Mayor says PSU shooting inquiry will be 'objective'
In his first public statement on the matter, Mayor Ted Wheeler has promised a "thorough" investigation into the shooting death of Jason Washington.
Wheeler — who oversees the Portland Police Bureau through the city's commission form of government — told the Tribune that the investigation will be "objective" and "independent."
He declined to comment further, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Family and friends say Washington — a 45-year-old Navy veteran, mail carrier and father of three — was killed by armed officers with Portland State University after his lawfully-carried firearm slipped out of a holster and he reached to pick it up.
They say he was a Good Samaritan attempting to break up a fight outside the Cheerful Tortoise bar in downtown Portland around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, June 29.
While PSU administrators have issued several statements regarding the fatal shooting, the Police Bureau itself has not released any public statements so far. Wheeler's relatively new hire at the Bureau, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, has also remained silent.
Officials have not said how many times Washington was shot or whether he facing the officers or had his back to them.
Cell phone footage with audio recorded at the scene suggests Officers Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey fired at least a half-dozen times, if not more. They remain on paid administrative leave.
A memorial fund for Jason Washington is available here.
Here is the full statement Mayor Wheeler made to the Portland Tribune on Monday, July 9:
"I'm not going to comment on that right now. That is under investigation. That was a Portland State University police action. They have asked the Portland Police Bureau to do an objective, independent investigation. That investigation is underway. I really cannot comment on it beyond that, except to say there is an investigation underway and it will be thorough."