PORTLAND, Ore. -- Text messages between a Portland Police negotiator and Aaron Campbell on Jan. 29 contradicted testimony from the police officer who fatally shot him outside Sandy Terrace Apartments.
Demonstrators also marched on Portland City Hall on Wednesday after a rally to protest the return to duty of a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man last month. Read 9-1-1 call
Officer Ron Frashour was cleared to go back to work after a Multnomah County grand jury found his use of deadly force fell within guidelines.
Frashour said he shot 25-year-old Aaron Campbell in the back because he believed Campbell was reaching for a weapon and trying to get into position to use it. Protesters delivered a letter to Mayor Sam Adams asking for a major reform of the Portland Police Bureau.
The messages were released Tuesday along with 700 pages of police reports, investigation evidence, and 9-1-1 audio tapes from the Campbell shooting.
On Wednesday, Mayor Sam Adams released a statement about the incident.
"Let me make this abundantly clear: Aaron Campbell did not need to die that January night. The events and on-the-scene communication breakdown that occurred cost the Campbell family a son, a brother, a cousin. The Campbell family’s pain, anger and outrage are real, they are justified and they deserve serious attention.
The Campbell family’s main concern is the return of Officer Frashour to active duty, in any capacity. I hear their message. I will speak today with Police Commissioner Saltzman and Chief Sizer about their concerns." Details: Read the letter
On Feb. 11, a statement from a grand jury investigating Campbell's death exonerated Officer Frashour of criminal wrongdoing.
Officer James Quackenbush, the negotiator, was text messaging with Campbell because of poor cell phone reception.
Quackenbush texted Campbell, "Aaron, we need to know if you intend on hurting yourself," to which Campbell joked, "Never. Wow you guys text too. You get kudos."
A tactical unit outside the apartments was not made aware of the negotiations between Quackenbush and Campbell, according to the police report. Quackenbush testifed to investigators that the situation seemed de-escalated by the texts.
"Thanks, Aaron, I appreciate your help," the negotiator text messaged Campbell. "Can you promise me you won't hurt yourself?"
Campbell was not comfortable with the messages. He messaged back it was "weird" they were not on the phone.
Quackenbush called and received verbal confirmation that Campbell would come out of the apartments and meet police.
Frashour's testimony described an "aggressive" and "hostile" man who was "defiant and loud" coming out of the apartment. He did not know negotiators had convinced Campbell to surrender.
The tactical unit suddenly saw the suspect come out. Beanbag rounds were fired when Campbell did not immediately respond to instructions from the armed police outside, according to the police report.
Later, during the investigation into Campbell's death, another member of the tactical unit outside the apartments told investigators "there was no update or anybody that was texting, 'OK , now (Campbell's) coming out."
Frashour said he saw Campbell fall forward and thought the suspect was going to run away. He did not have an earpiece in and testified that a microphone was, instead, upon his lapel.
When Campbell fell forward Frashour said he instantly thought, "He is pulling a gun out," he testified.
At the same time, Frashour said he looked around and saw a car that Campbell could possibly use as cover if he were to begin shooting at police.
The whole time Frashour's police issued rifle was pointed at the suspect.
"I shot him. His back was my intended target," he said.