Family demanding a deputy be arrested – for shooting a suspect who was trying to drag him with a car


HAZEL DELL, WA — The family of a suspect, who was shot after allegedly pulling a sheriff’s deputy into his vehicle and trying to drag him, is now demanding the officer be arrested.

Attorneys representing the family of suspect Jenoah Donald, 30, have called for the arrest of Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Boyle, saying the officer inappropriately used deadly force.

Donald was shot in the head, but died a week later after his family removed him from life support. The suspect allegedly refused to comply with several orders and did not respond to physical pressure, which was applied in an attempt to gain his compliance. 

Attorney Mark Lindquist said the incident between Donald and Boyle served as “an unfortunate cautionary tale about what happens when officers do not practice de-escalation,” The Columbian reported.

However, can a suspect be responsible for what happens if he or she refuses to comply with police orders and/or acts aggressively toward them? Let’s review what has been reported.

The Columbian reported on the evening of Feb. 4, deputies responded to a block on Northwest Jordan Way for a “suspicious activity” call about two vehicles circling in the area. A caller had dialed 911 and “expressed frustration with the ‘drug house’ and ‘constant barrage of issues affecting the neighborhood.’”

Dispatch records showed that police have responded to calls in that area more than 40 times since June of 2020, The Columbian reported.

Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Boyle saw a bronze Mercedes Benz with Oregon license plates and a defective rear light on 68th Street and stopped the car.

The driver of the Mercedes was Donald, who showed Boyle a Washington identification card, but no proof of registration or insurance. According to an affidavit for a search warrant that was requested, Donald told Boyle his license had been suspended.

Documents filed Feb. 11 in Clark County District Court to search the 1999 Mercedes Benz 230 cite probable cause for third-degree assault. The search warrant was requested by Vancouver Police Officer Dustin Goudschaal, according to The Columbian.

The Columbian also noted that Donald had been cited last month on Jan. 21 for driving with a suspended license. In addition, court records showed that Donald was cited for numerous traffic violations in Clark County.

Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Holly Troupe arrived on the scene as backup and took up a position outside Donald’s passenger door to cover Deputy Boyle as he returned to his vehicle, according to The Columbian.

Deputy Troupe told investigators there were some concerning objects inside Donald’s car, including a “ball-handled” object with a 3- to 4-inch “stake” on its end that was located near the center console, according to the investigative synopsis.

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Investigators said that Deputy Troupe told them she ordered Donald multiple times to keep his hands visible, but that he ignored her and reached behind his back to pull out a cell phone and pliers, The Columbian reported.

The investigative synopsis further said that Deputy Boyle saw the situation escalating with Deputy Troupe at about the same time Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Agar arrived on the scene.

Investigators said Deputy Boyle returned to the suspect’s vehicle, opened the car door and asked Donald to step out of his vehicle, The Columbian reported.

However, Donald allegedly refused to comply with the orders so Deputies Boyle and Troupe attempted to pull him out of the vehicle, according to the investigative synopsis.

Donald also allegedly failed to comply even after he was warned a police dog would be released upon him, The Columbian reported. The affidavit for the search warrant noted:

“Deputy Boyle, as a ruse, informed Jenoah Donald that he would send his K-9 to bite Jenoah Donald if he did not stop resisting. This did not gain compliance and Jenoah Donald continued to struggle with Deputy Boyle and Troupe.”

Deputy Boyle is a K-9 handler and a 21-year veteran of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Boyle never removed his canine out of his police vehicle after he stopped Donald that night, The Columbian reported.

The affidavit said that Deputy Boyle had the most contact with Donald during the ensuing struggle because he was by the driver’s side of the vehicle and there was not enough room by the car’s door area for Deputies Troupe or Agar to physically assist Boyle.

Investigators said that Deputy Troupe said she was worried Donald was going to use his free hand to grab the sharpened stake on a ball that was on the console and assault Deputy Boyle with it, The Columbian reported.

Deputy Troupe attempted to gain “pain compliance” by placing finger pressure under Donald’s jaw, but that action had no effect on the suspect, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Investigators said Deputy Boyle told them he felt Donald pull on his outer ballistic vest and got yanked into the Mercedes, The Columbian reported.

Deputy Boyle said he ordered Donald to let go of him and punched him in the nose as they fought. According to the affidavit, the suspect merely replied, “Really?”

Next, the deputies heard Donald start up his car and rev the engine. According to the investigative synopsis, Deputy Boyle tried to get himself free as the wheels began spinning:

“Deputy Boyle felt the vehicle begin to move forward, and fearing he was going to be killed, he drew his firearm (Deputy Boyle is left-handed) and gave Mr. Donald a verbal warning to stop or he would be shot.”

When Donald did not comply once again, Deputy Boyle fired two shots. One struck the suspect in the head.

The investigative synopsis said Deputy Boyle pushed himself out of the moving vehicle and the car went on until it struck a fence in a neighboring yard, The Columbian reported.

All three deputies immediately approached the vehicle and pulled Donald out of it so they could render first aid.

Lawyers for Donald’s family have called for the arrest of Deputy Boyle, despite the report that he was being dragged by a moving vehicle driven by a suspect who refused to comply with several orders by police.

One of the other attorneys for Donald’s family, Lara Herrmann, told Oregon Public Broadcasting:

“The officer should be arrested and held accountable.”

Attorney Lindquist also told Oregon Public Broadcasting:

“Deadly force should be a last resort. Legally and morally. 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.”

Lindquist framed it as a traffic stop gone bad:

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.”

No mention was made of the possibility that Donald escalated the situation by trying to drive away and dragging the deputy still inside the vehicle.

Lindquist also dismissed concerns that at least one of the deputies thought she saw a weapon in Donald’s vehicle. A search warrant affidavit reported no weapons were recovered from the Mercedes.

Oregon Public Broadcasting only noted innocuous items found in the vehicle, such as a medical bracelet belonging to Donald, two cellphones, a container for eyeglasses, a laptop and a cordless drill.

However, The Columbian provided more details:

“Other items listed on the evidence receipt include two projectiles; a 9 mm shell casing; swabs of the steering wheel and center console; a brown leather wallet; a medical bracelet belonging to Donald; two cellphones, one inside of a backpack and another on the front passenger’s seat; a laptop inside the same backpack; and a Washington state trip permit.

“An eyeglass case ‘containing suspected drug paraphernalia’ was located in the backpack.”

Deputy Troupe had reported seeing Donald reach behind his back and pull out a cellphone and metal pliers, according to The Columbian, but the pliers did not get listed on the evidence receipt for the search warrant.

Although seemingly harmless objects, including vehicles, can quickly be turned into a weapon, Lindquist said no actual weapons were recovered and suggested the police were overly panicking about the drill.

In an interview, Lindquist told The Columbian:

“When you look at the items recovered, this confirms there was no weapon in the car. A standard, commercial drill shouldn’t cause a panic.

“Number one: drills are only used as weapons in the movies, and number two: Jenoah never used it or even reached for it.”

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