Fire Frashour Campaign Pissed but Not Surprised.
Portland, Oregon - Today the Fire Frashour Campaign released a statement concerning the reinstatement of Portland Police Officer Ronald Frashour. In 2010, Fire Frashour waged a community campaign to get Office Frashour removed from the Portland Police force, to strike the arbitration clause from the Portland Police Association's contract, and to keep the negotiations between the city and PPA open to the public. Below is their statement:
On Friday, we learned that Ronald Frashour, the Portland police sniper who murdered Aaron Campbell in 2010 is being reinstated. While we are disgusted and appalled at this news, we are not surprised.
The Fire Frashour campaign predicted when he was fired that he would return.
Frashour follows a long line of killer cops who murdered and got away with it. During the last 15 years, no Portland police officer has lost his job for killing someone.
There is plenty of blame to go around. The District Attorney is guilty because he didn't secure an indictment, despite the fact that Frashour shot and killed an unarmed man who posed no threat and wasn't even suspected of a crime. The Portland Police Association is guilty, because they defend abusive cops no matter what the circumstances. The City Council is guilty, because they approved a new police contract continuing the arbitration clause that guarantees that killer cops will return to the force.
Mayor Adams and Police Chief Reese have washed their hands of the situation. They claim that, though they tried to get Ronald Frashour fired, they just couldn't manage it. In the end, the two officials who are supposed to hold police accountable could not do so. In effect, the police have the power to kill innocent people with no fear of discipline.
The bitter truth is that this problem goes beyond this case, and beyond Portland. The shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida and of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. in New York point to a deeper truth about policing in this country. Police are not here to serve and protect everyone. Their jobs are to serve and protect a very specific race and class of people and the rest of us who don't fit into that group find ourselves as suspects, criminals, and many times victims. In Trayvon Martin's case the police refuse to arrest his killer. In the case of Kenneth Chamberlain - which in so many ways resembled that of Aaron Campbell - the murderers, the police themselves, walk free. All of these cases show that the criminal justice system in no way values the lives of Black people. We do not live a "post-racial" society but rather in a country where your race can determine whether you live or whether you die.
Those of us who are not served and protected by the police need to create our own safety and accountability. The words that The Skanner published on February 15, 2010 still ring true: "[We] simply have to warn our readers away from calling the police when they are in a crisis situation. We cannot have faith that innocents won't get caught in the firing line when trigger-finger officers arrive in force. We need to start solving our own problems ... There is a sense in the community of desperation at this situation never seems to change because there are no consequences to the officers who do the shooting."