Aaron Campbell was shot by an officer in the back two years ago.
  • Jon Sperry
  • Aaron Campbell was shot by an officer in the back two years ago.
Two years and one week after Portland Police Officer Ron Frashour shot and killed Aaron Campbell, the city has settled with Campbell's family for $1.2 million. According to the family, this is the most money the city's insurer has ever paid out for a claim against the Portland Police Bureau. [UPDATE: This line was edited to clarify the city insurer is the one paying the money] Officer Frashour was fired in November, though it's not clear whether the punishment will stick.

Mayor Sam Adams sent out a brief statement formally apologizing to Campbell's family: "Today’s settlement does not erase the Campbell family’s pain, nor does it bring back their father, son, brother, and cousin—and for that, I am very sorry."

Campbell's mother Marva Davis sent out a heart-wrenching letter about the settlement just minutes ago. Here's an excerpt and the whole thing (pdf):

We are told that this is the most money that the city insurer has ever paid out on a claim against the Portland Police Bureau, although in truth it does not seem like enough for the losses we have suffered. We are grateful, however, that we will not have to relive the events of that awful time, and reopen those wounds again. We are also grateful for the support that we have received from family, friends and members of the community who have supported us throughout.

We take to heart that officer-involved shootings have gone down in Portland since Aaron was killed, and choose to believe that in some measure, losing him has made our community safer from those we've armed with guns, and entrusted with the community's safety.

However, this needs to be said. During the case, our attorneys uncovered some very troubling information regarding our police policies and practices.

Davis' letter continued:

First, we are very disappointed with Police Chief Reese's refusal to add language to the Police Bureau's use of force policy requiring in writing that officers take a person's emotional upset or mental illness into consideration as a factor when making a decision to use force... Second, Chief Reese assured the public in disciplining the officers involved that Police Bureau policy required that before shooting to kill, the facts and circumstances must justify the conclusion that the citizen's behavior amounts to an immediate threat to life. The Chief's investigation concluded that Aaron Campbell clearly did not present such a danger to anyone. Compare this with the fact that Officers Frashour and Lewton were going to call as witnesses at trial eleven of the trainers who teach our officers the rules. All of these trainers were to testify under oath that Chief Reese is wrong.