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

human & civil rights | police / legal

Fouad's Family Fights Back

.
The Spence Law Firm on Tuesday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two police officers, a city and a county government for the shooting death of Fouad Kaady one year ago this week.

The plaintiffs are Samira and Rachid Kaady, Fouad's parents, and Vania and Andrea Kaady, his siblings. Famed litigator Gerry Spence practices law with his son Kent in Jackson, Wyoming. They are joined on the case by local counsel Michelle R. Burrows, an attorney from Northwest Portland.

The lawsuit claims that Clackamas County deputy Dave Willard and police officer William Bergin "wrongfully and unreasonably tased, shot and killed" Kaady, who was 27 at the time of his death. In addition to the two officers, who are being sued in their individual and official capacities, the suit targets the City of Sandy and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office that "employed, trained and supervised the officers ... for the tortuous acts of the officers as well as the unconstitutional policies and practices which resulted in the unlawful death of Fouad Kaady".

On September 8, 2005, Fouad Kaady was driving his car when he was suddenly severely burned on his upper chest, arms, head and face by the explosion of a gasoline can in the car. The injuries caused him to wreck his vehicle, become confused and disoriented, and remove his clothing. The burns caused by the explosion caused large sections of his skin to peel away from his body causing significant bleeding. Multiple witnesses made calls to 911 to report what had happened and police and fire services were dispatched.

The lawsuit states that Deputy Willard was the first to respond to the scene. Soon after arriving at the site of the accident, Willard received and responded to a radio call about a man behaving irrationally near his location. One of the first 911 calls came from a woman who saw Fouad staggering down the street naked and bleeding --- with pieces of his skin falling off. She reported to the operator that he was severely injured, unarmed, and appeared to be in shock. Several similar calls followed.

When the two officers arrived at Fouad's location, according to the suit, they emerged with their guns drawn to find Fouad "sitting in the middle of the street, cross legged, naked, bleeding, skin peeling off." Though Fouad remained seated, calm and non-responsive, the suit alleges that the officers refused to allow a responding ambulance to approach the scene to treat the burn victim.

Rather than allow waiting medical attention to reach Fouad, the two officers pulled a shotgun from the trunk of the vehicle and ordered Fouad to lie on his stomach on the hot asphalt on his severely burned flesh. When Fouad did not respond, officer Bergin told him to get on his stomach or he would be tased. Foaud was non-responsive to all commands and sat calmly in the street.

Though Fouad had exhibited no threat to the officers or anyone else nearby, both officers tased Fouad repeatedly and continued to order him to lie on his stomach. The lawsuit claims that being shot in the back with "high charges of electric shock from the taser weapons ... left the young man with no choice but to flee from the assaulting officers."

Witnesses independently reported that Fouad begged the officers to stop tasing him. The suit claims that he responded to the pain and unprovoked assault by standing and trying to remove himself from the range of the taser weapons. He tried to elude his torment by running around the area in a dazed and confused state, finally climbing on top of the patrol car. Witnesses reported that Fouad never approached the officers or threatened them in any way. Nor did he attempt to flee the area.

The lawsuit states that while Fouad was "standing naked and obviously unarmed on top of the patrol vehicle, both officers, in acts of extreme use of excessive and unwarranted force, shot multiple rounds, hitting Fouad's body seven times. Fouad, fatally injured, fell from the top of the patrol car to the ground, dying from the gunshot wounds."

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages for unconstitutional use of excessive and deadly force, violations of the 4th and 14th Amendments and wrongful death by both officers and the government agencies that employed and trained them.

The lawsuit states that the actions of the officers who killed Fouad were "tortuous, wrongful, objectively unreasonable, deliberately indifferent, negligent, grossly negligent, oppressive, malicious, reckless and outrageously indifferent to a highly unreasonable risk of harm, consciously indifferent to Fouad Kaady's health, safety, and welfare, in reckless disregard of Fouad Kaady's rights, motivated by evil motive or intent, and recklessly or callously indifferent to Fouad Kaady's federally protected rights".

Both officers are still on patrol and neither has been disciplined for their actions.

Here's The Suit 07.Sep.2006 20:40

Jayson

Here is a PDF of the lawsuit, which I pulled of off the federal repository called Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) this afternoon.

Thanks Jayson 07.Sep.2006 21:12

--

People like you who keep working so hard for what's right makes me feel ok to be human.

Justice 07.Sep.2006 23:37

gk

May justice happen. Thanks, Jayson, for the fine reporting. I am sickened.

Keep em coming 08.Sep.2006 02:06

mh

Thanks to everyone keeping us posted so regularly on this - Cat, LN, Jayson. Keep posting those court docs and links to other relevant info too, if possible. IndyMedia rocks cuz of folks like you. It must really suck to be a high paid "professional" talking head and be so regularly scooped by unpaid journalists, activists and other citizens!

Thank you so much, Jayson 08.Sep.2006 06:43

LN

It is always great to have the prime source to quote. A nice job of investigation, and thank you for sharing your source. PACER will come in handy for many of us.

Indymedia Rocks! 08.Sep.2006 09:50

Lew Nassa

If it were not for Indy, virtually no one would hear a thing about this case. The media tried it's level damndest to ignore this latest development, just like it tried to avoid any hint of truth during the "investigation," like they glossed over the initial "reports" of the incident. Were it not for the initial WTF? response of folks here, and their continued attention to this poor demoralized family, no attention would be given.
One channel, spurred by the fact that Indy broke the story about Gerry Spence weighing in, actually went to the family home, and managed to get a little footage of some family members, which they so botched, it was offensive. Then, they were apparently given preferential treatment by the attorneys, and granted an interview, which they chopped so badly, it was all but missed. Anything, ANYTHING that could possibly lead one to believe that the cops were in any way wrong, is seriously and conciously edited out of what they call news, and replaced with Paris Hilton's latest sexcapade. If you want to know who Tom Cruise is insulting, or who Jennifer (fill in whatever last name you want) is screwing, check the corp media. If you want news, facts, or even well reasoned fiction, come here. Come here first to find out what is happening in the world.

Of course, this requires input from YOU, as well. YOU are witness to the news, you are the reporter, and you make all of us aware of what is happening, from your perspective, rather than the corporate line. Riseup, speak out, or be assimilated. Do not let them take the word from you.

Misspelled "tortious", twice 08.Sep.2006 18:28

Jayson

I misspelled "tortious" in the article.

TORTIOUS (from TORT) means:

tort (trt) n.

Damage, injury, or a wrongful act done willfully, negligently ... for which a civil suit can be brought.

Ironically, when I looked up TORTUOUS, I found it perfectly describes the official (and corporate media) response to Fouad's killing, but was not the word used in the suit.

TORTUOUS

tor‧tu‧ous  ADJ.

...

3. deceitfully indirect or morally crooked, as proceedings, methods, or policy; devious.

Indy for Fouad 09.Sep.2006 10:26

zaki

I made my first crazy written post about Fouad during his funeral on my hand held MDA. Thank god for Indy Media. Yes, if it was not for Indy, the corp. media would have just played and published the gross lies and statements put out by the police. Indy is going to have the only story on his memorial because all the sick corp. media is going to be trespassed off the property. We understand and appreciate Indy media. Aunt Sameria only gave the story to Indy media. The TV stations leached it from here. They always search this site for stories. HAH! To them. INDY MEDIA ROCKS! It gave our family a WAY TO TELL THE PUBLIC THE TRUTH. You people would laugh if you could see their caked on makeup faces when I would tell them to check Indy Media for info they would ask me about. WE DON'T NEED THEM ANYMORE!

Totious, tortuous, tom-ah-to, to-may-to 10.Sep.2006 14:40

indy fan

Hey Jayson, no worries. Who cares if you spelled it right. You brought us the story. We don't care about spelling and punctuation, we care about the Truth. Thanks for sharing it.

I would like to see Kyle Iboshi and Stuart Tomlinson apologize for fucking up the facts of this story so badly, and one would argue so intentionally, that a distant observer would never be able to tell what really happened. But they won't. They will just keep collecting their corporate media paychecks.