Parents of dead man say trooper overreacted

Lawyer calls for FBI to investigate fatal shooting by trooper

Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2003

ANCHORAGE - Attorneys for a man who was shot and killed by an Alaska State Trooper say law enforcement overreacted and they want the FBI to investigate.

Casey G. Porter's parents, Arthur and Kristie Porter, have retained Kenai attorney Bob Cowan to investigate their son's death, said Cowan's legal investigator, Bob Kintzele.

The law office has brought a complaint to the FBI asserting that troopers violated Porter's civil rights, Kintzele said.

Troopers first encountered the 30-year-old Porter at the pullout early Saturday after getting a call from a state snowplow operator who thought the vehicle looked suspicious.

Trooper Arthur J. Osborn had pulled his vehicle in front of Porter's car and another trooper pulled his patrol car into the pullout exit. When Osborn turned on his flashing lights, Porter started to drive away.

Osborn jumped out and ran alongside Porter, yelling for him to stop and show his hands. Porter stopped but didn't show his hands or get out. So Osborn fired pepper spray into the vehicle, hitting the back of Porter's head.

Porter's car again moved forward toward trooper Joseph Whittom, who was standing next to his patrol car. At that point, Osborn fired five times, striking Porter four times.

The car clipped Whittom's patrol car on the front driver's side, pushing it about three feet into the trooper, who wasn't hurt. Whittom did not fire any rounds.

The officers didn't know it at the time, but Porter was wanted for allegedly violating terms of his release on a felony charge of sexual abuse of a minor, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Porter's attorneys said Monday that their client was a disabled man not prone to violence.

Assistant public defender Margaret Moran said troopers appear to have overreacted. She said Osborn in particular has a reputation for being rough with suspects and for being too quick to use pepper spray.

"There's been enough of this kind of information and enough of, I believe, calling it to the attention of the troopers that it is disheartening to be where we are today," Moran said. "Casey was just a friendly guy."

Trooper Maj. Doug Norris said he was unaware of any problems on the job with Osborn or Whittom.

Porter was partially paralyzed earlier this year when a car he was riding in left the road and flipped, said attorney Bill Azar, whose firm is representing Porter in a suit against the driver.



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