PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Mayor Sam Adams picked up support Tuesday from City Commissioner Randy Leonard in his fight to keep officer Ron Frashour off the Portland Police force.
Leonard issued a press release after Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner held a press conference Tuesday morning blasting Mayor Adam's stance on reinstating Frashour, saying in part "we’re obviously upset about it, but more than that we’re also disillusioned with the fact that he’s our police commissioner."
Leonard opened by saying he "has struggled with Mayor Sam Adam's desire to have the City Council support his decision to appeal the Employment Relations order to hire back" Officer Frashour.
Frashour shot and killed Aaron Campbell during an encounter outside Campbell’s apartment in 2010. Campbell was unarmed. After an investigation, Frashour was fired for his actions during the shooting.
Last Friday, the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) ruled that the city must adhere to an arbitrator’s decision and re-hire Frashour. Adams has stated in the past he would fight efforts to have Frashour reinstated.
In the press release, Leonard said he has "a long history of working with and even developing - while a member of the Oregon State Senate - Oregon’s public employee collective bargaining laws."
But he also said it was "implausible" the incident with Frashour and Campbell was in line with police training and he criticized Turner for remarks he made about Adam's integrity, saying:
Really, Mr. Turner? How do you characterize the integrity of your members’ actions that led to a complete breakdown of all the training the Portland Police Bureau provides officers to avoid tragedies such as the indefensible killing of Aaron Campbell?
And I don’t mean just the lack of integrity by the officer that pulled the trigger that killed Mr. Campbell.
I include the supervisors and negotiators on the scene that ignored the incident command system that led to a breakdown of the left hand not telling the right hand what it was doing. The result of this shockingly out-of-control incident was the killing of a man that should have had the police helping him- not shooting him as he ran for cover as a result of being hit with a barrage of shot gun bean bags as he was attempting to surrender.
Leonard said he doesn't think there is much chance the decision of the ERB will be overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals, "but we do have a chance," he said.
He closed by saying he will support Adam's request to appeal the ERB's demand to reinstate Frashour.