Justice for Richard Meyers, man and beloved dog killed by police for traffic violation

Justice for Richard Meyers, man and beloved dog killed by police for traffic violation

March 6, 2022
Petition to
Salem supreme judge Martha Lee Walters and 2 others
Signatures: 2,214Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Rae C

⚠️Click here for video audio of the aftermath of officers firing on unarmed Meyers **GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING** watch at your own discretion ⚠️

Click here to read the Statesman Journal article on this case.

Richard Meyers and his beloved dog, Zeeva (she also died due to her injuries suffered from being shot twice by police).

In the early morning hours of February 7th, 2022, Richard Meyers, and his beloved dog Zeeva, were shot and killed by officers in Salem Oregon at Northgate Park. Neither Richard, nor his dog exited the vehicle during the encounter.

In dash camera footage filmed from a Marion county police vehicle, and shared by the Salem reporter on YouTube, an officer can be heard saying to another “it should be an air pistol” (This piece of audio airs around 5:05 into the footage linked above). Salem PD was aware of Richard’s pellet gun, due to previous encounters between him and Salem police, one of which occurred just 24 hours before his death. 

According to a press release from Salem police department, Officer Griffin McDowell initiated a traffic stop after running Meyers license plates and discovering he had no car insurance. According to McDowell, he attempted to pull Meyers over, but claims the driver eluded the stop. McDowell decided to ”not purse” but instead decided to keep his overhead emergency lights off and follow Meyers. McDowell admitted later, to having “observed Meyers driving normally and with the flow of traffic” at this point, but decided to continue following Meyers without his lights on. He followed the victim to the parking lot of Northgate Park, where the two made contact prior to the interaction that happened in the field of the same park, that left Richard and Zeeva Dead. The events that took place during that contact are unclear, due to McDowell's dash camera allegedly not recording during that time, as well as a lack of footage from Meyers personal dash camera that was confiscated immediately after he was killed. City officers in Salem did not have body cameras at the time of the incident, and it took an entire year after the incident for Salem officers to finally implement use of them. 

According to Salem PD, Meyers drove into the field of Northgate Park while McDowell tailed him closely. McDowell claims to have opened fire on Meyers after “believing” he saw a gun raised in his direction (there is no footage or evidence of any kind to confirm this claim) going as far as shooting through his own windshield into Richard Meyers’ windshield. At one point the officer exited his vehicle, and proceeded to keep firing on meyers. Other officers that McDowell had called for backup came in, and opened additional fire on Meyers and his vehicle.  After shooting a total of 22 rounds at him and his vehicle, police officers on scene then refused to render aid to Meyers for 3-4 minutes, after officers confirmed Meyers’ hands were CLEAR, minutes went by before he was given aid. Meyers can be heard  communicating to officers that he was unable to put both hands up, or exit his car, meyers can be heard saying he was dying and couldn’t breathe. Police told the press that Meyers was non compliant, the dash camera footage available shows otherwise. 

Before rendering aid to Meyers, police on scene also handcuffed him, despite having a broken arm that had been shot through, and had multiple gun shot wounds. 


Officers involved in the incident & their time on the force at the time of the homicide: 

Chad Treichler (1 year, 8 months)

Griffin McDowell (5 years, 7 months)

Jonathan McNichols (1 year, 6 months)

David Baker (8 years, 11 months)- A witness in this case due to how close he was to the incident, Baker fatally shot and killed a man in 2014

Police transparency is crucial if Salem police hope to maintain any shred of public trust from the communities they are supposed to be protecting & serving. There needs to be accountability on behalf of officers in this case, and others like it. We don’t want to hear “the dash cam only records in weird 30 second increments” We don’t want to hear “the officers did their best with the situation they were put in” when clearly they didn’t. Police officers should be trained and able to detain a suspect without shooting them. 

It’s time we demand police in our communities receive proper training in dealing with those in a mental health crisis, and in deescalating intense situations in which they are called to handle. 

If they cannot handle these situations, then I ask…why are they the ones we call?

It’s time to call Salem Police chief Trevor Womak and let him know that his officers are out of line in treating our community members in this manner, and that we DEMAND they get body cameras for EVERY officer to wear during EVERY interaction with any other person(s), and that his police department receive better training in de-escalating intense situations, as they are often called for, yet fail to do. 

Click here to help end qualified immunity in the US

It’s time to demand transparency and justice. 
No human being deserves to be treated this way.

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