Gone, but never forgotten: Aaron Campbell pictured here, along with new-born daughter at the time. Date unknown.
Campbell didn't get to be quite the national galvanizing martyr that many other police murder victims would become. Nonetheless, his death was no less egregious, the circumstances no less infuriating. And here in Portland, OR, the Campbell saga stands out as one of the worse cases of sheer police menace this city has ever known. Campbell's murder has been covered here more extensively than most others have bothered to do, and with none of the racist bias that one can typically expect with corporate "news". Past entries on this can be examined HERE and HERE. Otherwise, here is a brief recap with basic facts:
On January 29th 2010 Aaron M. Campbell was gunned down by gang members of the Portland Police Gestapo(PPG). Campbell was in anguish, following the death of his brother Timothy Douglass earlier that day (due to complications from a heart transplant). A 911 call had been made later that night, reporting of a possibly suicidal man with a gun at the Sandy Terrace apartments. Within minutes, police had surrounded the apt. complex. Campbell's girlfriend and the three children they had together, were also in that apt. Police established a phone line with Campbell, and after it was determined that he had no intentions of harming anyone, he allowed his girlfriend and their children to leave the apt. Campbell then put his weapon down and agreed to leave the apt. This is the part where things get all screwed up, and to this day Portland police have never provided a clear and truthful account of what exactly happened - Campbell walked out the front door, walking backwards, hands clasped together on the back of his head. He was clearly unarmed at this point. Apparently, the cop who was on the phone with Campbell had not communicated with other police on the scene. So when Campbell emerged from the apt., it had taken several cops by surprise. Campbell was barked some orders in rapid succession. Before he even had a chance to respond, he would be shot with several "less-than-lethal" beanbag or rubber-coated rounds, shot with way more lethal live rounds, and had a K-9 sicced on him. This monumental clusterfuck would all happen in under ten seconds. Campbell's gunshot wound might not have been fatal, had he received immediate medical care. However, Campbell's limp body was instead handcuffed, and he was allowed to bleed-out for 30 minutes, while emergency medical providers were held at bay (because giving prompt life-saving treatment to someone who had just been maimed of grievously injured by police totally defeats to very purpose of police work... as we all know). Those handcuffs would not be removed from Campbell's body until his autopsy, a few days later. Funerals were held for both Campbell and his brother Timothy in February 2010. They were 25 and 23 years of age, respectively.
Justice still in wait: Local activists protest Campbell's murder, while demanding accountability for killer cops.
In the six years since Aaron Campbell's murder, much as happened with the case... very little of it positive. Many protests and civil suits have been had. A few cops were "reprimanded", a few were served suspensions, and one was even fired after months of intense community outrage and media heat. Not one single criminal charge has ever been levied against any cop involved in Campbell's murder. In fact, the very idea of an indictment has never been entertained by the local district attorney. Alas, if you are reading this then you already know that. The following is a list of the criminals who had a hand in Campbell's death:
- Officer James Quakenbush: spoke with Campbell over the phone, as well as texted.
- Officer Ryan Lewton: shot Campbell in back with beanbag or rubber-coated lead rounds.
- Officer Ronald Frashour: shot Campbell in back with AR-15 military assault weapon.
- Officer Jeffrey Elias: member of K-9 unit. Simultaneously launched his dog on Campbell, as he was being shot in the back by Frashour.
- Sergeant Liana Reyna: lead command officer who all but abandoned her post and failed to take proper charge of situation.
- Sergeant John Birkinbine: ordered Campbell out of the apt. yet failed to inform others on scene. This inept act of carelessness lead to Campbell's death, as much as the bullet Frashour put in his back.
As we all know, Ron Frashour has been the only pig to have ever received any significant punishment in this case. Every other cop involved has at best gotten an 80-hour suspension, or not faced punishment at all. The city of Portland (i.e. the TAXPAYERS) has been ordered to pay a $1.2 million wrongful death suit, filed by Campbell's family back in November 2010. Yet another multi-million dollar pay out by the city, for cops who're clearly more trouble than they are worth. Since actually charging killer cops with the felonies they commit is off the table, seems like firing these bastards would be cheaper... except not.
In December 2015, the Oregon Court of Appeals ordered the city to REHIRE killer cop Frashour... with back pay. Community members and seasoned activists alike protested this latest abortion of justice, rightfully so. More info. on these actions can be seen HERE. Video of the protest can be watched HERE. And that's it. That's just it...