Investigators with Oregon’s Department of Justice released a report Tuesday about an officer-involved shooting in Bend.
They found there was not enough evidence to criminally prosecute the officer.
Bend police Officer Scott Schaier fatally shot Michael Tyler Jacques during a traffic stop in December 2016.
The DOJ report details a scuffle between Jacques and two policemen.
DOJ Chief Counsel Michael Slauson wrote in the report that Schaier and Officer Mark Tisher stopped Jacques after receiving reports of him erratically driving his van.
The officers reported Jacques had “glassy, bloodshot eyes and a blank stare,” when they stopped him.
Jacques didn’t respond to questions from the officers as they approached him, according to the DOJ investigation.
“After Officer Schaier opened the driver side door, Mr. Jacques took his hands off of the wheel and reached toward his right side,” Slauson wrote.
Jacques then reportedly punched Schaier and the pair began to wrestle in the driver’s seat.
The Bend police officers attempted to subdue Jacques several times with Tasers and pepper gel. But, as the DOJ reported, those measures had little effect.
“At that time, the van started to lurch forward,” Slausen wrote. “Officer Schaier said in a statement that at this point, he was afraid that Officer Tisher would get struck by the open driver’s side door of the van, fall and get pulled under the van.”
In response, Schaier told investigators he dropped his pepper spray and shot Jacques five times, killing him.
“In this case, the evidence is not sufficient to find Officer Schaier criminally liable for his use of deadly force against Mr. Jacques,” Slauson wrote.
Bend attorney Jennifer Coughlin represents Jacques’ family and said her clients still have many unanswered questions following the DOJ report.
“The basic question is: Why was this young man shot, point blank, five times within one minute of being stopped for a traffic violation?” said Coughlin.
Coughlin said the family plans to file a civil suit.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel expressed his condolences to the Jacques’ family.
“Regardless of what the Attorney General decided in this case,” he said, “Michael Jacques’ family would be grieving his loss. I assume this decision makes their pain more intense and I wish them the best in this trying time.”