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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cop Union President to Mayor: No You Need to Start Focusing on Facts in Campbell Case

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner didn't much like what Mayor Sam Adams had to say after the auditor's office on Monday released a report debunking Turner's accusations that a political fix and cooked documents led to the firing of the cop who shot Aaron Campbell in 2010.

Based on the auditor’s findings, I respectfully ask the Portland Police Association to cease their attacks on the character and integrity of members of the Portland Police Bureau, and to start focusing on the facts of this case.

Turner today posted a statement on the PPA's website that essentially said: "No, you." And he made sure to make one last-ditch appeal to city commissioners who've already promised to back Adams as he sends the fight over Frashour's reinstatement to the Oregon Court of Appeal.

The fact is, the PPA has always focused on the facts of Officer Frashour’s use of deadly force. In contrast, the city—and Mayor Adams—have focused on politics... It is now up to the City to do the same. I ask the City Commissioners to do one thing prior to the City Council meeting this Thursday at which the appeal of Officer Frashour’s case will be considered—read the Arbitrator’s award objectively.

Read the whole thing after the jump!

Yesterday afternoon, the Portland City Auditor released her review of witness testimony at Officer Frashour’s labor arbitration. We had requested an independent review of testimony of City witness testimony by a third-party. Instead, we received a review from the City’s own Auditor who, prior to issuing her review, met privately with Mayor Adams and Chief Reese, but not with the PPA leadership. In response to the Auditor’s review, Mayor Adams tweeted: “Based on the Auditor’s findings, I respectfully ask the Portland Police Association to cease their attacks on the character and integrity of members of the Portland Police Bureau, and to start focusing on the facts of this case.”

Since the night of January 29, 2010, the PPA has solely focused on the facts. Facts such as every police officer on scene believed that Mr. Campbell was armed with a gun when he emerged from his apartment. Facts such as every police officer questioned at the 16-day arbitration hearing, when presented with what Officer Frashour knew and perceived, believed that Officer Frashour’s use of force complied with the Bureau’s training and policy. [Eds: Not every police officer; unless commanding officers and the police chief, for instance, no longer count as police officers.] Facts such as when questioned on cross examination by the PPA’s attorney, Lt. King changed his story about Officer Frashour’s justified use of deadly force.

The fact is that Arbitrator Wilkinson, a well regarded labor arbitrator hand-selected by the City, agreed that Officer Frashour engaged in no misconduct. The fact is, like Arbitrator Wilkinson, four other independent bodies, including a Multnomah County Grand Jury, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Oregon Employment Department, and the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training also found that Officer Frashour engaged in no misconduct. Another fact worth repeating—the Oregon Employment Relations Board recently found that the City violated State law by refusing to put Officer Frashour back to work.

The fact is, the PPA has always focused on the facts of Officer Frashour’s use of deadly force. In contrast, the City—and Mayor Adams—have focused on politics, which deprived the community of facts that would allow them to understand why Officer Frashour justifiably used deadly force and why every neutral party that has reviewed this case has agreed in that conclusion.

The PPA agrees with Mayor Adams’ request that we should focus on the facts of this case. It is now up to the City to do the same. I ask the City Commissioners to do one thing prior to the City Council meeting this Thursday at which the appeal of Officer Frashour’s case will be considered—read the Arbitrator’s award objectively; ignore the repeated and unjustified attacks on the character and integrity of Officer Frashour and other Portland Police Officers who strive daily to protect our community; and focus on the facts of this case.

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