portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

police / legal

The Estate of Kendra Sarie James v. Scott McCollister and City of Portland

Trial is set for Monday morning, June 20, at 9 AM at the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse, 1000 SW 3rd at Salmon. Room 13 B--Judge Aiken
Kendra James
Kendra James
Kendra James was shot and killed by Officer Scott McCollister, May 5, 2003.

Kendra James - 5'1", 110 pounds
Scott McCollister - 6'0", 220+ pounds

Officer Scott McCollister 19.Jun.2005 12:10


Current photos of Officer Scott McCollister

thanks for the pictures 19.Jun.2005 13:44


for now we know what a citizen-killer looks like!

wonder how come he got bags under his eyes? 19.Jun.2005 14:47

noticer of these things

could indicate he's WORRIED that his big ass is going to be found GUILTY!

Results? 20.Jun.2005 12:51

Wanna wanna know

How did it go today. Report back for those of us stuck at work. Thanks.

Kendra James civil trial - day one brief summary 20.Jun.2005 20:58


First day started with jury selection with the public, including Kendra's mother and family, kept out of the locked court room while 8 jurors were picked. The 8 jurors included 4 White females, 1 Asian female, and 3 White males. Out of approx. 70 people in the jury pool there were only 3 African Americans. The defendant, Officer Scott McCollister, in suit & tie, was present in the courtroom the entire day.

Each side presented their opening statements and then Attorney Grimes called 2 witnesses for the plaintiff - Melanie Carruthers and Officer Rick Bean.
Carruthers testified that she and her partner were standing on the sidewalk across the street from the traffic stop and that defendant McCollister shot Kendra while he stood approx. 5 feet from the car. Carruthers could not see a gun in his hand since his back was to her, but she remained adamant that his arm was up as if holding a gun and then she immediately heard a firecracker sound which she identified as a gunshot. She also stated that her partner saw the muzzle flash of the gun. She stated that the other two officers, Officer Bean and Officer Reynolds, ran towards their cars before the shooting. She stated that after the shooting both of those officers rammed and boxed in the car Kendra was in even though it had already come to a stop after slowly rolling a relatively short distance away. Carruthers said that she twice told police at the scene that she and her partner were witnesses only to be ordered by the police to leave. She stated that it was only after the media found out that they were witnesses that the police then contacted them.

Officer Bean's testimony was very close to Carruthers in that before the shooting he saw McCollister and Reynolds in the open doorway of the driver's side of the car and that he was standing to the right of them; although further back from them than Carruthers could see from her position. He stated that he did not see any of the officers inside the car -- right before the shooting and during the shooting -- but that they were stumbling along with the movement of the car before the shot was fired by McCollister. Bean stated that after the shot was fired, when the car was slowly rolling away, he could see Kendra's "lifeless" face leaning out the open window, implying that the driver's door was somehow shut at this time.

Both Carruthers and Bean testified that the driver's side door of the car was open during and after the shooting even as the car started to roll away.

Tomorrow, June 21, McCollister will take the stand.

Be there.

More Pics of Scotty 20.Jun.2005 21:31


Stats at the time of the shooting:

Kendra James - 5'5" / 110 pounds
Scott McCollister - Over 6'0" / Over 240 pounds

More Pics of Scotty 20.Jun.2005 21:38


Get a good look at him. Remember his face.

More Pics of Scotty 20.Jun.2005 21:40


He's still at East Precinct.

Tomorrow's Line Up 20.Jun.2005 21:54


Tuesday, 6/21/05's line-up:

Rick Bean, cross-examination and possible re-cross

Scott McCollister

Expert witnesses
Viewing of the actual car Kendra occupied

Room 13B, Federal Courthouse, SW 3rd and Salmon, 8:30am.

in open court, has the question come up yet 21.Jun.2005 09:24

as to whether

Rick Bean and/or Scott McCollister were members of the BROTHERHOOD OF THE STRONG?

the culprit Scott McCollister was shown on KGW-TV 21.Jun.2005 17:15

I saw him on TV

at the 5:00PM local newscast. He was dressed in BROWN suit!
What does that signify? Brown...hmmmm! Why not in a Blue suit one wonders?
Anyway, him being shown on TV sure mocks Vera's silly efforts to deny us the opportunity
to know what the guy looks like. So much for such silliness...a new day is had in Town
Hall and those silly stunts are a thing of the past...surely!
Thanks for posting all the pics above of the culprit. How did you ever get him to pose
for them? Was he aware they'd be posted here at PIMC when he said OK for pics?
Keep up the good work there fellow citizens...it's actions as these that strike fear in
the thugs, like a bolt of blue lightening to keep the Blues Boys in line. Thanks!

Day two of Kendra James' civil trial 22.Jun.2005 07:57


Day time featured Officer Bean and Officer Scott McCollister with some expert gunshot residue testimony by Dr. Grimsbo, who claimed his tests suggest that the shot that killed Kendra could very well have been fired from 48" away from her. He stated that a 60" distance was also possible - different results than those found during the police investigation of the shooting.

Bean remained adamant that he did not see McCollister fall but rather that he and Officer Reynolds were in balance with the car as it rolled along slowly.

McCollister claimed that there was no thought process involved - that he instinctively reacted to Kendra's pulling away from him and that "he drew his gun as the car shuddered" (when the car was put in gear by some unexplained action), because he feared he would be run over by the car, even though most of his body weight was propelled forward into the car. He claimed he was trying to de-escalate the situation.

Regarding the five findings that the PPB came up with after reviewing his actions, McCollister stated that "I don't know that they conclude that I put myself in danger."

Today will feature Dr, William Brady, Dr. Beverly Fuller; Ken James; and another PPB member. Around 9:30am to approx. 10:30am there will be a demonstration with the car involved with the incident in the garage of the federal courthouse - the public will not be permitted to attend this demo.

Federal Courthouse, 3rd & Salmon, Room 13B, Judge Aiken.

Please come!!

Scott McCollister should recall the famous verse 22.Jun.2005 09:12

one who remembers

"Oh what tangled webs we weave,
when it is to other's we seek to decieve."

Scottie's web of lies is coming undone...not only is he a killer of another human-
being, but he's a liar on top of it. Kinda figures don't it? When one doesn't
own up to their failings, and then lies and covers-up the truth, then it no stretch
of the imagination to realize they'd just easily kill another human-being with the
same ease as lies roll off their tongues.

This is a good case to watch the lies come undone...and they're doing their own
undoing. Not very bright boys are they? Blue is not known as a "bright" color
anyway and we're all seeing that to be the case.

May justice be had and may Kendra James be remembered. May Scott McCollister pay
and pay dearly for his wrongs...no more lies Scottie, just TRUTH so we can get this
over with and administer justice and then let you fade back into the woodwork and
be remembered for what you are...a citizen-killer!

Any new details? 22.Jun.2005 11:20


Is there any new word since the lunch recess? I work downtown, and am not able to get out to attend this trial. However, I would prefer to be there. I send my good thoughts to the people who are trying to hold this rogue police force accountable for this brutal and unjustifiable murder. Thank you for keeping us informed. There are many of us out here who care a great deal about this.

anarchist militias may be imminent 22.Jun.2005 14:29

anarchist that is fed up

we may have to begin taking things to the next level...

When I look at that beautiful girl's face, then that ugly gorilla that murdered her...I truly am tempted to begin suggesting the idea of...well, the unsayable. I am VERY angry when thinking about this incident.

I'M LIKE YOU THERE "anarchist that is fed up" 22.Jun.2005 16:37


when i look at the picture of that happy-looking young mother to
then look at that steroid-popping goon that killed her, i'm all
distraught with anger at what he did and what he got away with!

i now see why vera katz tried so mightly to keep we citizens
from seeing what the goon looked like. oh my god, the fellow
just reeks with arrogance and hubris.

let it be the duty of the jury to break that man's spirit so
that all that arrogance and hubris can be released.

terrible situation! terrible man! much hated for what he did!

Show up and give Kendra's family your support 22.Jun.2005 18:08


This is an important trial in Portland. The outcome may have favorable effects on how the city controls our police department in the future. Very few observers were in the courtroom today. Please come and spend some time seeing how justice takes shape in Portland over the next few days. Give your support to Kendra's family. Tell them hello and wish them well. Do this in the courtroom during breaks just to keep the bastard and his lawyers on edge. Then write back here with your report. We all need to keep track of this important trial.

Day three of Kendra James' civil trial 22.Jun.2005 18:34


Day three - Wednesday, June 22 -- Plaintiff's witness Dr. Brady -- pathologist -- testified about the bullet wound entry & final resting place -- that it entered the backside of Kendra's abdomen, tore through bowels, pancreas, liver, lung, and heart and stopped just below the skin of her "bosom".
He said she had to be down and on her right side and that the gun had to be "some distance away" - meaning not too close to her body. He supported the Plaintiff's theory of where McCollister was - just outside the car rather than inside as he claims. Dr. Brady said that even though she had no pulse, Kendra had enough life in her body that the Emanual Hosp. surgeon worked hard for 40 minutes trying to save her. The staff at the hospital went "the extra 100 yards to save her."

A demonstration using the actual car was held in the federal courthouse garage, but the public could not attend this.

Next came Donald Van Blaricom a retired Police Chief, for the plaintiff. He stated that McCollister clearly violated training about getting a suspect out of a car - that a cop _never_ gets into a suspect's car. He stated that the shooting was "unnecessary, unreasonable, and shouldn't have happened".

Van Blaricom said that the whole account by McCollister didn't make any sense: McCollister and other officers claim that a Taser was fired right before the gunshot, but with so small a car door opening (33 inches) and because McCollister is so big (220 lbs, 6') he'd fill the whole doorway. So either he was in the way of the Taser being fired or he was not where he claimed to be and so not in any danger of falling or being run over by the car (because he would have not been inside the car as he claims.) He stated that the attempt to pepper spray Kendra was inappropriate because it was too close - it risked injuring her eyes and put himself in danger of receiving backsplash. He also stated that it was the defense's expert who claimed that the Taser shot would have completely immobilized Kendra.

Next came Dr. Beverly Fuller for the plaintiff. She's a financial/economic expert who came up with the figures for the economic damages part of the plaintiff's claim. She estimated conservatively and came up with approx. $275,000 in lost earnings because of Kendra's death.

Tomorrow, the defense will present its case. with this line up:
1. Dr. Cliff Nelson - performed autopsy on Kendra
2. Officer Ken Reynolds - cop who fired the Taser
3. Galin Warren -
4. Dr. Christina Hart - doctor who examined McCollister allegedly hurt foot
5. Dr. Burton
6. Dr. Lewinski
7. Rich Austria - PPB former lead defense tactics trainer
8. Howard Webb - DPSST defensive tactics trainer
9. Maybe Terrill White and/or Darnell White on video

Be there if you can!

Oh, forgot to mention yesterday - McCollister admitted he was a cheerleader in college!! Bring your pom poms!

hey folks...I got an idea 22.Jun.2005 19:01

it's a good one too

let's have Foxworth fired and pressure Potter to hire on Donald Van Blaricom aa our
new Police Chief...he sounds like the perfect man for the job here. Thank about it
and let's see what comes of it, shall we?

Fine, but... 22.Jun.2005 21:19


Where can I find some information on the incident? I keep hearing about Kendra James, but I don't know what ACTUALLY happened, other than the cop killed her. Little help here?

Background info. on Kendra James fatal shooting 23.Jun.2005 07:21


Mia and others who don't know about this shooting. Please check this site's archives - hopefully there's enough info. there to bring you up to speed.
Thanks for reminding us that not everyone knows about this!

I wonder who's paying Scottie's legal bills? 23.Jun.2005 13:50

I sure hope

it's not we citizens of Portland...it should come out of his pocket or future earnings!

darn, that's a good question you rise there 23.Jun.2005 15:03

Portland Tax-payer

I hope he's paying his own legal expenses, for I'd hate to think we tax-payers are!

kendra james background info 23.Jun.2005 18:20


can be found here.

Day four of Kendra James' civil trial 23.Jun.2005 18:36


The defense started its case today - day four, Thursday, June 23, 2005. First witness was Dr. Cliff Nelson who performed the autopsy on Kendra. He basically described the same bullet path as did Dr. Brady yesterday except that he claimed that the video re-enactment by Officer Scott McCollister would be consistent with the path. The video shows McCollister with one foot in the car, knee on edge of driver's seat and upper body leaning into car. His right arm is bent 45 degrees at the elbow, approx. 6 inches from his upper torso. Dr. Nelson stated the bullet path was consistent with this video even though he drew a line from an imagined gun barrel at the end of McCollister's right hand that went up and over where the defense claims Kendra was positioned, and would have exited out the passenger side front window.

Next came Officer Kenneth Reynolds, 28 years old who admitted he is close friends with McCollister. They do dinner every Tuesday nite with their wives and friends. Reynolds story of how he stood next to and slightly behind McCollister did not hold up too well during cross examination by Attorney Grimes for the plaintiff. Reynolds had a hard time explaining why he didn't fire his Taser when he had a clear shot of Kendra in the open rear door when she was still in the backseat or when she climbed over the seat to get into the driver's seat. He claims he stood there, only for one second, watching Kendra because she might run out the front. Somehow, during that same one second time period, McCollister allegedly runs around the back of the car, past Reynolds and fills the doorway so that Reynolds doesn't have a clear shot, all while Reynolds apparently stands still, presumably too stunned to move.

According to Reynolds, Kendra is flailing her arms and "swatting" at McCollister. He claims his hands, holding the Taser are slightly inside the car just to the left of the car door jam, with his forearm actually against the jam. Then the car lurches forward. Reynolds claims the lurch makes McCollister fall back and leave just enough of an opening so that he has a clear shot to deploy the Taser. He is never able to explain why his hands and/or Taser isn't knocked out of the way when the car lurches forward.

He claims he then saw the Taser wires break and hears the gunshot. He did not see McCollister fall nor did he see McCollister's foot inside the car. He stated all of his attention was on getting a clear Taser shot on Kendra and he did not ever look at McCollister who he claims is right next to him with their bodies touching. Reynolds admitted to Attorney Grimes that he loves Scott McCollister.

The defense had a mock up of the car involved in the incident - it was essentially the driver's door, seat, steering wheel and partial front hood & roof.
Both sides used the model to illustrate where all the players were during the shooting.

Next came defense witness Dr. Christina Harp who examined McCollister's foot two days after the shooting. She claimed she prescribed an anti-inflammatory for some swelling on the outside of his right foot. There were pictures of his right thigh featuring three bruises. The pictures of his feet indicated no visible swelling - just particularly unattractive feet. The doc admitted she had no way of knowing that the thigh and feet belonged to McCollister.

Next came defense witness Dr. Burton who explained the toxicology report done on Kendra. Her blood sample tested positive for cocaine, which he claimed was at a high level. As Attorney Chris Bottom explained, though, Kendra's drug use is a non-issue as well as her and McCollister's mental state. The only issue for the jury to decide is whether or not McCollister used _reasonable_ force on her that night.

Tomorrow will feature more defense witnesses: Darnell White, Bryson Williams and more experts. The trial will most likely go to Monday.

to those who asked as to who is paying his legal bills? 23.Jun.2005 21:00


finally got around to reading today's Oregonian or maybe it was yesterday's, and it
says that his legal representation is being provided by the City of Portland, and I
assume it's because they too are being sued and will be the deepest pocket.

Crap, this is distressing news, for it seemingly means that we citizen's will pay
for this simpleton's fuck-up and all the while he keeps his job and we run risk of
seeing this idiot do something similar and then more grief and $ to be paid out at
later date.

NOW...let's ask ourselves....WHY in the hell should we--the citizens of Portland--be
paying for this joker's serious breach of humanity. I DO NOT BEGRUDGE THIS FAMILY A

Back to who pays...WE THE PEOPLE pay: we pay by lose of public services (usually in
case like this...human services that benefit the most vulnerable of us)due to the $
being unfunded, we pay by an increase in City's liability insurance which is passed
on back to us by lessened funds available for services, we pay in loosening the ever
so fragile bounds of community, and we pay by having this clown back at work doing
the same job in which he clearly was unfit for 2 years ago...I don't like paying this
joke of a cop such high In-Job_Training expenses...it's too high, and I be damned if
I can see where he's worth it!

If the verdict comes back guilty and it should, then let's start the pressure on the
Mayor and the toady-Chief to fire this guy...be rid of him...damned and done with him
...one time for all time...finished/end of story. It's the only sane way to put a
closure on this community tragedy. So, let's get ourselves ready to start beating
the drums to drum this asshole out and off the force. I wonder if Robert King and
his gang will still defend this poop-head if it costs multi-millions of dollars as
result...what's their upper limit of support?

All kidding aside...we as a people don't need this guy. I've never heard a soul to
speak well of him, and I've talked to cops about him and the incident, and no citizen
I know wants to encounter him in the course of his "work"....get fucking REAL!

I too read that the City was paying all his legal bills 24.Jun.2005 18:12


and frankly that concerns me, for wasn't he laid-off for 6 months without pay for what he did? Didn't that signify a clear degree of personal responsiblity on his part? If
so, then why are we tax-payers being stuck with the bill to defend this guy? If he's
such a pure 'n' innocent fellow as he claims, let him pay his own bill, or let his so-
called "law-enforcement" family pay for it for him. I wonder if his father being big
court muck in nearby county had anything to do with an insider's deal being had--one
where the tax-payer's being handed a bill that the family should themselves pay. I'd
imagine with that type of postion and being place to wheel 'n' deal, he's make enough
money to be able to affort it. And why not, for after all it's the family "name" and
it's much touted ties to so-called "law-enforcement" that they're defending as much as
they're defending their son Scott. Think about it and share your thoughts on it all!

wonder if Mark Kroeker or Vera Katz were in the courtroom 24.Jun.2005 20:08


these two share a lot of responsibility for what happened and they should be sued too!

Who's Paying 25.Jun.2005 12:47


The City of Portland is paying McCollister's legal bills, which are well over a million dollars, to date.

Day Five Kendra James Civil Trial 25.Jun.2005 13:40


Day five, Friday, June 24, 2005 started with defense witness, Gaylan Warren, a forensic scientist who specializes in reconstructing crime scenes, especially shootings. Warren stated that the physical evidence left behind at the scene - such as Kendra's wig, a silver sugar bowl, matchbook, a Taser "blast door" and shell casing help to show where events took place. He claimed that the evidence suggests that the car travelled approx. 275' from the initial stop, that the taser Officer Reynolds fired was 9 inches away from Kendra's left shoulder (where the probes hit). Like the other expert witnesses, Warren had an opinion about the bullet path and that the shot had to be 30" or beyond that. Warren thought that Scott McCollister's video re-enactment showing his foot inside the car was consistent with that path and distance. He did admit on cross examination, though, that if Kendra had been laying differently from what the defense claims, the bullet path could be consistent with McCollister standing outside the car. Warren stated that based on the fact that the taser probes went through her jacket and red t-shirt, she probably felt the effects of being tasered, but was not completely immobiled.

Next came defense witness Dr. William Lewinski, PhD, professor at Minnesota Univ. who regularly is involved in research about the human elements of law enforcement lethal force encounters. He stated credentials that supported an expertise in officers' action/reaction times when using deadly force. He stated that it takes approx. 1/2 of a second to make a decision to shoot someone and approx 1/3 of a second to pull the trigger, depending on the speed of the person. He talked about tunnel vision -- that when officers point a gun and/or taser at someone they are focused on getting a clear shot and block out whatever is around them. He stated that officers holding a gun towards someone in out-of-balance situations can't tell you what's happening with the gun, because the focus would be on trying to regain balance. Lewinkski also stated that ideally officers use automatic pilot or "trained instinctive response", meaning that if properly trained, they can focus better when in deadly force situations. Police call this experience "muscle memory". Lewinski's final word was to admit that even though his studies are supposed to look at human factors in police deadly force encounters, when asked if he considers the effects of an officer's friendships and personal relationships on officers' actions, he stated "they haven't gone there with the research". (Remember that McCollister and Reynolds are close friends.)

Brician Williams also testified. He was with Ms. Carruthers when they both witnessed the shooting as they were walking West on the Skidmore overpass, on the North sidewalk, to the store. Williams stated that all 3 officers were standing by the open driver's door of Kendra's car "tusseling" with her after she hopped into the front seat. He saw the muzzle flash of McCollister's gun inside the car, but maintained that McCollister was standing outside the car with the other two officers. He stated that when the car moved, all 3 officers walked slowly alongside of it and that none of them fell. He believed that McCollister's feet were on the ground and that he was not inside the car, nor did he have a foot in the car. He also stated that the car didn't go very far, maybe 15 feet, and that all 3 of the officers huddled together before 2 of them (Reynolds and Bean) ran to their cars to block in the car.

The day finished with William Kenneth Katsaris, a sworn officer and certified defense tactics trainer from Florida. He has provided a few trainings in Portland but otherwise his law enforcement experience has been in Florida, mostly as a trainer. He stated adamently that he thought McCollister did not violate policy, procedure or training by getting into the car - that that was exactly what he was supposed to do during that situation. He vehemently opposed the Portland Police Bureau's findings that McCollister used poor judgment by getting into the car, blocking Reynold's ability to use the taser optimally, and putting himself in a disadvantageous position. Katsaris gave very lengthy answers to all questions when he could get away with it - even embellishing his background at great and boring length. Katsaris seemed to become unglued during cross examination when Attorney Grimes asked him politely whether McCollister had a duty to remove himself from a dangerous position rather than continuing to place himself at peril, which led to his use of deadly force. Katsaris seemed to use the evasive techniques of politicians and cops to make sure his answers didn't really answer the questions he appeared to dislike.

Monday will feature the last of the defense's case including a video re-enactment by PPB Officer Rich Austria. The plaintiff will have at least one rebuttal witness - Dr. Brady, former medical examiner and maybe also Ray Grimsbo, who did the gunshot residue test.

The James' family would appreciate your support in attending the trial.



to realize the city has paid at or over a million dollars to defend this guy!

who should pay 26.Jun.2005 13:14


the business owners whom the cops primarily serve should foot the bill, and the murdered should go to jail for life.

The Legal Costs 26.Jun.2005 16:50


should be paid by the Police Bureau itself, instead of coming out of general funds which depletes funding for human services such as housing. If the costs and settlement amounts came out of the Bureau's allocated budget, you can bet Bureau officials would hold each and every officer accountable for his/her actions. As it now, the Bureau doesn't feel the costs that much because it always receives the biggest chunk of money out of the City's budget.

why shouldn't the city pay? 26.Jun.2005 17:49


The entire city of Portland should pay the James family. We have been beat at every attempt of reform and we should all suffer. That is to say that the jury will find the officer negligent. The James family attorney hired a dumb ass attorney who in turn selected an all white jury. The James family attorney is calling impeachable witnesses and needs to go back to law school. The James family deserves better than this and so do the citizens of Portland. The children of Kendra are all going to pay.

it's been rumored that Bean, McCollister & Reynolds were all three 26.Jun.2005 18:21


of the Brotherhood of the Strong. Can anyone out there provide backup proof?

Day Six Kendra James Civil Trial 27.Jun.2005 20:47


Day six, Monday, June 27, 2005 brought the last witness for the defense; although this one seemed to support the plaintiff's side. The witness, Terrol White, who was the driver of the car Kendra was shot in on May 5, 2003, appeared by videotape. White is in jail in Spokane and so couldn't come in to testify. He supported all the other witnesses who said that all three officers stood by the open car door on the driver's side and walked along with the car when it started to move. He, like everyone else couldn't understand why 3 officers couldn't pull Kendra from the car. He did not see any officers fall or falling, nor did he see any officers being dragged by the car. Prior to and during the time of the shooting of Kendra by Officer McCollister, White was cuffed in the backseat of the patrol car parked just less than a car length from Kendra's car. He said that when the car moved, the officers were able to move with it, and that the car was jerking as if it was a standard-shift car out of gear rather than an automatic shift.

The plaintiff attorneys (for Kendra James' Estate & family) had two rebuttal witnesses; Dr. Brady and Dr. Grimsbo. Dr. Grimsbo, forensic scientist for over 30 years, conducted a test yesterday afternoon at the scene of the shooting (Skidmore overpass in N. Portland) using the actual car. At the specific location of the initial traffic stop, Dr. Grimsbo put the car in drive with the brake released and the driver's door open. Without giving the car any gas, it travelled over 275 feet (its final resting stop on May 5, 2003) at its idle speed, which was calculated to be 3 miles per hour. Grimsbo did this test with Attorney Bottoms for the plaintiff because the defense witness, Gaylan Warren, claimed that according to Mult. County Sheriff's tests, the car could not have travelled to its final resting stop that day at its idle speed. Warren had claimed that the car would have had to accelerate to at least 8 miles per hour. Grimsbo's test was videotaped and it showed him applying the brakes as the car went past its final resting spot and so refutted Warren's claim big time.

Dr. Brady, former medical examiner, used a photo of an actual section of a donated human corpse to show the bullet path in Kendra's body. The autopsy report indicated that the bullet traveled through the pancreas and stopped just above Kendra's right "bosom". Brady pointed out that there's no question that the bullet traveled in a straight line and so the only way it could go through the pancreas and end up where it did, it had to have entered from the back side of her abdomen - which contradicted what Dr. Clifford Nelson claimed in his testimony for the defense.

Next came a long break - from approx. noon to 3:30pm which included lunch and a meeting between the attorneys for both sides and the judge in her chambers about the content of closing arguments and jury instructions. Then the closing arguments began, with the plaintiffs going first. Attorney Grimes for the plaintiff appealed to the jury that their decision was not only to render justice to Kendra's family but also to the community because it involved citizen rights in regards to police powers. He walked the jurors through the plaintiff's theory of the case which was that the officers lied - that the reason why Officers Bean and Reynolds couldn't remember McCollister with a gun, didn't see him fall, and/or didn't see him attempt to pepper spray Kendra, was because McCollister was _not_ in the car as he claimed and so was not in any danger when he shot her. Grimes pointed out that no one saw McCollister's foot in the car and that it didn't make any sense that he, at 220 lbs could even fit in the driver's side of the car with 80% of his body weight on top of 110lb Kendra, much less be able to pull her out while he was in such a position. Grimes claimed that McCollister shot her from outside the car because she wouldn't get out of the car but instead ignored his order - "Get out of the fucking car!". Grimes pointed out that it's unlawful to shoot at a fleeing suspect who is not a felon or who is not putting someone in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury.

Attorney Wagner for the defense gave his closing argument that McCollister was inside the car and that _Kendra_ put him in a position of danger, thereby forcing him to use deadly force because of her refusal to be placed into custody. He claimed that the officers had such a hard time with her because she had an enormous amount of cocaine in her system which made her stronger. The testimony regarding cocaine ingestion indicated that cocaine users feel supercharged, meaning they _believe_ they have more strength, _not_ that they actually have more strength. After denying and seeming appalled that Grimes would suggest that the officers would actually _lie_ about what happened, Wagner _lied_ about the reason why Cliff Nelson didn't come to testify for the plainitff's side by stating that, earlier in the trial, Attorney Bottoms for the plaintiff had called Nelson and told him not to come to court because they didn't need him. Fortunately, at that point, Bottoms objected to Wagner's lie. Wagner continued lying anyway until Bottoms objected a second time - clearly outraged - about the lie. The truth is that Dr. Nelson had a scheduling conflict and was unable to come into court for the plaintiffs when they tried to arrange it.

The courtroom was packed today for the first time since the trial began. Jennifer, McCollister's wife, was there, joking and laughing together with him. Most insensitive to the James' family.

Tomorrow will start at 9:00am with Judge Aiken giving instructions to the jury. Then the jury will deliberate until they reach a unanimous decision.

Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse, SW Salmon and 3rd, Room 13B.

Hey Anon 28.Jun.2005 09:26


I just wanted to say the work you have done keeping us all informed is fantastic. You have done a great service to the community. Your writing style is clear and concise and you don't waste time with polemics. Really, really well done. Thank you very much :)

We're all paying 28.Jun.2005 14:46


We'll all be paying the cost to defend Scott McCollister for several years.

Reliable inside sources report that the City paid out over $2 million dollars PRIOR to the trial. Add on the costs of the trial, and we're looking at almost $2.5 million dollars to defend a reckless cop who has no regard for human life.

And the James family gets nothing but pain, suffering, and loss.

The jury members should be ashamed of themselves for not giving proper weight to the unbiased witness statements and forensic evidence.

Final Day - Jury Verdict Kendra James' Civil Trial 28.Jun.2005 14:50


The last day, Tuesday, June 28, 2005, started about 9:15am with Judge Aiken giving instructions to the jury. The jury left to deliberate at 9:31am and the court clerk announced at 12:25pm that the jury had reached a verdict.

At 12:45pm the judge read the verdict: The jury decided unanimously that Officer Scott McCollister did not use excessive force by shooting and killing Kendra James during a traffic stop and that his pointing a gun at her head did not provoke a violent response in her and thus none of his actions were deemed unconstitutional.

Attorney Grimes for the plaintiff asked the judge to pool the jury. The clerk called each juror by their name and asked "is this your vote?" Each responded "yes".

I won't state the obvious about the family's reaction, except to say that they were dignified and quiet in their grief. The attorneys for the plaintiff sat still in their chairs for quite some time as if the wind had been knocked out of them.

Jennifer McCollister came up to the 13th floor after the verdict had been read. When she was told the verdict, she first beamed and laughed out loud, then cried a bit into her hands as if her and Scott would personally have had to pay any money if the jury had found found for the plaintiff. (The City would have paid the damages, not McCollister.)

On this last day, unlike all the other days of the trial, the audience in the courtroom included several police officers, some in uniform.

Please remember that the public was unable to attend jury selection on the first day of the trial and that there were only 3 Africans Americans in the 70 person jury pool and none of the three were selected.

What did you expect 28.Jun.2005 15:41


Like I said before, the James family hired the wrong attorney. There were 3 african americans in the original pool, and the attorney didn't get any on the jury. I do not begrudge the officers being present in court due to the fact that is a right. I still think that the attorney presented a terrible case. The jury that found the defendant guilty in the "Mississippi burning" case was almost all white. It could have been done. The plantiffs got a bunch of has been whores as expert witnesses. I guess we don't all have to continually fret about who is going to pay the damages (as if that was what this was really about). I still think that the City of Portland will pay in numerous ways if not in a financial sense. God help us all!!!!

WHAT? 28.Jun.2005 16:46


ARE YOU SERIOUS. A unanimous decision? Thats insane! I thought the case clearly looked like McColollister or however you spell it was guilty. Was it the lawyer? Was it the Jury? This is incredibly horrible. If cops can get away with hate crimes such as this in Portland than how will we ever be safe? And they say that cops are here for keeping the peace.

response 29.Jun.2005 01:16


I am not surprised at the verdict. It took Mississippi 40 years to provide justice for the illegally slain there. Today, in Portland, Oregon, you have the same thing modern day slick and smooth. I wonder how many years will it take for OREGON to correct its current sophisticated brand of racism and legalized murder. The federal goverment needs to investigate Oregon and its corruption, "Misissippi Style". Perhaps the conservatives can do something, because the liberals are "great pretenders" in Oregon. Look for more minority women and children to be killed in this nazi police state. The jury and the police are probably connected in some way, like in Mississippi years ago. Just call Oregon, the New Mississippi.

Some food for thought 29.Jun.2005 13:57


This why we need a special, independent prosecutor for the examination of officer involved shootings. When the district attorney or his assistant DA's handle those cases, bias in favor of the police is involved because they regularly depend on the police in order to prosecute their criminal cases.

It also might be helpful to ask for a federal investigation of the Bureau by the Civil Rights Division of the US Justice Dept as other communities across the US have done with some success.
Detroit was the recipient of such scrutiny which resulted in several changes to its police department including video cameras on the police cars.

Scott McCollistser is a mental patient 04.Jul.2005 20:05


I have never seen anyone who looked more like a cold-blooded, heartless psychopathic killer than Murderer Scott McCollister does. He gives me the creeps. I am a criminologist and my assessments are accurate and professional every time. Thanks for the photos. I expect that he will kill others in the same way which will make him a cop who is also a serial killer. Hope he rots in hell.