The district attorney's office has released the transcripts of the grand jury in Keaton Otis's case this afternoon. As we dig through the hundreds of pages of witness testimony and officer accounts of the shooting, I need to catch up readers on the special press conference Portland police held last week to introduce Officer Chris Burley to The Media.

The children!
  • The children!

Officer Burley walked into the conference room at the East Precinct with no cane or visible limp, he appeared happy and healthy—the bullet from Keaton Otis's gun passed clean through both his thighs, missing nerves and bones. Along with Burley, a couple dozen adorable fifth graders filled the room: Burley is a teacher in DARE-like anti-gang program GREAT. The TV cameras tried to squeeze an interview from the 10-year-olds, who were less than cooperative.

"How did you feel when you heard Officer Burley was shot?" asked one reporter.
"Uh..." replied one of the students. "Sad?"

Eventually the students were shuffled along and Officer Burley recounted what he remembered of the May 12 shooting. Officer Burley was trying to pull Keaton Otis out of his car after a traffic stop of that day when, according to multiple accounts, Otis pulled a gun from the glove compartment and shot Burley. The officer recalled what he was thinking as he lay on the ground bleeding. "I never felt any anger at him. Something in his life had cumulated to this point where he was going to fight with us and shoot me," said Burley. "As soon as I heard the shots and felt the burn in my legs, I thought, 'This is what it feels like to be shot.' My first thought was, 'Do I have use of my legs?' The next thing I remember is [Officers] Foote and Livingston pulling me to the curb... I felt like I was maybe back being a four-year-old and you're hurt and your dad arrives on the scene and you think, 'Okay. Everything's going to be okay.'"

Officer Chris Burley, center, with fellow officers Livingston and Foote
  • Officer Chris Burley, center, with fellow officers Livingston and Foote

Officer Burley remembers looking Otis right in the eye moments before he was shot. "The look he gave me showed he was very, very upset. He was looking at me, but he was also looking right through me," says Burley. The officer says his voicemail has run out of space every day thanks to the supportive messages friends and family left him during the two days he spent in the hospital and the several weeks of recovery. Burley noted that perhaps the most powerful voicemail was from Otis's own family, wishing the officer well. "I have great sadness for the Otis family's loss," says Burley. The family agrees with him on the case: It's time to bury the hatchet.

Meanwhile, The Skanner is speculating that perhaps Burley was hit by friendly fire, citing a lack of bullet casings fro Otis's gun at the scene. "I really don't know where they're coming from on that," responds police spokeswoman Detective Mary Wheat, who says the investigative team has not received the final ballistics report from the incident.