The police shooting death of Aaron Campbell earlier this year touched a nerve that for some was already exposed and raw. The Grand Jury in the case took the unusual step of writing a letter to the District Attorney to explain that their sympathies were with the Campbell family, but that under Oregon law, they could not indict officer Ronald Frashour. They concluded that Aaron Campbell — and Portland — “deserved better“.
Demands for more police accountability in this case — and others, like James Chasse, who died in police custody in 2006 — have led to a proposal to strengthen the Indepedent Police Review (IPR) process. The proposed changes would replace the current Performance Review and Use of Force Boards with one Police Review Board; they would strengthen the authority of the Independent Police Review in matters investigated by the Bureau; and they would give the IPR the power to initiate its own independent investigations.
How closely have you been following the Aaron Campbell case? What has your experience been with the Portland police? Do you think the proposed changes are an appropriate response to police caused deaths like Aaron Campbell and James Chasse?
- Mary-Beth Baptista: Director of the Independent Police Review Division
- Dan Saltzman: Portland city commissioner in charge of the Police Bureau
- Dan Handelman: Co-founder and director of Portland Copwatch
Note: We played Kristian Foden-Vencil’s story about community responses to grand jury testimony from the Aaron Campbell case on today’s show. You can read a transcript of it, and hear the piece again, right here.