December 1, 2011

The police are told to “protect and serve” the community at large, but a judge seems to think that may not have been the case when he denied a former Portland police officer’s motion to dismiss a wrongful death suit last week.

A Portland man was hit six times with beanbag pellets and then fatally shot in the neck while having his back turned and hands behind his head after police officers requested a search of his apartment. The officer who killed the man was fired soon after the incident and now his motion to dismiss the pending wrongful death lawsuit has been thrown out. Two other officers involved in the apartment search were suspended without pay because of the incident.

The terminated police officer believed the man was carrying a gun and that the man appeared to reach for his pocket, according to his attorney. Ultimately though, he was unarmed and in a defenseless position.

The attorney for the deceased man argues that the officers’ actions during the apartment search were unconstitutional and against police policy and that the city is at fault, according to the wrongful death suit. The firing of the police officer in question and subsequent suspensions for other officials is evidence of liability and wrongdoing, according to the attorney. “The city has admitted that the death … was caused by the wrongful acts of its employees,” the attorney stated in court documents.

The 2010 incident sparked community outrage as hundreds of people took to the streets of downtown Portland to protest the violent actions of the officer.

The trial will commence on February 7, 2012.

Source: The Oregonian, “Judge denies former Portland Officer Ronald Frashour’s motion to dismiss pending suit in Aaron Campbell death,” Maxine Bernstein, Dec. 8, 2011


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