Crime

Police review board clears officer who fatally shot Jacqueline Salyers

Jacqueline Salyers was fatally shot by Tacoma police Officer Scott Campbell in January. The Tacoma Police Department’s Deadly Force Review Board cleared Campbell of wrongdoing, a news release announced Tuesday.
Jacqueline Salyers was fatally shot by Tacoma police Officer Scott Campbell in January. The Tacoma Police Department’s Deadly Force Review Board cleared Campbell of wrongdoing, a news release announced Tuesday. Courtesy

Tacoma Police Department’s Deadly Force Review Board has found Officer Scott Campbell justified in fatally shooting Jacqueline Salyers on Jan. 28, a news release announced Tuesday.

The board met Aug. 4 to review the Jan. 28 shooting, in which Salyers drove toward a police officer during an arrest attempt on her wanted felon boyfriend, Kenneth Wright, who was in the passenger seat, according to Tacoma police.

Police Chief Don Ramsdell concurred with the board’s unanimous finding that Campbell’s use of force was both reasonable and within department policy.

If the chief were to find a shooting to not be within department policy, an officer could receive discipline ranging from additional training to termination.

Salyers, a 32-year-old Tacoma native and Puyallup tribal member, was shot four times by Campbell as she attempted to run him over, according to police. The shooting happened about 11:45 p.m. in the 3300 block of South Sawyer Street.

“I have no doubt that if I had not shot the driver that the vehicle would have continued to gain speed and run me over,” Campbell said in a statement to police investigators. At the time of the shooting, Campbell had been with the Tacoma police for two years and a police officer for eight.

On Jan. 28, Campbell and Officer Aaron Joseph had been in the neighborhood looking for Wright when they spotted the car he and Salyers had been living in.

After Salyers was shot, Wright grabbed a rifle and crawled over her body to flee, documents say. He was arrested Feb. 15 on warrants for first-degree robbery, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. If convicted of the charges, Wright, now 33, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Salyers’ family members have said the shooting was not justified. In March, nearly 300 people walked from the Puyallup Tribe’s headquarters to the federal courthouse in Tacoma to protest her killing.

Phone messages left for members of Salyers’ family Tuesday evening were not immediately returned.

The Deadly Force Review Board is composed of two Tacoma police managers, two union representatives, two community members and a non-voting chairperson. Assistant Chief Pete Cribbin is the chairman of the committee.

In May, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office also found Campbell was justified in shooting Salyers.

Salyers had what was possibly a fatal amount of methamphetamine in her system when she was shot, medical examiners found.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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