Mayor asks auditor to review Campbell shooting testimony
Auditor says she will lead a team to look for material inconsistencies that require further investigation
Mayor Sam Adams has asked City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade to review all of the testimony given by city employees related to the police killing of Aaron Campbell.
The request, which was emailed to Griffin-Valade Thursday evening, includes all the testimony given during the arbitration proceedings that reversed the decision by Adams to fire Ron Frashour, the officer who shot Campbell.
Griffin-Valade tells the Portland Tribune she will lead a four-person team from within her office that will review the testimony given by city employees in all administrative reviews conducted by the Portland Police Bureau into the shooting, as well as all testimony given during the arbitration hearings. Griffin-Valade said the review will look for material inconsistencies that could require further investigation. If the team finds any, they will be investigated by the Independent Police Review division of the auditor's office.
"I hope to wrap this up as expeditiously as possible because this is a matter of great public concern," said Griffin-Valade.
Adams is refusing to obey the aritrator and rehire Frashour. The Portland Police Association that represents rank-and-file bureau employees has filed an unfair labor practice in the matter with the state Employment Relations Board and has also demanded that Frashour be re-hired.
Adams' request comes after PPA President Daryl Turner wrote an article in the police union newspaper the Rap Sheet saying the decision to fire Frashour was political. Among other things, Turner said then-training Lt. Robert King only said Frashour violated bureau policies in the final version of his report on the matter.
The earlier drafts did not say Frashour violated bureau policies, wrote Turner, who also said King did not ask any training officers to review his drafts or the investigative files.
Frashour shot Campbell in the back with a sniper rifle after a lengthy police standoff at a Northeast Portland motel in January 2010 Although police had been told Campbell was armed, he did not have a gun on him when he was shot.
At the time of his death, Campbell, an African-American, was upset by the recent death of his brother. The killing sparked community protests, including a visit from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who denounced it.
Adams and then-Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman subsequently asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate it and a number of other incidents where the police killed minority members. The review is ongoing.
Adams took the police bureau from Saltzman before firing Frashour.
Here is the email Adams sent to Griffin-Valade:
As you know, a recent article in the Rap Sheet written by PPA President Daryl Turner called into question the involvement, decision making and ethics of myself, Chief of Police Mike Reese, and various members of Police command staff in the Ronald Frashour arbitration matter. On behalf of Chief Reese and myself, I am writing to request that you complete an independent review of the testimony of all Bureau members who were involved--from the initial interviews through arbitration hearings.
Thank you, and I appreciate your willingness to accept this request.