PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Cities across the country are taking a closer look at police reform, including at Portland State University and other college campuses.

The recent history of armed officers on campus at PSU was discussed during an online Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday morning.

Officers at PSU were first armed in 2014, but a deadly shooting involving campus police in 2018 ignited controversy.

Jason Washington was shot nine times by campus police. Witnesses say Washington, who was licensed to carry, was trying to break up a fight.

Investigators said he had a friend’s gun holstered to his hip, which either dropped from his hand or fell to the ground. The officer-involved shooting was deemed justified.

Students on Thursday reiterated their calls to disarm officers on campus.

"I'm here again because you again refuse to listen to students and staff and the greater Portland community,” Cammie Gould, a student, said. “Since the issue of armed police on campus was raised in 2014, the students this Board of Trustees is supposed to serve has been locally and vehemently against it. Jason Washington's murder surprised no one and has been met only with empty words and hypocritical double-speak from the university.”

PSU President Stephen Percy wanted students to know that he is listening.

I hear calls for action, and I know my words are not enough, I truly do know that,” Percy said. “I'm asking my campus to listen for a brief time, within two to three weeks, and to respond with a plan, a full plan in this summer, very shortly, of the work we need to do to re-imagine public safety in a way that makes the campus feel safe, in a way that aligns with our collective commitment that Black Lives Matter.”

Students also voiced concerns over a proposed five percent tuition increase, saying many students won’t be able to afford it during a time of recession and high unemployment.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(4) comments

sagebrush

These ignorant kids are being brainwashed into believing that if you are black, you are innocent no matter what and if you are white you are guilty no matter what. This is what obama, jackson, sharpton and the NAACP are pushing. But, the first time one of these kids get assaulted or killed and no cop is there to protect them, they will cry bloody murder.

Frederick Fukov

This is how completely ignorant the students are. This death was not caused by campus police being armed. This was caused by the drunk friends of Washington who got involved in a fight, and by Washington, who was carrying a firearm while he, himself had been drinking. Campus police were called to the scene..there was a fight..there was a gun..and when threatened, campus police defended themselves. They are also trained to protect the students, in the event of a mass shooter on campus. Sure, go ahead and neuter the campus police. Give 'em pepper spray and a taser, and watch the outcry someday when there's an active shooter on campus, and a bunch of kids get kiIIed because the campus police were disarmed.

nativepdx

Please disarm the criminals first

Eliza Cassan

Disarm the police but not people like the guy who carelessly dropped his friends gun during a fight? Don't know how these people have that logic.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.