PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hundreds of protesters rallied downtown Friday as demonstrators continued to demand accountability in the shooting death of Aaron Campbell.
Protests, rallies and demonstrations have been held most every day since a Multnomah County grand jury cleared a police officer of criminal charges in Campbell's shooting. They have grown more raucous since the Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Portland and called Campbell's death an execution by Portland Police Bureau.
Friday's rally came after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a preliminary inquiry into the Campbell shooting to determine whether any Civil Rights Act protections had been denied. Mayor Sam Adams and Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman publicly asked for a full-fledged investigation.
Attorney General of Oregon supports federal investigation
Attorney General John Kroger attended the civil rights rally Friday afternoon and spoke to hundreds of frustrated Portlanders, many of whom wore shirts that scapegoated various city leaders like Mayor Sam Adams or Police Chief Rosie Sizer. Others linked together recent controversial police use-of-force cases.
Those suspicions have at various times been corroborated by city leaders. Commissioner Randy Leonard connected a 2005 shooting to Campbell's death. Last week, the police union president said community misperceptionsabout how and why police must use deadly force was the fault of Chief Sizer, who allowed the disconnect ... to grow wider and wider since the (James Chasse) incident. Police Union blames Chief
Taken together, the only way forward was to allow federal prosecutors to investigate and decide for the community, Kroger said.
You look at the reports from the grand jury and you realize there is enormous room for improvement. We just can t have our community in an endless series of lethal force incidents, Kroger said. If there s not a huge bond of trust between the law enforcement community and the public then we re in real trouble.
After speaking about 10 minutes some in the crowd began berating Kroger, prompting an early exit by the state attorney general.
The Campbell family marched in the protest. Marva Davis, mother to the deceased, said she knew her son would approve because he would also want change. Davis and her family have allegedly hired the same law firm that represents the James Chasse family, the Willamette Week first reported.
The Chasse family has sued the city over the mentally ill man's 2006 death, which occurred in police custody. according to the Willamette Week.
Grand jury proceedings unsealed
A Multnomah County judge took the extraordinary step of releasing grand jury proceedings that cleared Officer Ron Frashour of criminal charges in the shooting of Aaron Campbell. Transcripts
Less than two hours later, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an inquiry had been launched to provide a full and fair review of the Campbell shooting investigation by Multnomah County and Portland Police Bureau. The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office would investigate whether any civil rights violations had occurred. Federal probe
Judge Jean Kerr Maurer signed an order releasing the transcripts of testimony and the district attorney's office promised to have those documents released to the media, along with a transcript of the initial 9-1-1 call and the autopsy on Campbell's body.
Never before in the history of Multnomah County has a court unsealed grand jury investigations. The 400-plus pages go behind the scenes, describing with detail the confusion and miscommunication between police at the scene. Awitness told jurors that Aaron Campbell asked police to shoot him. Timeline
And when I started talking to her, you know, I asked her how Aaron was doing. She said he was doing really bad, that he had tried to kill himself four times since he had been at her house, that the gun didn't work. When she was telling me that, at that point he wasn't there. And I sat there for like maybe, I don't know, ten minutes, and I panicked, because I started thinking okay, 'if he's over there suicidal, her and the kids are there, and I called her back and she wouldn't answer the phone. And so that made me nervous, which is why I called the police ... My mind instantly went to the worst, witness Sherrie Stewart testified.
From what I recall it was then just f------ shoot me. Just f------- shoot me. From then he was still standing there. He started to lower his left hand and almost -- I felt like he was almost looking at us like a side angle for a brief second, started to look backwards, William Snow testified.
Campbell's younger brother had died earlier that day and he was considered suicidal. The aunt of Campbell's girlfriend told 9-1-1 dispatchers that she believed Campbell had already tried to kill himself four times. 9-1-1 call transcript
District Attorney Mike Schrunk urged Portlanders concerned about the Campbell shooting to read the documents. He hoped they would shed some light on how police made the decisions and missteps that led the grand jury to hold the entire Police Bureau responsible for th 25-year-old's needless death. Grand Jury Statement
Hopefully, something good can grow from this tragedy, he said.
Jury's findings prompt City Hall protests, Jesse Jackson visit
The grand jury cleared Officer Ron Frashour of criminal charges in Campbell's shooting but released an unusual letter explaining their findings. In the letter jurors faulted the Portland Police Bureau and its policies for Campbell's needless death.
We feel that his death resulted from flawed police policies, incomplete or inappropriate training, incomplete communication and other issues with the police effort, the letter said. Their letter added, as a group, we are outraged.
The statement led Chief Rosie Sizer and Mayor Sam Adams to defend the bureau's track record. Sizer said police were not mental health experts and Mayor Adams pointed to the startling economic disparity between whites and blacks in Portland as the cause of racial unrest.
Reports reveal police miscommunication
Frashour said he shot the 25-year-old Campbell in the back because he believed Campbell was reaching for a weapon and trying to get into position to use it. Officers did not know that a negotiator had communicated that Campbell was joking and complying with police instructions when he walked out of the apartments with his hands above his head. Texts detail minutes before shooting
Those details were made public on Feb. 16 when nearly 700 pages of internal Police Bureau investigations into the Campbell shooting went online. Frashour testified he was not wearing an earpiece when Campbell walked out backwards, and that neither he nor other tactical officers were aware of the progress negotiators had made. Hear the 9-1-1 call
Fire BureauCommissioner Randy Leonard said there was a deadly pattern over five years at the PoliceBureau. In 2005, Raymond Gwerder was shot and killed by a police sniper, just as negotiators had convinced him not to commit suicide. Communication breakdown
Gwerder had agreed to give himself up peacefully ... if the shooter had listened ... he would not have shot, Leonard said. The exact same thing happened to Aaron Campbell five years after Chief Sizer promised officers would all communicate on the same radio frequency.
Nothing's changed. The Bureau has learned nothing.
Rage and anger directed at City Hall
The Rev. Jesse Jackson called the Campbell shooting an execution and questioned whether the grand jury represented the black community. A local newspaper told its readers to find other ways to deal with emergencies because police could not be trusted. Protests flared up for several days in a row, culminating with a march on City Hall on Feb. 17. Community unrest
Ministers and angry protesters demanded that Officer Frashour and Chief Sizer be fired.
Demonstrators yelled in frustration in City Hall and marched to the office door of Mayor Adams, who promised to become more visible in the civilian administration of Portland Police. Adams broke tradition by placing City Commissioner Dan Saltzman in charge of police; typically, the mayor has held that position.
Adams was told to face Campbell's mother and explain why she lost two sons in one day due to police but one officer would not lose his job. The mayor promised to consider their demands, acknowledged that Aaron Campbell should not have died, and said he was sorry for the losses for Marva Davis and her family. Raw video:Protest | Officer back on duty