Campus Officers in Oregon Justified in Shooting

Campus Officers in Oregon Justified in Shooting

Portland State University police officers will not face criminal charges following fatal shooting.

A grand jury in Oregon has determined that two Portland State University police officers should not face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a man outside a Portland bar. The bar is located near campus.

The grand jury deliberated for two days before finding James Dewey and Sharn McKenzie should not face criminal charges stemming from the June 29 incident. The man was legally armed and the focus of the case centered on whether PSU officers should be carrying weapons.

Jason Washington, 45 years old and a Navy veteran, was shot and subsequently died. His widow, Michelle Washington, said in a statement that her family was disappointed and would consult with a private attorney about their next steps. Protests from the shooting centered on PSU’s 2014 decision to arm campus security police officers despite concerns from the student body.

"We want those responsible for the death of my husband to be held accountable," she said. "We will always remember and love Jason and know he was needlessly killed while attempting to keep the peace."

PSU president Rahmat Shoureshi said the death has shaken all involved. "My hope is that our actions following this tragedy will help make our campus and community a safer place for years to come."

Shoureshi invited students and community members to attend an Oct. 4 trustees meeting, and the PSU Student Union said its members would be there in force. They are also planning a rally later this month.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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