Portland State University police officers shot and killed a man early Friday morning during a dispute near the Oregon campus. In video of the shooting, Jason Erik Washington appears to have been attempting to moderate the situation, keeping the it from breaking out into a brawl.
Jason Washington has since been been identified as a concealed carry permit holder. The Navy veteran apparently dropped his carry gun during the melee and was shot by the PSU officers when trying to pick it up.
Campus police officers Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey were in the area early in the morning on June 29 when a fight erupted outside of the Cheerful Tortoise, a Portland, Oregon, sports bar. Washington attempted to break up the fight, according to KOIN-TV.
Video footage shows what appears to be a black object attached to Washington’s right side as he’s seen pulling one man off another. Two PSU police officers can also be seen.
“The handgun slipped out of the holster when he had fallen, and I think he may have tried to retrieve it,” Keyaira Smith said. “Then they said ‘gun.’”
That’s when campus public safety officers fired, she said.
The camera turns away when cries of “GUN” are heard and the shots ring out.
PSU officials are already preparing to defend the university against a lawsuit. Campus public safety office leaders convened a closed-to-the-public executive session Friday afternoon to discuss potential litigation. The session came even as leaders knew little about the victim, other than that he likely wasn’t a PSU student.
Multiple agencies, including the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau Homicide Detail, are conducting an investigation into the incident. PSU and PPB law enforcement agencies have not officially identified Washington or provided many details about the incident.
Students are now demanding that Portland State disarm their campus police force officers.
The Portland State University Student Union is calling on the University to disarm campus officers with a rally scheduled for Sunday — the three-year anniversary of when the university first armed Campus Public Safety Officers.
The university’s board of trustees cast a controversial vote in 2014 to employ sworn armed police officers for campus safety.
“Everyone who has expressed dissent over the years to the arming of CPSO and creation of a police force knew that one day this decision would result in deadly violence, and we know that it will continue to happen so long as campus security remain a deputized and armed police force,” PSUSU wrote on its Facebook page. “There’s no way around it – this is how policing works.”