A major mayoral candidate has finally come forward with a statement calling out a state arbitrator's ruling that Ron Frashour, the officer who was fired in November 2010 for shooting and killing the unarmed Aaron Campbell, should be reinstated.
In a press release (pdf) laying out her public safety goals, businesswoman Eileen Brady said she supports Mayor Sam Adams’ decision to challenge the arbitrator's decision.
We also must redouble our community policing efforts. No matter where you live or visit in Portland, your safety will be my priority as mayor. But the reality is that a mayor and the police can’t do it alone. Effective community policing depends on a basis of mutual respect and strong partnerships between the police and the community members they serve. I support Mayor Sam Adams' decision to have the City appeal the recent ruling by an arbitrator regarding the termination of the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Aaron Campbell, who was unarmed.
The other leading candidates, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith have so far been quiet on the ruling. The Mercury has asked for comments from both campaigns, and we'll update this post when we get them.
That's not to say all the other mayoral hopefuls have been quiet. Cameron Whitten, an Occupy activist, was front and center at yesterday's Albina Ministerial Alliance rally, even holding the megaphone, at one point, for Portland Copwatch's Dan Handelman.
Update 3:40 pm:
Following our request for a comment, Charlie Hales said this:
"I believe that officer Frashour should have been fired and that it was correct to fire him. And I don't think we should be using deadly force against unarmed citizens. I think the citizens of Portland expect as much from their leadership. And yes, I do support Sam Adams' challenge to the arbitrator's ruling."
Update 3:50 pm:
Jefferson Smith says he agrees with the mayor's move from the beginning and continues to support what he's doing. "What we've got to focus on is not what happens after an incident like this, but what we can do to avoid them," says Smith.
Like Brady, he's in favor of the mental health crisis center and supports the slated officer training facility. "I have sympathy for officers dealing with budget cuts," he says. "It's our responsibility that they have the right tools."
"If we're going to be able to address gang activity, we need to increase trust between law enforcement and the community. We all have a stake in ending the cycle of violence."