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Jenoah Donald, 30-year-old Black man shot by Clark County deputies, has died

Jenoah Donald, the 30-year-old Black man shot during a traffic stop with Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies, died around 2 a.m. Friday after a week on life support.

OPB confirmed the news with Donald’s family’s attorney, the law firm Herrmann Law Group. Donald’s family had decided to take him off life support on Thursday, attorney Mark Lindquist said.

“For the family, it’s still almost unimaginable how a traffic stop for a defective rear light was escalated by police to a fatal shooting,” Lindquist said.

Donald is the second Black man killed by Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies in approximately three months. On Oct. 29, 2020, less than a mile from Donald’s stop, a law enforcement task force attempted a drug sting involving 21-year-old Kevin Peterson Jr. Peterson’s death prompted a series of protests.

The shooting of Donald occurred around 7:40 p.m. on Feb. 4, after deputy Sean Boyle stopped Donald for a broken tail light in Hazel Dell, an unincorporated community north of Vancouver.

Donald does not appear to have been armed during the encounter. A search warrant affidavit released Thursday reported no weapons recovered from the vehicle he drove that night.

According to investigators, led by the Vancouver Police Department, Boyle stopped Donald near the intersection of Northeast 68th Street and Northeast 2nd Avenue. Donald provided identification during the traffic stop.

Investigators said that while Boyle went back to his vehicle, another deputy, Holly Troupe, noticed what appeared to her to be weapons in the vehicle. She commanded Donald to show his hands, investigators said.

Donald reportedly “did not comply” to show his hands, but instead “produced a cell phone and a pair of metal pliers” from his back pockets, investigators said.

Items recovered from the vehicle include two cell phones, a laptop and a cordless drill. The search recovered no pliers, according to the affidavit released Thursday.

The situation reportedly escalated. Boyle, according to investigators, returned from his patrol car back to Donald and Troupe. A third deputy, Greg Agar, also arrived on the scene.

According to investigators and the search warrant affidavit, Boyle asked Donald to exit the car, and even warned Donald that law enforcement could send a police dog at him if he didn’t comply. When the deputies tried to forcefully remove him from the car, Donald struggled.

The deputies used force but told investigators it had “no effect.” Boyle punched Donald in the nose, to which Donald said “Really?” according to the new affidavit.

During the ensuing struggle, according to investigators, Donald’s car began to move. Donald reportedly pulled on Boyle’s bulletproof vest. Boyle pulled out his firearm and warned Donald he would shoot. Boyle then fired twice, striking Donald once.

Lindquist, the family’s attorney, had previously questioned why other non-lethal tactics weren’t used during the encounter.

“Deadly force should be a last resort. Legally and morally,” he said in an earlier conversation. “There were three tactically trained officers on the scene in full gear. They have tasers, pepper spray, and other non-lethal weapons. There was no good reason to shoot Jenoah in the head.”

Lara Herrmann, another attorney, called for Boyle to be arrested.

“The officer should be arrested and held accountable,” she said.

A family photo of Jenoah Donald, 30. Attorneys for Donald's family confirmed Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, that Donald died after being taken off life support the day before.
Courtesy of family of Jenoah Donald /
A family photo of Jenoah Donald, 30. Attorneys for Donald's family confirmed Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, that Donald died after being taken off life support the day before.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Troy Brynelson