BEND, OR -- The family of a Bend man shot and killed by police says he was unarmed and wearing his seatbelt when he was shot. Bend Police were responding to a report of an erratic driver on December 23 when they approached a minivan driven by Michael Jacques stopped in a parking lot. Within five minutes, shots were fired, killing him.
State Police are investigating the shooting and haven't released details. The attorney for the Jacques family released a statement saying police fired at close range while Jacques was belted into the driver's seat. He was reportedly traveling with his service dog. The family urged police to conduct a fair and honorable investigation.
On Friday, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the Department of Justice assuming the lead role in reviewing the case. The Deschutes County District Attorney asked for help after discovering a potential conflict of interest within his office. John Hummel retained the Bend law firm of Brothers, Hawn and Coughhlin to represent him in litigation related to a car crash in which he was injured, several months ago. It's the same firm now representing the Jacques family. In a statement released Friday, Hummel said, "I would try my best to disregard my relationship with my personal injury attorney when deciding whether the officers in this case acted lawfully. However, because I have the same attorney as the family of Michael Jacques, the public would rightfully question any decision I made in this case. For this reason, I proactively asked Attorney General Rosenblum to take over this case. I am confident that her team will conduct a thorough and fair review of the facts of this unfortunate incident."