Adams wants to challenge state ruling before Oregon Board of Appeals

Mayor Sam Adams will ask the City Council to continue fighting the reinstatement of Portland Police Officer Ron Frashour on Wednesday.

Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese fired Frashour for shooting and killing Aaron Campbell at the end of a lengthy police standoff on Jan. 29, 2010.

At the time, Adams and Reese said Frashour violated bureau policies regarding the use of deadly force.

The Portland Police Association that represents rank-and-file officers appealed the firing to the state Employment Relations Board. After taking testimony from both sides, a state arbitrator ruled the city failed to show that Frasour’s use of force violated bureau policies and ordered him reinstated on March 30, 2012.

Adams, who is police commissioner, refused to comply with the ruling, calling the arbitrator’s decision legally flawed. The PPA subsequently filed an unfair labor practice grievance against the city with ERB.

After taking testimony from both sides, ERB ruled against the city and ordered that Frashour be reinstated.

In a resolution to be considered by the council, Adams is requesting that the ERB ruling be appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals. A majority of the council has already said it will support Adams.

The Campbell shooting has already cost the city over $2 million. The money includes $1.2 million to settle a federal unlawful death lawsuit with Campbell’s family and at least $750,000 for outside attorneys to fight Frashour’s reinstatement to far.

A fiscal analysis submitted with the resolution says it will not cost the city any additional money. However, the analysis also suggests the council could be asked to approve additional spending for outside legal counsel in the future.

The Campbell shooting has been controversial from the start. Campbell, an African-American, was upset about the recent death of his brother. He had brought a gun to the Northeast Portland hotel where the standoff occurred, something the police had been told. Campbell was not armed when he was shot, however.

Community activists began protesting the shooting within days. The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the protests and accused the police of murder. Adams and former Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman cited the Campbell killing when they asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the police bureau’s relationship with minority communities. The department recently issued a report saying the police have a pattern of using too much force against the mentally ill and have a history of bad relations with racial minority communities.

The city must soon present the department with a plan for addressing the problems cited in the report.

The resolution can be found on the city’s website at

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