April 28th, 2010 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Cops and Courts

Police Bureau Backs Down: Sizer Accepts Citizen Findings on Campbell Cop's Taser Case

rosie-sizer

Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer has reversed course and says the police bureau will accept a citizen panel's findings that the officer who fatally shot Aaron Campbell wrongly fired his Taser in an earlier case.

In a brief letter (PDF) sent Tuesday to the city's Independent Police Review Division, Sizer says the bureau accepts three findings by the citizen committee. Among the three findings is one that Officer Ronald Frashour used his Taser against bureau policy.

The decision by Sizer means the citizen committee will not appeal the case to the City Council for a final decision, as the committee had planned to do, says Mary-Beth Baptista, head of IPR.

Four years before he fatally shot the unarmed Campbell in the back on Jan. 29, Frashour was involved in the May 2006 arrest of Frank Waterhouse Jr. Waterhouse was Tasered and shot with a beanbag gun without warning after he refused to drop a video camera he was using to film a police search.

Waterhouse complained to IPR. And the citizen review committee disagreed with several of Sizer's preliminary findings in the case at a hearing Feb. 17. Most significant was the citizen committee's decision on Frashour's use of a Taser. Sizer had said only that Frashour should have given a warning first, but the committee went further, concluding he should never have fired.

Sizer's decision this week to accept the citizen panel's findings reverses the bureau's previous position. At a conference hearing April 14, Assistant Chief Brian Martinek told citizen committee members the bureau refused to accept the committee's changes. The committee then voted to appeal the case to the City Council.

Now the record in the case will be changed to reflect the citizen committee's decision. But the final decision on whether and how to discipline Frashour and other officers involved falls to Sizer and Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman, not IPR.
 
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