U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
(D-Ore.) today received word that the FBI is on the case in the Jan. 29 fatal shooting of Aaron Campbell
by Portland police. Campbell was unarmed when he was shot in the back outside a Northeast Portland apartment.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich
assures Wyden in a letter
(PDF) dated April 12 that the FBI has been asked to open an investigation. He says the results of that probe will go to the DOJ's Civil Rights Division for review.
"You can be assured that if the evidence shows that there is a prosecutable violation of any federal criminal civil rights statutes, appropriate action will be taken," Weich writes.
As the letter explains, Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman
asked Wyden and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer
(D-Ore.) to have the feds conduct an independent investigation. The police bureau meanwhile says it is performing its own internal probe.
"Much of our enforcement activity relates to the investigation and prosecution of deprivations of civil rights under color of law," Weich writes about his work at the Civil Rights Division's criminal section. "These matters generally involve allegations of excessive physical force by law enforcement officers."