Christmas Rally and Vigil Honors Matthew Graves

The group wants to remember Matthew Graves, the man shot and killed in a Carl's Jr. restroom by police in September.

Posted: Dec 21, 2018 5:59 PM
Updated: Dec 22, 2018 8:57 PM

EAGLE POINT, Ore. -- A group held a Christmas vigil and rally Friday evening outside of the Eagle Point Police Department. They want to remember Matthew Graves, the man shot and killed in a Carl's Jr. restroom by police in September.

An organizer and long-time friend of Graves, Lashea Smith, said Graves loved Christmas and was extremely generous and kind.

"He was just such a giver and a great friend, you could count on him for anything," Smith said. 

After the shooting, a Grand Jury later cleared both officers involved of any wrongdoing. 

Following the release of body camera footage and transcripts of the shooting, the Graves family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. It claims Graves' civil rights were violated. 

The lawsuit names the City of Eagle Point, the Eagle Point Police Department, and Officer Cardenas responsible for the deprivation of Matthew Graves' civil rights and his wrongful death. It asks that a federal jury determine the "full and fair value" of those damages, plus fees for experts and attorneys.

Smith said they want to focus on spreading awareness about mental illness. 

They also want better training for officers when they are interacting with someone with a mental illness. 

"We felt like it got escalated and it never should have happened the way it did," Smith said. 

She said she will continue to plan vigils in the future to show support to the Graves family.

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