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"