PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland's mayor and chief of police recommended an officer be fired and others disciplined for involvement in a standoff that left an unarmed man dead last winter.
Aaron Campbell, 25, was shot once in the back by Officer Ronald Frashour, who fired a rifle at him in the parking lot of an apartment building in Northeast Portland in February.
Frashour was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a grand jury, although that report labeled Campbell's death needless.
But on Wednesday, Mayor Sam Adams and Chief Mike Reese said they were set to meet with the officers and the police union before a final decision was made, based on the results of an internal investigation and the Use-of-Force Performance and Review Board, in addition to the grand jury's findings.
Neither the mayor nor Chief Reese cited any individual officers by name in their statements Wednesday.
My thoughts at this time are that significant policy violations occurred that have factored into my proposals for discipline, Reese said. In this incident, I believe each bureau member involved was attempting to do their best to resolve a difficult situation. However, it is my responsibility to acknowledge and address these policy violations. More:Read chief's statement
A statement from the Portland Police Association Wednesday said the union was deeply upset by recommendations made by city leaders and would fight the recommendations.
This decision by Chief Reese and Mayor Adams sets a dangerous precedent. It teaches us that even if Portland police officers follow the bureau s policies and training, they act at the peril of their career if political pressure is great enough, the union statement read.Read:PPA statement
Police said Campbell came out of the apartment and told officers that he would have to be shot by them. One officer fired a bean bag round at the man, who police said would still not follow their directions and the officer fired several more bean bag rounds.
Another officer in response to perceived threatening actions fired a round from his AR-15 rifle, police said. Relatives told investigators that Cambell's brother had passed away earlier that day.
Police said Campbell had a history of violent behavior that included weapons charges and resisting arrest. He had a restraining order that forbid him from carrying a firearm.
Chief Reese has made his recommendations to me. I have approved the discipline being recommended, though he and I will not decide upon the final discipline until the process is complete, Adams said. Furthermore, to protect the officers rights to due process, I will not discuss the proposed discipline. The next step in the process is the opportunity for the officers involved to meet to present information they believe may mitigate the recommended discipline. Read:Mayor's statement
Had Mr. Campbell complied with the commands given by officers, had he not posed an immediate and lethal threat to those around him, there would have been no need to use deadly force against him, the union argued. The lives, families and careers of the officers and supervisors involved have been impacted forever. Trust between the rank and file of the Portland Police Bureau and its internal and external review policies has all but disappeared.
There was no word on when a final decision on the discipline would be made.
What cannot happen is for Portland police officers to face termination and substantial discipline for doing their jobs correctly. If that occurs, as it has today, public safety is deeply compromised, the union said.