March 30th, 2010
02:42 AM ET

Fatal police shootings spark protests in Portland

Two recent shootings led to a downtown clash between protesters and police Monday in Portland, Oregon.

Riot gear-clad officers on bicycles and horseback confronted angry demonstrators, trying to limit them to sidewalks of busy streets. Demonstrators yelled back: "Stop killing people."

The rally, one of several in recent days, was sparked by two fatal police shootings this year in Portland.

In January Aaron Campbell was shot dead by police. A grand jury statement said police had been called to do a "welfare check" on Campbell because he was distraught over his brother's death and questioned police tactics in the confrontation.

"Portland deserves better," the statement said. "Aaron Campbell deserves better."

Post by:
Filed under: Justice • U.S.
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. amaro

    the media likes to hide the full details from the public. nothing draws good ratings then a police scandal. now sadly we dont know if these officers were justified in shooting these two people, but if these officers felt their life and the safety of others were in danger, then yes i believe they had every right to shoot. people need to understand, its not like what you see on t.v, cops cant shoot the gun out of the bad guys hand. sorry, life isnt like what it is on t.v ITS THE OFFICERS JOB TO PROTECT YOUR SAFETY!!!! NOT BEING NICE TO THE BAD GUY WHO IS TRYING TO HARM YOU.

    March 30, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. daniel

    and how do you know he was the bad guy???how do you know the cop was in the right?you dont so for you to act as if all police abide by the law is just your wishful thinking you just mite be backing up the killer

    March 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. theresa

    The protests are in response to Portland police shooting an unarmed man through the back, followed by a cop blasting four 10mm rounds into a crazy elderly man who was "armed" with the x-acto knife he had been cutting himself with.

    The law of the land says that the right of the people 'peaceably to assemble, to petition their government for redress of grievances shall not be infringed.' The RIGHT shall not be INFRINGED, get it? Protest is sacred to a democratic Union.

    The Portland cops didn't just 'infringe,' they beat, shoved and arrested the assembly. Meanwhile a bank window got busted–so what?

    We should thank the protesters for their bravery, and abandon fascism.

    March 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zeek

    Obviously the first poster does not live here in Portland. That welfare check was called in because Mr. Campbell was reportedly suicidal, by his wife... So a suicidal, unarmed man was shot in the back with an assault rifle. This act was done by an officer that has already cost the city a considerable amount, seeing he had just resolved an issue from 4 years earlier of using a Taser on an unarmed whiteness who was videotaping him... So now this officer who has 2 giant black marks on his record, is acquitted by a grand jury, which instead squarely points the finger at the overall department citing "not enough, or adequate training!" To top the whole thing off! Mr. Campbell has been one of SEVERAL black males to be shot by a member of the Portland police department in recent years! As the previous poster said,” IT’S THE OFFICERS JOB TO PROTECT YOUR SAFETY!!!!” which is NOT what they are doing, thus the protests. And when the police show up with huge clubs when a mere flyswatter would work, I will refer you to the grand jury’s findings of "not enough, or adequate training!" which turns protests into riots…

    March 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NML

    When police have guns drawn they make demands, one could be shot of they don't meet those demands – this will never change. Understand this truth – choose life!

    March 31, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    It's easy to point fingers at law enforcement and frankly I'm not sure whether both of these shootings were completely necessary, in hindsight. What I take exception to is the tone of the rallies we have seen here in Portland, where police are referred to as murderers and participants in some sort of oppressive plot against the citizenry. Police work is hard, dangerous, and often thankless. People also seem to forget that in the real world, situations don't always play out in a logical and orderly way. Police confrontations often have the unfortunate ending that we have seen in these two instances, and no amount of training will ever change that. I feel this way despite being a "liberal", with no law enforcement background or ties. I think people sometimes forget that a happy ending is not always possible in these tragic scenarios.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David

    Oh please, read a police magazine. Cop culture in this country has grown into a fascistic siege mentality where "legit citizens" are anyone who complies 100% and everyone else is scum to be put down. They're completely unaccountable - mayoral control is but one scant pressure rarely applied and incredibly distant from the any directly democratic mechanism. Portland police have spent decades killing people and generally applying ridiculous force to situations in which it was obviously uncalled for. Pepperspraying 6-year-olds. The force is systemically and culturally corrupt and not a single officer has ever been held truly accountable. They may think of themselves as benevolent, but in language and action they're little more than portland's most dangerous armed gang.

    Honestly I don't even know if firing every last one of them and starting over from scratch would be enough.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Danu

    Please don't let it be forgotten that Aaron Campbell WAS SHOT IN THE BACK. How does one justify him as being a threat to an officers life?

    April 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bubba

    POLICE BRUTALITY MUST STOP!!!!!! Un-Armed men facing hardships does NOT give a police officer the right to shoot any one. . . . . .My Brother was also Shot and killed by a police officer in Utah. The officer was allowed to go back to work a month later. . . . .What upsets me the most is that there was SOOOOO MUCH of this story that was hidden and marked as the officer had the right to take my brother away from us. . . . .My brother was un- armed as well. .. . . . . .The stories told by police did not make any sense and they kept changing as time went by. . . . . .JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE! Police need to be Policed!!!!!!!!!! Stop Shooting and Killing people and their loved ones! Especially when they arent armed!!!!!! My heart goes out to Aarons Family and Loved ones! God Bless Them All and I hope Justice comes swift!

    April 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Shorty

    if you were a police man and you knew the suspect could be dangerous would you stop to give it some thought if someone was not following orders and went for something that could be a gun? If you would that decision could be your last. Dont be stupid accidents happen to those who dont follow the law. I dont feel bad to those who dont. End of story.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. jae

    Police work is tough, but to shoot anyone in the back when they are unarmed is wrong. shooting an unarmed man in the front is wrong. that is why they now carry tasers. criminials who are armed can and will probably shoot anyone so I get that, but to shoot people in the back, that is not police work. To Amaro, I understand getting the cops back but to blindly do it, means you read and watch too much Faux Nazi News. I wonder what Amaro would say about the police if his mom, dad, brother, sister, or friend was shot in the back unarmed for shoplifting. You add nothing by your comment. To believe that ALL police protect and serve is not only stupid, its stupid because you sit on your Lazy Boy in a rural area and think everything is the same in the inner city. I know there are bad guys in the inner city, but there are bad guys in rural areas that are not policed at all. when you make comments, I want to see what you say to that. Open your eyes, the world is bigger than your small town and the united states.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |