PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced today that a Multnomah County grand jury declined to impose criminal charges on Gresham Police Officer James Doyle for the fatal shooting of Israel Mark Berry.
On the evening of May 31, 2020, Gresham Police officers were providing mutual aid in the City of Portland while Portland Police managed several large demonstrations. Around 9:30 p.m., Gresham Police Officer Doyle and several Portland Police officers responded jointly to a call of a disturbance in the 12400 block of Southeast Kelly Street in Portland involving a man reported to be engaging in threatening behavior. The man was later identified as Mr. Berry. Body-worn camera footage and other evidence showed that Officer Doyle shot at Mr. Berry as he drove his vehicle toward Officer Doyle, and Mr. Berry was hit and killed by one of those rounds.
Officer Doyle was hired by the Gresham Police Department in 2018. At the time of the shooting, he had more than two years of law enforcement experience. Officer Doyle has remained on paid administrative leave during the pendency of this case.
In March 2021, District Attorney Schmidt appointed Samuel Kauffman, who works as a criminal defense attorney in private practice, as an outside co-lead prosecutor on the case. Mr. Kauffman has worked as a criminal defense attorney in state and federal court and has more than 25 years of experience in criminal defense. Mr. Kauffman’s appointment to assist with the grand jury process was a step rarely, if ever, taken in Multnomah County’s history. Senior Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt and Deputy District Attorney Kelley Rhoades worked collaboratively with Mr. Kauffman in presenting the matter to the grand jury.
“My office takes the work of presenting facts and evidence to a grand jury very seriously, and never more so than when the case concerns an allegation of an excessive use of force by law enforcement,” said District Attorney Schmidt. “In this case, after considering all evidence, the grand jury determined that Officer Doyle’s conduct was lawful under the circumstances. We respect that decision, and thank the jury for its careful and thorough deliberation.”
“I would also like to thank attorney Samuel Kauffman for his work as a special prosecutor on this matter. Justice requires both objectivity and transparency of process, and it is my hope that his willingness to work alongside my office as an objective outside legal expert will provide the community with additional assurance that this matter was thoroughly and fairly handled.”
“I do wish to acknowledge the pain and grief of Mr. Berry’s family and loved ones. I am sorry for your loss.”
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is seeking the release of the grand jury transcripts in this case pursuant to ORS 132.270(3)(a)(A) because the public interest outweighs the need to maintain the secrecy of the grand jury proceedings. A motion for the release will be filed with the court. Under Oregon law, the involved officer’s attorney has 10 days after receiving the motion to file a motion for a protective order. If the court grants the District Attorney’s motion, the transcripts will be published on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s public website.