Police officer who shot Kendra James will get back pay

Police officer who shot Kendra James will get back pay
- By KATU.com Web Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland police officer will get thousands of dollars in back pay after an arbitrator overturned his punishment for killing a woman in a traffic stop two and a half years ago.

Officer Scott McCollister was suspended for six months without pay following the shooting death of Kendra James in May of 2003.

McCollister shot the unarmed woman when she tried to drive away from a traffic stop. He was half inside the driver's door of the moving car when he pulled the trigger and said he acted instinctively to save his life.

On Thursday, an independent arbitrator overturned McCollister's suspension, awarding him back pay and benefits totaling approximately $18,000.

Police Chief Derrick Foxworth released a statement saying he respects the due process system and will abide by the decision.

Read the Police Chief's statement

Last summer, a federal jury rejected a wrongful death suit brought by the relatives of Kendra James. The family had been seeking $12 million from McCollister.