A year ago, January 29th, Aaron Campbell was shot and killed by Portland police. He was unarmed and mentally distraught — his younger brother had died of heart and kidney failure earlier that day. Campbell’s death set off an uproar, especially among Portland’s African Americans. Soon after, City Hall was besieged by angry protesters and Reverend Jessie Jackson flew to Portland to demand accountability and reform within the Portland Police Bureau.
Central to the debate is the question over the police’s use of lethal force. 2010 would see three more police shootings before the year’s end, spurring some public perception that Portland officers use excessive force. A group at the forefront of the debate is the Albina Ministerial Alliance, led by Reverend T. Allen Bethel. Among its recommendations for reforming the police bureau, the Alliance called for changes in Oregon law on the use of deadly force by police.
Are you a police officer? Do you live in a community fraught with tension between citizens and police? What do you think has changed about police actions in the last year?