Transcript released from Officer Involved Shooting
Matthew Graves was shot and killed by an Eagle Point Police officer on Sept. 19th.
On Oct. 24th the jury found Officer Daniel Cardenas acted in a justified manner when he shot and killed Graves. That verdict was controversial for some, who insisted he was unfairly treated due to his mental illness.
On Tuesday, December 4th, the Jackson County District Attorney released the transcript from the closed grand jury proceedings.
In his testimony, Cardenas explains the thoughts going through his mind from the minute he spotted Graves. When Cardenas fired two shots, killing Graves, he testified that he was afraid for the lives of others in the Eagle Point Carl's Jr., including Officer CJ Davis who had arrived for back-up.
Expert testimony confirmed it was reasonable Cardenas would feel this way, and under Oregon law he is allowed to fire in those instances. While the officer's actual feelings in that moment can't be confirmed, his testimony was enough for the jury to clear him.
Throughout the proceedings, questions were raised about the officers' tasers. District Attorney Beth Heckert questioned why those tasers were unable to stun Graves enough to allow officers to detain him. In addition to that, Heckert and the jury questioned the officers and witnesses over how a taser could be confused for a gun.
It was only after Davis mistakenly alerted Cardenas to a firearm that the fatal shots were fired. Expert testimony confirmed that the similarities between the look and feel of tasers and guns is intentional to allow officers easier use.
Since the incident, the Eagle Point Police Department has indicated that they're open to making changes, like using a different color taser.
While the criminal case is settled, there is still room for a civil case if the Graves family wants to press charges.