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Grand Jury Releases 'Explanatory' Letter In Campbell Shooting Case

The grand jury that looked into the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Portland, took the unusual step of releasing an explanatory letter  Thursday.

As Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, the jurors say that while police actions were within the letter of the law, what happened was "outrageous."

The jurors said they found the shooter — officer Ronald Frashour — to be an honest young man. And they agreed he genuinely believed Aaron Campbell was armed and running for cover so as to fire on police.

But they also say Frashour was not well enough informed of on-going negotiations with Campbell — for example, he didn't know Campbell had specifically said he was not going to hurt anyone.

The jurors also wondered why they heard testimony from 30 witnesses but not the sergeant in charge of the scene.

They wrote that Campbell died because of flawed police policies, incomplete training and poor communication.

Multnomah County district attorney, Mike Schrunk, has asked the judge to release a transcript and recording of the grand jury proceedings.

Members of Portland's black community say local efforts to stop police shootings of unarmed people haven't worked — and they're planning to contact the federal department of justice for help.


Read the grand jury's letter (.pdf)