Portland's police union president said Mayor Sam Adams has turned the case of former Officer Ronald Frashour into "a personal vendetta" and said it's time for him to heed a state board's decision to reinstate the fired officer.
The Oregon Employment Relations Board has ruled the city must reinstate the ousted Frashour, but Mayor Sam Adams said he hopes to appeal that decision.
Frashour shot and killed Aaron Campbell outside apartments in east Portland in January 2010. Police were told Campbell was armed and suicidal, but Campbell was not armed when Frashour shot him.
A grand jury found the shooting was justified, but Adams and police Chief Mike Reese fired Frashour.
The Employment Relations Board ruled Frashour must be reinstated within 30 days and be given back pay and benefits from the date an arbitrator said the city should reinstate him to his former position.
When given the arbitrator's ruling earlier this year, Adams said he would not reinstate Frashour.
On Monday, Adams reaffirmed his stance that Frashour violated Portland Police Bureau policies and training protocols regarding the use of deadly force.
Adams also admitted he wasn't surprised by the board's ruling Monday.
"There is no precedent for a case like this," he said.
Adams said his recommendation is for the Portland City Council to appeal the ruling and take the matter to court. He said there will be a public hearing on the matter within 30 days.
The Portland Police Association issued a statement Monday saying the Employment Relations Board is the sixth independent body to clear Frashour of misconduct.
The group said it wants to move forward and provide closure to this incident.
"From the beginning, the Portland Police Association has supported Officer Frashour because he followed the training and policies of the Portland Police Bureau on the night of Jan. 29, 2010," the association said in its statement.
In a press conference Tuesday, police union President Daryl Turner said Adams has turned the case into "a personal vendetta using the hard earned dollars of taxpaying Portlanders as his personal check book."
Turner said Frashour is ready to go back to work and is frustrated by the continued postponement of his reinstatement.
Adams said the police association has presented a "selective and distorted" story regarding the events that night.
The association said the city has undertaken an unnecessary battle with this case and spent more than $750,000 in doing so.
Meanwhile, community supporters gathered in front of City Hall Tuesday morning to protest the ERB's decision and support the mayor's desire to appeal.
In a statement from Campbell's mother, Marva Davis, she addresses Frashour, saying:
"The community doesn't need people like you on the police force who act and then think later. You are a liability, and you don't value other people's lives. Putting you back on the street is a big mistake."
This case is one the next mayor of Portland will inherit. FOX 12 reached out to both candidates and received statements from each.
Jefferson Smith expressed disappointment in the ruling, saying, "I don't think it moves us closer to healing the rift between police and our community." He continues, "I've been on the record for months in support of turning every stone in this case, including any appeal where we have a legal leg to stand on. If the city attorney and trusted outside counsel determine we lack legal footing, then we should put our energy and resources into fixing the underlying problems."
He also stressed the need for improved training practices and issued a series of recommendations.
Meanwhile, candidate Charlie Hales said, "Agreed with the mayor and Chief Reese's decision to fire Officer Frashour, and supported the city's position in the arbitration that followed. Now that the arbitration process has run its course, I do not believe that further appeals in this tragic case will change the outcome. What will avoid deaths like this in the future will come from major changes in the Portland Police Bureau - changes in how we hire and train our officers…"
As for current city commissioners, only Commissioner Randy Leonard has expressed support for appealing the officer's reinstatement. FOX 12 reached out to the remaining commissioners who say they're still considering and researching the issue.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.
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