New report on Stacy Kenny's death highlights officers' failure to de-escalate

The report called out the Springfield Police Department and Lane County's Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team (IDFIT) for mishandling the initial investigation into the shooting.

Posted: Mar 31, 2021 8:23 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2021 10:50 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A new report by an independent investigator into the shooting of Stacy Kenny in 2019 found the Springfield Police Department failed to de-escalate the situation.

The report, authored by a Southern California independent police oversight and review firm called OIR, gave Springfield Police 33 recommendations on how the agency can improve its policing. The firm also called out Lane County's Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team (IDFIT) for mishandling the initial investigation into the shooting. The report said IDFIT did not look at the details leading up to the moment Kenny was shot and only looked at the shooting itself.

The report said officers repeatedly used excessive force while they attempted to get Kenny out of the car. Instead of using de-escalation tactics, officers continued to use physical force like punching Kenny and using a Taser. As she drove off, the officer sitting in the passenger's seat of the vehicle shot Kenny in the torso and in the head before the car slammed into a tree.

The report also found that IDFIT did not appropriately record interviews with witnesses and officers involved in the altercation. This created inconsistencies in storylines.

OIR also found the investigation optically looked biased to the community. It pointed to a scene where Police Chief Richard Lewis was standing next to Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow as she announced the shooting was not criminal in nature.

The report will be formally presented to the Springfield City Council on April 19.

Read the full report and the list of the recommendations below.

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