Oregon Court of Appeals Decision: Frashour

For the seventh time, an independent review of Officer Ron Frashour’s actions nearly six years ago has found that he fully complied with the law and with national and local standards for the use of force. After an extensive review of the matter, the Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld the arbitration award holding that Officer Frashour’s actions and decision-making were reasonable.

The review of Officer Frashour’s actions could hardly have been more thorough. The thirteen days of the arbitration hearing saw more than 30 witnesses testify. Thousands of pages of exhibits were considered by the arbitrator. Expert witnesses on police procedures and deadly force incidents testified at great length. Twenty-five Portland police officers, who collectively have hundreds of years of service for the City, testified that Officer Frashour’s decision to use deadly force was reasonable and in full compliance with the Bureau’s rules. Non-police eyewitnesses testified at great length. The arbitrator—who was hand-selected by the City to consider this important matter—conclusively ruled that Officer Frashour reasonably believed that Mr. Campbell, who had threatened “suicide by police,” was armed and was reaching for his weapon at the time Officer Frashour used deadly force.

The Court’s decision is the last in a series of independent reviews of Officer Frashour’s actions. The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training found that Officer Frashour’s conduct complied with state training standards, the Oregon Employment Department ruled that Officer Frashour had not committed misconduct, a Multnomah County grand jury declined to indict Officer Frashour, the United States Attorney General’s office found that there was no cause to believe Officer Frashour violated federal criminal laws, the Oregon Employment Relations Board upheld the arbitrator’s decision, and today the Court of Appeals again upheld the arbitrator’s decision.

The events of January 29, 2010, were a tragedy for the Campbell family and the City. It was wrong, though, to compound that tragedy with political decision-making that disregarded the facts of what occurred that night. What we need now is to focus on the process of continuing to heal our relationship with the communities we serve as we move forward.

Daryl Turner, President
Portland Police Association