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Friday, October 5, 2012

Cop Union President: Vote to Appeal Frashour Reinstatement "Brazen and Misguided"

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:44 PM

In the aftermath of yesterday's council vote to keep challenging the reinstatement of Ron Frashour, the cop fired in 2010 for the fatal shooting of Aaron Campbell, Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner kept his disappointed comments brief but sharply pointed. "You had five individuals who don't know the facts of the case," he said.

Today, he doubled down on that sentiment with a longer statement that dissected, in particular, comments made by Randy Leonard during yesterday's meeting. Leonard launched into a long description of the January 2010 shooting, as he saw it, to explain his vote. Turner wouldn't comment yesterday on Leonard's remarks and he doesn't identify Leonard by name. But that's who he's talking about in the (slightly annotated) statement I've appended below.

On Tuesday, we asked the city commissioners to do one thing—read the arbitrator’s opinion, which details the facts of Officer Frashour’s conduct and the conduct of other officers on January 29, 2010. After hearing the City Commissioners speak yesterday, it is abundantly clear that, even after spending nearly one million dollars of taxpayer money, they do not understand the facts of this case. [Eds: The city says the cost for fighting the reinstatement is closer to $600,000.] For example, we heard from City Commissioners that Officer Frashour was not wearing an earpiece during the incident; in fact, he was using a bureau-issued lapel microphone per pureau procedure. We heard from City Commissioners [Eds: Mostly just Randy Leonard] that the incident commander left the scene; in fact, she was ordered away from her post by a late-arriving Bureau command officer. [Eds: That'd be now-Central Precinct Commander Bob Day, who also was captain of the Training Division after the Campbell shooting.] We also heard that a police negotiator instructed Mr. Campbell to come out of his apartment with his hands up; there was no such instruction. [Eds: The confusion over Campbell's hands came as he was surrendering. Campbell's hands were behind his head, and Officer Ryan Lewton—whose beanbag shots sent Campbell running from cops, to his death—had ordered him to put his hands above it instead.] The correct facts are clearly laid out in the investigative reports, grand jury testimony, and the arbitrator’s award.

These are but a few examples of the City Commissioners' misunderstanding of the facts underlying Officer Frashour’s use of force. The result, yesterday, was a brazen and misguided decision by the City Council, unsupported by facts, to appeal Officer Frashour’s reinstatement. We are confident that the Oregon Court of Appeals will uphold the arbitrator’s award and reiterate what six other independent, unbiased bodies have already determined—that Officer Frashour did no wrong.

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