PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland newspaper that serves the African-American community has published a scathing editorial in the wake of a fatal shooting in Northeast Portland involving a black man and a white police officer.
The officer who fired the fatal shot, Officer Ron Frashour, returned to work Wednesday in an administrative capacity. A grand jury cleared Frashour of any charges in the January shooting but also issued a report critical of police procedures and training.
The headline from The Skanner newspaper’s Web site on Tuesday read "Having an Emergency? Don’t Call the Police."
A portion of the editorial reads:
“The fact is, we at The Skanner News simply have to warn our readers away from calling the police when they are in a crisis situation. We cannot have faith that innocents won't get caught in the firing line when trigger-finger officers arrive in force. We need to start solving our own problems."
KATU News reporter Dan Tilkin asked Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer for her response to the opinions expressed in the editorial.
"That sentiment is not new… it has been a dialogue we've been engaged in my entire 25 years,” Sizer said,” and it really breaks my heart and we're committed to working with the African-American community in everyone's best interest."
On Tuesday, Sizer released 631 pages of documents and police recordings while again pledging to look at how individual officers and supervisors acted the night Aaron Campbell was shot.
Campbell was shot in the back by Officer Frashour with an AR-15 rifle after officer responded to a 9-1-1 call from a relative who said Campbell was suicidal after his brother died earlier in the day from an illness.
Frashour said he fired when Campbell turned and ran and appeared to be reaching for a weapon. Campbell turned out to be unarmed.
Sizer also said their assault rifle training will be reviewed in the wake of the incident that has prompted numerous protests and a visit to Portland by the civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Sizer also released hundreds of pages of documents and posted audio from 9-1-1 calls in the case on the Portland Police Web site.
More protests are planned for Wednesday.