Cop fired, 3 suspended for Campbell shooting

PORTLAND -- Portland s mayor and police chief have decided to discipline four officers involved in the shooting death of Aaron Campbell last January.

Mayor Sam Adams said an investigation revealed that the four officers acted outside of their training and outside of Police Bureau policy. For that reason, Adams said officer Ron Frashour has been fired and officer Ryan Lewton was put on 80 hours unpaid suspension, along with Sergeants Liani Reyna and John Birkinbine.

More:Read letters of discipline

Use of Force Review Board report

These were difficult decisions, Adams said Tuesday morning. Police officers are called on to make split-second decisions every day, and at times those are life-and-death decisions. Officers receive regular training in policy and procedure; ultimately though, the decisions made in the course of their work are their own.

Aaron Campbell died on January 29 after a standoff with police that ended in the shooting.

Details of deadly police shooting:

The incident began when police responded to an apartment in Northeast Portland on reports that a man at the apartment -- Aaron Campbell -- was despondent and armed.

Officer James Quakenbush established communication with Campbell via cell phone and text messages and then hours later, Campbell came out of the apartment, unarmed. Court documents said that officers were yelling at Campbell as he was walking backwards with his hands behind or on his head.

Campbell was hit with beanbag rounds from a shotgun fired by Lewton. Then, he was hit by gunfire from an AR-15 fired by Frashour, according to court documents.

The family sincerely appreciates the interest the public and press have shown in the circumstances surrounding Aaron's death, a statement from his family read. Justice will take its course. Beyond that, we don't wish to make any public comment at this time.

Sergeants Liani Reyna and John Birkinbine were supervisors on the scene.

Police Chief Mike Reese met with Frashour, Lewton, Reyna and Birkinbine on Monday and explained the disciplinary decisions.

My decision was based on the significant policy violations and performance issues that occurred during this incident. This was a difficult decision because ultimately, I believe each Bureau member involved was attempting to do their best to resolve a complex situation. However, as Chief, I must address the significant issues that were brought forth in the Bureau s internal reviews and hold the involved members accountable.

More: Statement from Police Chief Mike Reese

Meantime, the Portland Police Association released a scathing statement to the media in response to the mayor's announcement Monday.

The 930 members of the Portland Police Association will now have to come to the realization that Mayor Sam Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese have ignored the truth and the facts regarding the Aaron Campbell incident.... even though the facts prove that the officers and sergeants did nothing wrong and performed their jobs correctly, and excerpt from the statement said.

More: Read entire Portland Police Association statement

The Aaron Campbell case got national attention when Civil Rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke out in Portland, urging a Department of Justice probe into the incident. He also met with Mayor Adams after the grand jury cleared Frashour of criminal charges in the shooting death.

Background:Jackson talks about Campbell case

Earlier this month, Campbell's family filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland, as well as the four officers who were disciplined Tuesday.

That lawsuit alleges that the Portland Police Bureau has created an under-trained, undisciplined culture that created the circumstances which led to Campbell's death.


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