1-1 just after 3 a.m. that morning for help with her drunk son. He was holding a knife, demanding his car keys and threatening suicide. His friends and family were struggling to talk sense into him.
“You ought not be afraid to call and seek assistance,” Peterson said. “If Lukus Glenn was saying anything that night with his knife to his neck, he said one thing loud and clear: ‘Help me.’ That’s what Lukus Glenn was saying as he stood there.”
The defense counsel for Washington County and two of its deputies wanted jurors to believe Glenn was in control of his behavior that early morning, Peterson said. But with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit, he was not in control but in danger.
“He was the person that ought to have had the protection offered by our police services,” Peterson said. “He didn’t get it.”
Deputies Mikhail Gerba and Timothy Mateski, who fired the lethal gunshots, and the Tigard police officer who shot Glenn with beanbag rounds had changed their stories over time, Peterson argued, because they first tried to establish a time gap between the firing of less-lethal and lethal rounds.
When an audio recording of the 9-1-1 call that captured the gunfire surfaced, police had to explain the impossibilities in their initial stories, he argued.
Peterson told jurors the sheriff’s office administrative review didn’t resolve the inconsistencies throughout the investigation. By contrast, he said, the statements of Glenn’s parents,and his two friends who witnessed the shooting remained consistent.
William Blair, attorney for the county and deputies Gerba and Mateski, said in his closing arguments that the shooting was tragic but reasonable.
The deputies acted in response to the threat Glenn presented to himself, to his family and friends and to them, Blair said.
“He’s armed, he’s agitated, he’s acting out, he’s putting the knife to his neck, he’s saying he’s going to kill himself, he’s already broken car windows and kicked in the door of the house,” he said.
They were asserting control in “a situation the police did not create,” Blair said, “a situation the police were called to manage.”
Glenn ran for the house after he was struck with beanbag rounds, he said. Had Glenn run in the opposite direction, away from the house, he would not have been shot.
“What’s important is the deputies can’t read his mind, so in all the universe of possible things that may have been going through his mind,” Blair said. “What’s the worst possible scenario? He gets in that house and kills somebody.”
That threat justified the deputies’ use of lethal force, he argued.
“It is time for closure,” Blair said. “We ask that you, ladies and gentlemen, consider that closure not only for Mrs. Glenn, but also for these two deputies.”
Deputy shot Lukus Glenn ‘because I was afraid people would die,’ he says at wrongful death trial
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Mateski’s voice shook at times Wednesday during his testimony at the wrongful death trial of Lukus Glenn, the Metzger 18-year-old he fatally shot in 2006.
Armed with a pocketknife, Glenn was not complying with deputies’ commands to drop the knife Sept. 16 2006, Mateski said.
Their weapons pointed at the teen, deputies had no time to discuss a plan. But Mateski testified he had already made some decisions: If Glenn ran toward the woods, Mateski would watch him go. If the teen ran toward officers or the house, he’d open fire.
After saying this, Mateski paused. He looked down. Cleared his throat.
At his attorney’s suggestion, Mateski unscrewed the lid of the thermos next to him at the witness stand. He poured some water into a paper cup and screwed the lid back on until it squeaked. He exhaled. Drank. Paused.
“I didn’t want him to hurt anybody in the house,” he said.
Why did you think that was possible, his attorney asked.
“Uh, he said that he was going to kill himself, he threatened to harm his parents,” Mateski said. “And I couldn’t let him be in the house.”
He looked down, his hands folded in front of him.
“I continued to fire as I advanced up on him,” he said, his voice shaking.
Deputy Mikhail Gerba, a defendant along with Mateski and Washington County in a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from the shooting, testified after Mateski Wednesday morning.
Like Mateski, he said he was shocked when Glenn didn’t react after a Tigard police officer struck him with beanbag rounds.
“After he got hit with the beanbags, that’s when he focused in on the door where his parents were at, he still had the knife in his hand,” he told jurors.
Without discussion, he had arrived at the same decision as Mateski, Gerba said.
“It was so quick, he started to dart for it,” he testified. “I think I said, ‘No, no, no, no.’ That’s when I fired my gun. I wasn’t going to let him get in the house.”
“Because I was afraid that people would die,” he said. “And if I would have allowed that, I don’t think I could live with myself.”
Witnesses testify in defense of deputies who fatally shot Lukus Glenn
To use a Taser on Lukus Glenn would have been too risky, according to testimony in defense of Washington County and two sheriff’s deputies, on trial in a wrongful death suit.
Jurors in U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman’s federal courtroom in Portland have heard hours of testimony on police training, tactics and use of force issues this week. Read highlights from some of that testimony below.
Witness: Andrew Pastore, Tigard police detective who shot Glenn with beanbag rounds before deputies opened live fire
Testimony: Pastore, a patrol officer at the time of the Sept. 16, 2006, shooting, responded to the call where deputies Mikhail Gerba and Timothy Mateski were yelling orders at the 18-year-old to drop the knife he was holding. Glenn was standing by the garage in front of his Metzger home, where he stayed until he’d been struck with beanbag rounds, Pastore said.
“He didn’t seem to be doing anything other than standing there,” he testified. “He had his right had up to his neck. I couldn’t see anything in his hand … until he turned … and I saw a flash of something metallic.”
The officers’ distance from Lukus Glenn, an issue first raised in the plaintiffs’ case, was again a focal point when Pastore took the witness stand.
In their statements to investigators soon after the shooting, Gerba estimated he was about 8 to 12 feet from Glenn, Mateski estimated his own distance to be 15 to 20 feet. Pastore told detectives he was behind the deputies and estimated his own distance from Glenn to be about 15 feet.
They later estimated their distances to be farther away.
While Gerba and Mateski were not armed with Tasers that day, Pastore did have one on his belt.
“I was aware that I had it,” he testified, “but the situation didn’t see appropriate for use of a Taser.”
After the shooting, Glenn fell facedown, halfway on the porch, Pastore said, with his hands underneath him. Glenn raised his upper body off the ground, Pastore said. He testified he saw something hit the side of the house, and he believed Glenn had thrown the knife. Glenn’s family and friends who witnessed the shooting testified previously that he fell with his hands empty, palms-up.
Witness: Rob Gordon, retired sheriff of Washington County
Gordon, who was sheriff at the time of the shooting, reviewed investigative materials compiled for an administrative review of the incident. In his assessment, he determined the deputies were properly trained and equipped and followed agency policies and procedures.
He told jurors he didn’t know if deputies were aware that Pastore, the Tigard officer, had a Taser with him. Even if they had known, the beanbag shotgun and lethal rounds were the appropriate uses of force, Gordon said.
“I don’t think the Taser would have been effective in this case,” he testified. “This had gone on for several minutes … there had been threats made by Lukus Glenn to his family, to his friends, to himself.”
Gordon testified that based on his administrative review, he believed Glenn was handcuffed after the shooting, a statement consistent with the testimony of Glenn’s father, Brad Glenn, who witnessed the shooting. Deputy Joseph Yazzolino, who responded to the scene just after the shooting, testified last week that Glenn was not handcuffed.
Witness: Michael Brave, litigation counsel at Taser International, expert on police practices and Taser use
Testimony: Shooting Glenn with beanbag rounds and live fire was the appropriate way of addressing the threat he posed to himself and others at the scene, Brave said. Using a Taser on Glenn would have been difficult because of he was not directly facing officers when struck with less-lethal force. He also told jurors that in high-stress situations, an officer can make mistakes changing the Taser cartridge and deploy the probes into his own hand.
Witness: William Lewinski, police psychology expert, founder and director of Force Science Research Institute, which studies officer behavior in use of force incidents
Testimony: Lewinski did not specifically address the Glenn shooting, but his testimony offered a potential explanation for why the deputies recalled different versions of events and later changed parts of their stories. In a study he conducted with police officers in the United Kingdom, Lewinski said he observed that under stress, officers made many errors when they recalled details that occurred in the “periphery.” In other words, in distressing situations, the officers narrowed their attention to focus on something important, losing sight of other things.
On cross-examination, Lewinski said his office will bill the defendants more than $13,000 for his testimony and work on the case.
Deputies’ shooting of Lukus Glenn was reasonable, psychologist testifies at wrongful death trial
From The Oregonian, August 28, 2012
Police did all they could before opening live fire and killing 18-year-old Lukus Glenn, a psychologist testified Monday at the wrongful death trial against Washington County and two sheriff’s deputies.
Attorneys representing the county and deputies Mikhail Gerba and Timothy Mateski, defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from the 2006 shooting of Glenn, presented evidence at trial Monday in federal court in Portland.
Michael Conner, a psychologist who has trained police in crisis intervention, told jurors the deputies’ actions at the 3 a.m. call outside Glenn’s Metzger home on Sept. 16, 2006, were reasonable and unavoidable.
“My opinion was what they did was necessary and that their options beyond that, there were really none,” he said.
Glenn was suicidal and showing anger and aggression, Conner testified. When people are suicidal and acting destructive and violent, he said, their thoughts can become homicidal “in a fraction of a second.”
“We have homicidal threats, we have a person who’s injured himself, destroyed property, has a knife to his neck, has threatened his family, has threatened to kill everybody, has threatened to run at the officers, has threatened, ‘You kill me or I kill me,” he said.
Communication tactics that officers might use in a calmer situation were not an option, he testified.
“This was an emergency,” he said. “It wasn’t a crisis.”
The only communication tactic they had was to say clearly and loudly, “Drop the knife, put the knife down and then we can talk,'” he said. “That’s a hard-line approach.”
Switching to a “soft-line approach,” he said, such as lowering their guns and asking Glenn to talk would have been too risky because the teen still may not have become more reasonable.
“I believe they did everything they could from the perspective of communication and to do anything else would have been to risk other people and themselves,” he said.
9-1-1 recordings reveal mistake during fatal shooting of teen
The family of Lukus Glenn goes to court this month in its lawsuit over his death. His own mother called police for help that night. saying her son was suicidal and threatening their family. Investigator Anna Canzano examines the recordings from that chaotic scene, and the heartbreaking mistake they reveal.
Lukus Glenn had conquered high school as a three-sport varsity athlete, but on the night of September 15, 2006, he was lost and distraught. A long-time relationship had recently ended, and though his friends were headed to college, he was not.
By three in the morning, Lukus had returned home, drunk, dropped off by a friend. His family wouldn’t give him keys to a car, so he tried getting into a shed to get his dirt bike.
He then busts into the house through the front door, grabs this knife, and starts smashing car windows in the family’s driveway.
That’s when Hope Glenn calls 9-1-1.
Hope Glenn to 9-1-1: I need the cops to my house immediately. I have a son that’s out of control, busting our windows and has a knife and threatening us.
Police radio traffic reveals officers are preparing for a non-lethal confrontation, despite a dispatcher’s warning about Lukus’ threats as they head to the scene. One officer asked whether anyone with a bean bag gun was responding. Another officer says he grabbed one.
9-1-1 dispatcher to officers: Just be advised, he said he was going to run at you with a knife.
Once the officers arrive, the situation intensifies.
Officer: Get on the ground now, get on the ground.
Hope: Put it down…put it down
Brad Glenn: Put it down Luke.
Hope: I don’t want to see you die.
Lukus (in background): You’re going to see your son die.
Hope to 9-1-1: Don’t let them shoot, please don’t let them shoot him
9-1-1 dispatcher: Hope, Hope take the phone and move away from him okay.
Hope: I’m away from him, but he’s going to kill him, they’re going to shoot him.
Lukus (in background): You kill me, or I kill me.
Hope: He’s saying he kills himself or they kill him, he just wants to die tonight.
Less than four minutes later, the 9-1-1 call captures the Lukus’ final moments.
9-1-1 dispatcher: They don’t want to hurt him, they’re there trying to help.
Hope: They shot him…
Hope: They shot him, they killed him.
Officer to dispatcher: Shots fire, I’ve got one down.
An officer on scene communicates this back to the dispatcher.
Officer to 9-1-1 dispatcher: Be advised, four beanbag rounds, no effect. He still has the knife. Be advised…we’ve got a couple people in the house. He ran towards the door, he’s on the ground, the knife is near him.
Which leads the dispatcher to comfort Hope with a mistaken relay of information, creating more confusion for the Glenn family about what’s actually happened.
9-1-1 dispatcher to Hope: Listen, what they’re doing is they shot him with bean bag rounds, okay?
Hope: No, he’s all bloody…and the bullets all went through the house.
Dispatcher: Listen it’s not going to kill him, they’re beanbag rounds.
Hope: In the house?
Dispatcher: They’re supposed to subdue him and knock him out.
Hope: They’re all in the house. Are you sure it wasn’t the bullets.
Dispatcher: Yeah, that’s what they’re telling me, they’re telling me it was bean bag rounds. They’re just trying to get him calmed down enough and they can get the knife away from him so they can take care of him.
Hope: But he’s laying on the ground bloody.
That exchange — that moment — is a key point of contention in the family’s lawsuit; why did that officer choose to communicate back that bean bag rounds were used, when he himself had just fired lethal rounds from his own service weapon? Was it an honest mistake? Confusion? Or was he trying to create a false narrative – that police tried to control Lukus Glenn with non-lethal force well before killing him with their bullets?
In the seconds that follow, it becomes clear, Hope’s only son is dying.
Police to dispatcher: We might need to get medical here, he’s probably had a couple shots to the back. We need medical code three, he took actual rounds. We’ve got shallow breathing, very shallow, slow breathing. Okay, he’s not breathing anymore.
A devastating reality no court ruling can undo.
Lukus’ mother is suing the Washington county sheriff’s office and its deputy. Trial is set to begin in three weeks. The officers involved have defended their actions – as being in line with their training – as actions taken to protect Lukus’ family given the threat he posed by turning and heading toward the home.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Rob Bletko later determined the use of deadly force was justified. None of the parties being sued agreed to comment for this report.
Lukus Glenn wrongful death trial opens in Portland’s federal court
Washington County deputies either acted appropriately according to their training or lied about events that led up to the fatal shooting six years ago of a Tigard-area teenager, according to opening arguments presented Tuesday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Lukus Glenn.
The 18-year-old was shot and killed by Washington County sheriff’s deputies outside his home in 2006.
Attorneys introduced jurors to the federal court case by playing 9-1-1 and police dispatch tapes, recorded at 3:05 a.m. Sept. 16, 2006, when Hope Glenn called seeking help for her drunken, suicidal son.
In a roughly four-minute period, Hope Glenn tells the 9-1-1 operator her son is holding a knife, bleeding and threatening to kill himself. After law enforcement arrives, she pleads with the operator, “Please don’t let them shoot him.” By the end of the tape, her son is on the ground outside their Metzger home, and Hope Glenn says through tears, “They killed him.”
Deputies commanded Lukus Glenn to put down the blade he was holding to his neck. They told him not to move any closer to the house, where his parents stood just inside.
A Tigard police officer struck Glenn with five beanbag rounds. Deputies Timothy Mateski and Mikhail Gerba then opened fire, killing the teen almost instantly.
The Washington County District Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting justified and did not present it to a grand jury. After the Glenn family filed suit seeking more than $7 million, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman granted summary judgment in favor of the county and the deputies.
On appeal, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the district court was not allowed to act as fact-finder on summary judgment and a jury should decide the case against the county and two deputies.
Attorney Larry Peterson, representing the family, said in his opening statements Tuesday the audio recording helped disprove the deputies’ “false narrative” about the incident.
Peterson said a Tigard police officer began firing rounds from a beanbag shotgun, but Gerba and Mateski had fired 11 lethal rounds before the last of six beanbags were shot.
The trial will answer the questions, Peterson said, of what happened in the minutes before Glenn’s death and why.
William Blair, attorney for the defendants, said in his opening statements that the deputies acted reasonably and followed their training when they shot the teen with lethal rounds to gain control of the scene.
The deputies agree, he said, that Lukus Glenn was not responsive when struck with beanbags.
“He stood there with a quizzical look on his face,” Blair said, “and then began charging toward the front door, where his parents stood with no protection because he’d already kicked in the door.”
The trial will center on analyzing the audio tapes, Blair said, which would support and explain the deputies’ actions. He urged jurors several times to “listen carefully.”
The trial before Judge Mosman continues Wednesday with witness testimony.
Friends of Lukus Glenn testify they hoped to calm deputies before his fatal shooting
Friends of Lukus Glenn, who witnessed deputies shoot and kill him outside his Metzger home in 2006, testified at his wrongful death trial in Portland’s federal court Wednesday.
Trial in the lawsuit filed against Washington County and two of its deputies continues Thursday before U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman.
Wednesday morning jurors heard from David Lucas, 25, and Tony Morales, 28, the friends Hope Glenn called in the early morning hours of Sept. 16, 2006, asking for help with her suicidal son.
Glenn wasn’t threatening others, they testified, when he was holding the small folding knife Lucas had given to him as a Christmas gift. They were not afraid of their friend and feared only that he might hurt himself.
Lucas and Morales had both spent time with Glenn the day before his death, noting that he seemed happy. The 18-year-old, recently graduated from Tigard High School, went to dinner with his new girlfriend and her parents that evening. The couple then went to a football game with Morales. Glenn, Lucas and Morales ended up at a party later that night.
Glenn arrived at the party with a bottle of rum and drank from it throughout the night, his friends testified. He left the party, planning to get his motorbike from home, asking someone else to drive him there — five minutes away.
Soon after, his mother called Lucas and Morales, hoping they could help calm him down. Glenn was telling his parents he wanted his bike or his keys. He was smashing windows and acting out of control, Hope Glenn told Lucas.
Lucas testified that he spoke to Glenn’s parents briefly when he arrived. Morales was already talking to Glenn in the neighbor’s yard, speaking softly, convincing him to leave the yard.
Both friends said they didn’t see a knife until Glenn returned to his family’s driveway, pulled it from his pocket and stabbed the garage door.
Glenn yelled at his parents, Lucas testified, “about something he’d been put through in the last few months,” and about wanting to die.
Glenn’s father, Morales and Glenn tussled briefly over the knife. As Glenn shoved the knife harder toward his own neck, they let go.
Morales, who had recently been honorably discharged after more than three years in the Marines, began negotiating with Glenn.
“I remember walking forward, outstretching my arms, saying to Luke, ‘If you’re going to stab anyone tonight, stab me. I know you don’t want to do that,'” Morales said.
Morales sank to his knees, he told jurors, and pleaded with Glenn, “I know you don’t want to hurt me as much as you don’t want to hurt yourself. Just put the knife away.”
Pausing as he became more emotional, Morales recalled Glenn’s response: “Tony, please, I don’t want you to be here for this.”
Morales replied, “Come on, bro, if I were in the exact same situation, you wouldn’t just leave me like this.”
Just after 3 a.m., Deputy Mikhail Gerba arrived, dispatched to the disturbance with a weapon reported to 9-1-1 by Hope Glenn. Lucas walked quickly toward the deputy, hoping to keep the situation calm, he testified.
Before Lucas reached him, Gerba stepped out of his vehicle with his gun drawn, Lucas said. He tried to tell Gerba that Glenn was by the garage and calming down, Lucas said.
Gerba ordered him to the ground, Lucas said, using profanities. He patted Lucas down and told him not to move as he approached the driveway.
Morales, still kneeling, heard shouting behind him. Gerba walked up the driveway, his duty weapon pointed at Glenn and Morales.
Gerba told Morales to get on the ground. Morales said he lay on his stomach and told the deputy Glenn was drunk and only wanted to hurt himself. He asked Gerba not to use lethal force.
Soon, Deputy Timothy Mateski arrived and joined Gerba’s side. Deputies shouted profanity-laced commands at Glenn, the friends testified. Glenn’s only response, they said, was, “Why are you yelling at me?”
Morales asked the deputies to “please just tase him.” Mateski told Morales to shut up, he said.
After a few minutes of the deputies shouting at Glenn to drop the knife, the friends watched him die.
They first saw another officer hit Glenn with a shotgun beanbag round. Glenn doubled over, took a couple of steps toward the house and grabbed his waistband with his left hand, as if trying to hold up his pants.
Beanbag rounds continued to fly and the deputies opened live fire. Within 11 seconds, Glenn was struck with five beanbag rounds and eight gunshots.
Lucas testified that Glenn had never mentioned suicide to him. Morales said he asked Glenn about suicide after he’d noticed bands that appeared to cover up cuts on his wrists.
Lucas said he knew that Glenn had recently broken up with a previous girlfriend, and he’d had some conflicts with one of his high school football coaches.
“I think it was just kind of weighing on him that summer,” Lucas testified.
Fatal shooting of Lukus Glenn not justified, expert witness testifies at wrongful death trial
The lethal force police used on 18-year-old Lukus Glenn in 2006 was not justified, a police practices expert testified Wednesday in Portland’s federal court.
Donald Van Blaricom, a retired Bellevue, Wash., police chief who now works testifying in police-related litigation, appeared for the plaintiffs at the wrongful death trial against Washington County and two of its deputies.
Glenn’s family filed the lawsuit in 2008, following his Sept. 16, 2006, fatal shooting outside his Metzger home. The trial before U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman began Tuesday.
Police should have used a Taser instead of a beanbag shotgun and lethal force on the suicidal teen, Van Blaricom testified.
Though Glenn was armed with a small folding knife and was not following deputies’ commands, Van Blaricom said he was not posing an immediate threat to anyone at the scene.
Instead of trying to establish a dialogue with Glenn, Van Blaricom said, the deputies acted too quickly.
“The police are there to win, they’re not there to lose,” he told jurors.
But the force used on a subject has to a reasonable response to the circumstances, Van Blaricom said.
“If you were going to use any force,” he said, “the Taser would be the force to use.”
Van Blaricom testified he didn’t believe Glenn committed “suicide by cop.” The teen didn’t rush at officers, giving them no alternative but to use lethal force, he said.
The Washington County District Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting justified in 2006, but Van Blaricom criticized the investigation of the shooting and said it did not resolve inconsistencies.
“If you’ve got a bad shooting, just admit it, learn from it,” he said. “The guy’s dead, there’s nothing you can do for him. The goal is to prevent this from happening again.”
Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett was in the courtroom during the expert witnesses’ testimony Wednesday.
Lukus Glenn’s parents testify at wrongful death trial in the 2006 fatal police shooting
Lukus Glenn’s parents watched as police pelted the 18-year-old with beanbag rounds and riddled him with gunshots. When his body landed on their porch, they stared in horror through a picture window.
Brad and Hope Glenn, who are suing Washington County and two of its deputies over the 2006 fatal shooting, gave emotional testimony in his wrongful death trial this week in Portland’s federal court.
Brad Glenn, 49, told jurors he instructed his wife to dial 9-1-1 about 3 a.m. Sept. 16, 2006, as they struggled to talk sense into their son, who was drunk, holding a pocket knife and threatening suicide.
“We need more people here,” he testified. “We need more assistance.”
Sheriff’s Deputy Mikhail Gerba was screaming commands and pointing his Glock when he approached the teen outside the family’s Metzger home, Brad Glenn testified. Deputy Timothy Mateski showed up next.
Brad Glenn said the deputies shouted at his son, “‘Drop the knife, you’re going to (expletive) die, we’re going to (expletive) kill you,’ over and over.”
His son asked the deputies to stop yelling.
“At one time, I told them to stop screaming at him,” he said. “Luke was begging us to make them stop screaming at him.”
Deputies had to order the parents to go into the house and close the door several times. Asked why he and his wife didn’t comply and stay inside, Brad Glenn said they were acting in response to the deputies’ actions.
“In my mind, they were out of control,” he said. “That’s how you respond to a suicidal kid, tell him you’re going to kill him? That’s wrong.”
Brad Glenn said he didn’t see another officer arrive, but a Tigard police officer with a beanbag shotgun joined the scene.
“He just popped out and started firing,” Brad Glenn said. “He’s getting shot with the beanbags … and it knocks him into the garage. He’s up against the garage, taking the hits.”
His son grabbed onto his pants and took a couple steps, he testified. The deputies fired live rounds, he said, just after the Tigard officer deployed the first beanbag shots.
“It all happened at the same time,” he said. “You could hear a few pops and then it was over.”
Lukus Glenn fell facedown, his hands palms-up behind him, Brad Glenn said. An officer approached the dying teen, still at gunpoint, and handcuffed him, he said.
More officers descended on the house after the shooting, Brad Glenn testified. They stayed for hours. It was daylight when they left.
“The last person there was a chaplain for Washington County,” he said. “They basically just left the place a mess with blood all over the place. There was blood all over the porch — it was everywhere.”
In the following days, he and Hope Glenn were distraught.
“It’s hard to explain,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Their lives changed that day, he said. Their house is empty. The lifetime companionship he envisioned with his son is gone.
The emotional toll continues, unchanging, he said.
Of her husband, Hope Glenn testified, “He’s broken like I am.”
Crying, she told the jury, “We’re just sad. It never goes away.”