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Statement from parents of cop shooting victim

Parents of officer-shooting suspect issue statement

by KGW.com staff


Posted on May 14, 2010 at 9:16 PM

* Details emerge about suspect in deadly police shooting

PORTLAND -- The parents of Keaton Otis are speaking out for the first time after Otis was shot and killed by police on Wednesday.

Portland Police said Otis refused to obey commands during a traffic stop and shot Officer Chris Burley twice, prompting officers to return fire, killing Otis.

On Friday, Otis' parents released the following statement and picture to KGW News:

"May 14, 2010 Keaton was a typical teenager before being diagnosed in 2004 with a 'mood disorder.' As his parents, we want you to know about our son and the struggles he had later on in his life so that others will not travel his path.

He loved his family and daily told his parents that he loved them! As a small child he had many friends from diverse cultures. He attended Benson High School majoring in Architectural Graphic Design. He was a Junior Achiever and a Prospective Gent, an organization for African American males emphasizing educational excellence and community service.

He took a walk-on spot in a Harrison Ford movie that was filmed here in Portland. He designed t-shirts and clothing. He was an artist, and had an entrepreneurial spirit expressed in his business, "Kommerce."

But it is his progressive illness is what has us here today. We want to bring light to the limited options and restrictive laws preventing families from intervening earlier. In the future we want to expand the law's definition of harm to self or others for a civil commitment to include additional significant symptoms.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Burley and other officers involved. We ask that you respect our privacy as we go through this difficult time.

Felesia & Joseph Otis"

so sad 15.May.2010 09:35


I can't even imagine how they must be feeling right now. Horrible thing for a family to have to go through.

interesting that 15.May.2010 12:57


anarchists will now be at odds with the family, who want to increase state power to do civil commitments.

Interesting that... 15.May.2010 15:10

Damos Abadon

You'd find the need to bash anarchists in the midst of this latest police murder.

righta 15.May.2010 15:12


that family is trying to apologize for americas racism. trying to ''go along to get along''. dont trust ''psychiatrists'' the ''mood disorder'' is called ''trying to adjust to american fascism when it is impossible for an artistic intelligent person to do so'' people are afraid to speak out. the family needs support, they do not realize they are traumatized by ''america''

I know Joseph Otis 15.May.2010 17:21

a friend

I'm so very sad to hear that this has happened, and so very angry about so many police killings of young black men in this city. I don't know what really happened, and I don't for one moment believe the police. They're the ones who always tell us that the victim was armed when he wasn't, or that the victim was on drugs when he wasn't (as if that even matters), or that they feared for their lives when they didn't. I believe that the victim in this case probably feared for his life, knowing the track record of police in portland killing young black people during traffic stops.

I'm sad that this happened, and I do not blame this family at all.