Above Photo: A group gathered Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, outside Portland City Hall to protest a court ruling that requires the city to reinstate Ron Frashour, a police officer who was fired in 2010 after he fatally shot an unarmed man in the back. Beth Nakamura/Staff
A group of protesters gathered Thursday morning outside Portland City Hall to oppose a court ruling this week requiring the city rehire Ron Frashour, a police officer who was fired after he fatally shot an unarmed black man in the back.
The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform organized Thursday’s demonstration, one day after the Oregon Court of Appeals sided with an arbitrator’s ruling to reinstate Frashour.
Frashour was one of several officers who responded to a Northeast Portland apartment in January 2010 to check on 25-year-old Campbell, who was reportedly distraught and suicidal after the death of his brother earlier that day. Campbell soon emerged from the apartment with his back toward officers and put his hands behind his head. He was struck with one beanbag-shotgun round and ran toward a parked car as an officer fired another five beanbag rounds. Frashour fired a single shot as Campbell ran, killing him.
Frashour said at the time that he thought Campbell was reaching for a gun, but investigators concluded he was unarmed. Frashour was fired.
The Portland Police Association filed a grievance challenging the termination and the case was reviewed by an arbitrator. The arbitrator determined the city did not have enough cause to fire Frashour and ordered in 2012 that the city rehire him. The state Employment Relations Board also ordered Portland to reinstate Frashour after the police union filed a complaint with the agency when the city did not reverse the termination.
Mayor Charlie Hales said Wednesday he was disappointed by the court’s ruling.
“Portland Police Bureau training emphasizes de-escalation, and while the vast majority of our officers perform exceptionally well, incidents like the tragic death of Aaron Campbell undermine that success,” Hales said in the statement.