Family of man killed in police shooting at PSU say they are 'disgusted' with university

DisarmPSU rally in Pioneer Square on Sunday, July 1, 2018 - KATU photo from Keaton Thomas

The family of the man killed by Portland State University campus police officers said they are "disgusted" with the university during a student-led rally to disarm campus police officers.

Family identified the man as Jason Washington. He was shot by campus police officers during a confrontation early Friday morning near SW Broadway and College Street, right outside a student dorm.

READ MORE: Friends say man killed by PSU campus police was a veteran, father, and grandfather

Witnesses told KATU News the man was attempting to break up a fight when the gun in his waist band holster fell on the ground. The said he attempted to pick it up when officers fired.

Sunday afternoon, members of the school's student union held a rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

"All witness accounts say that he was trying to deescalate the fight and that his gun fell out and it was an accident. There's nothing to indicate he did anything wrong," said Olivia Pace, a member of the Portland State Student Union.

A large group of family members showed up to the rally, standing silently in the back, holding pictures of Jason.

"His wife lost a husband, his three daughters lost a father, granddaughter lost a grandfather. Friends lost friends. I graduated from Portland State University and I am disgusted," said Andre Washignton, Jason's brother.

Close friends and coworkers also came to the rally.

“There is no compensation that will equal this incalculable loss for his wife, his daughters, granddaughters, family and his friends,” said Melinda Leiva, a close family-friend.

PSU campus security began carrying weapons in July 2015. Students pushed against the new policy and protested the decision in 2015.

"This is the exact reason why we didn't want campus security armed. When we found out that it had resulted in fatal consequences we were so disgusted and sad," Pace said.

Students plan to meet at Pioneer Courthouse Square at 5 p.m. and possibly march to the Campus Security Office.

Below is a full statement from Portland State University sent out just before Sunday's rally:

Portland State University supports the right of individuals and groups to organize and participate in peaceful protests. PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi said Friday that he recognizes there are questions and concerns about the fatal officer-involved shooting, and the university is fully cooperating with the Portland Police Bureau's investigation.

In addition, President Shoureshi has requested the Campus Public Safety Chief to conduct a thorough internal assessment and evaluation of the incident as well as our policies and procedures.

This is the first officer-involved shooting at Portland State.

The PSU Board of Trustees approved a sworn armed campus police force in December 2014 to address safety concerns and improve university security. Trained police officers were added to the Campus Public Safety Office six months later.

A task force on campus safety of administrators, faculty and students made that recommendation after months of study and public and campus input. The University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University also have armed police officers.

Prior to 2015, PSU was the only public university in the United States with more than 15,000 students that did not have sworn police officers.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off