Salem officer justified in shooting, killing woman, grand jury finds

Salem officer justified in shooting, killing woman, grand jury finds
Jacklynn Ford

SALEM, Ore. – A Marion County grand jury Wednesday found that a Salem police officer was justified in shooting and killing a woman during a traffic stop earlier this month, according to the district attorney’s office.

Officer Trevor Morrison fired his gun twice at 25-year-old Jacklynn Rashaun Ford on Friday, May 9 just after 10 p.m. near Eastgate Basin Park. Police said she had pointed a loaded gun at the officer.

According to the DA’s office, Ford likely got off one shot at the officer. It said witnesses heard a total of three gunshots.

Morrison’s bullets hit Ford in the head and chest.

The district attorney’s office said the grand jury heard testimony from 11 witnesses that included civilians, Salem police officers and investigators with Oregon State Police. The jury also examined other evidence, including photographs, ballistic reports and dispatch recordings, the DA’s office said.

It also said that Ford’s mother, Crystal Ehlers, also testified.

According to the DA’s office, Ford did not have a driver’s license and lied to Morrison about her name. The van she was driving was also not properly registered.

The DA’s office said Morrison went back to his patrol car to confirm her identity. At that time Ford fled from her van. Morrison shouted at Ford to stop, but she continued to flee. He also released his police dog, Baco, to help him capture Ford.

The police dog was able to stop Ford inside the park. The DA’s office said Ford was slow to comply with further orders from Morrison. Morrison then removed his police dog from Ford.

It was at this time the district attorney’s office said Ford pulled out a gun, pointed it at Morrison and attempted to cock it several times.

Morrison then shot Ford. His police dog dragged Ford away from her gun. Medics and other officers arrived at the scene. They performed first aid on Ford and then she was taken to Salem Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The DA’s office said Wednesday police searched the area of the shooting and found a holster with almost 8 grams of methamphetamine inside it. They also found two knives and a cellphone that belonged to Ford.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search her car. Inside they said they found more ammunition matching Ford’s gun, which the DA’s office identified as a .22 Long Rifle Caliber Rohm double-action six shot revolver. Police also said they found a Taser, knives and more drug paraphernalia in her car. They also said Ford’s dog was inside the car. The dog was returned to a family member.

According to the DA’s office, preliminary toxicology tests showed the presence of meth in Ford’s system.

It was later determined that Ford was wanted on two outstanding felony warrants for second-degree burglary and possession of a methamphetamine, the DA’s office said. The DA’s office said she was also on probation for pointing a gun at an acquaintance in Portland on April 3, 2013.

Morrison, a 12-year veteran of the Salem Police Department, was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

He had pulled over Ford for failing to properly use her turn signal.