Family of man killed by police calls for special prosecutor
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The family of the man fatally shot by a Portland police officer is calling on the governor and state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to do an independent investigation of the incident.
Robert Delgado was shot last Friday by East Precinct Officer Zachary DeLong at Lents Park in Southeast Portland.
His children and other relatives gathered Friday at the Portland law offices of their attorney, J. Ashlee Albies, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The family recognizes that we don’t know everything that happened and that the investigation is still underway, Albies said. But she said video of the encounter and witness accounts are “deeply disturbing and alarming.”
“We see that Robert is having a mental health crisis,” she said. “He is clearly struggling to keep his composure and we hear the way that the police were responding.”
A 911 caller reported that a man in the park was doing quick-draws with a gun but not pointing it at anyone, according to the Police Bureau. DeLong got there and radioed that Delgado wasn’t following police commands. Minutes later, DeLong fired at Delgado from behind a tree about 90 feet away.
Police recovered a replica handgun with an orange tip on it and a magazine to the gun that Delgado had. Police photographed the gun in the grass but did not say exactly where it was.
Delgado suffered from anxiety and depression and had been living outside and “couch surfing,” according to his family and court records. His sister said he struggled with substance abuse addiction.
Delgado is survived by four grown children: Madison Scott, of Oahu, Kennedy Garrett, of Mesa, Arizona, Skyler Delgado, also of Mesa, and River Delgado, of Gilbert, Arizona.
Speaking on the family’s behalf, Albies said a special prosecutor would ensure an independent review of the shooting.