Council to consider paying $150,000 more for arbitration

The price Portland is paying for the January 2010 controversial Aaron Campbell shooting death may be about to go higher.

On Wednesday, the City Council will consider spending $150,000 more to resolve grievances filed by four police bureau employees involved in the Jan. 29, 2010, incident. The money would go to the Littler Mendelson law firm, which is representing the city in the arbitration process to resolve the grievance.

If approved, the maximum total payment to the firm would increase to $400,000.

Campbell was shot in the back and killed by Officer Ron Frashour during a lengthy standoff with police at a Northeast Portland apartment complex. Frashour was fired by Mayor Sam Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese. He is fighting to get his job back.

Also disciplined was Officer Ryan Lewton, who fired a beanbag round at Campbell that may have caused him to run back toward an apartment before Frashour shot him. Sergeants Liani Reyna and John Birkinbine were disciplined for a failure to communicate. All three were suspended without pay and are fighting to clear their records and recover back pay.

The city hired the Littler Mendelson firm to avoid a conflict of interest. The city is preparing to defend itself in a federal civil wrongful death law suit filed by Campbell's family. It seeks unspecified damages.

The death of Campbell, an African-American, sparked protests and prompted a visit from civil right activists Rev. Jesse Jackson, who denounced it as an 'execution.'

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