Salem, Ore. – On Monday, February 7th, 2022, at approximately 12:37 AM, Salem Police officer Griffin McDowell attempted a traffic stop on a gold 1995 Mercedes in NE Salem. Instead of pulling over, the driver of the Mercedes fled from the officer in the vehicle.
The suspect ultimately drove to Northgate Park, in the 3200 block of Northgate Ave NE, entered the northeast parking lot and then drove into a gully west of the parking lot and then onto the northern field of the park. Additional Salem officers responded, and they stopped the Mercedes in the field. A confrontation ensued and preliminary investigatory information shows that three Salem officers fired their department-issued firearms.
Officers provided immediate first aid to the driver until relieved by emergency medical personnel. He was transported to Salem Hospital where he later died.
The decedent has been identified as Richard Allan Meyers, 4/14/1981. His immediate next of kin has been notified. The Marion County District Attorney’s Office has identified a case coordinator to answer the family’s questions and provide them with updated information as appropriate and available.
Furthermore, a Pitbull dog was inside the vehicle and was injured during the incident. The dog was transported to a veterinary clinic where it underwent medical treatment. However, the family of decedent has made the determination to put the dog down.
According to Marion County’s Officer Use of Deadly Force Protocol (“Senate Bill 111”) and Salem Police Department policy, “involved officers” are placed on paid administrative leave during the pendency of the investigation. By Oregon law, “involved officers” includes both officers that discharge their weapon in a use of force incident, as well as officers who witness that event even if they did not fire. As applied to this case, there are four involved officers (listed with their length of service):
· Officer Chad Treichler – 1 year 8 months
· Officer Griffin McDowell – 5 years 7 months
· Officer Jonathan McNichols – 1 year 6 months
· Officer David Baker- 8 years 11 months
This case is an active investigation, which means information is still being collected. Property is being searched and seized pursuant to search warrants approved by a Marion County Circuit Court Judge. The information in this release is subject to change.
Marion County SB111 procedure requires officer use of deadly force investigations to be conducted by a non-involved law enforcement agency. As a non-involved police agency, the Oregon State Police is the primary law enforcement investigating agency for this matter.
Standard next steps in this type of investigation include: the Oregon State Medical Examiner to determine cause and manner of death, additional witness (if any) interviews, evidence being analyzed and tested, and a Marion County Grand Jury review of the incident.
No further information will be released prior to the Grand Jury’s consideration to protect their objective review of the incident. Any future media release will be provided by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office. Due to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, which limits the type of information lawyers can release prior to anticipated judicial proceedings, additional information will only be released as appropriate after the conclusion of the Grand Jury proceeding.
(News Release from Oregon State Police
Posted on FlashAlert: February 7th, 2022 2:17 PM)