Portland State University Pays Million Dollar Settlement to the Family of Jason Washington, Who Was Fatally Shot by Campus Officers

Washington was shot and killed by PSU police outside a sports bar called the Cheerful Tortoise when he tried to break up a fight.

Portland State University has agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to the family of Jason Washington, a sports bar patron fatally shot by campus police in 2018. In exchange, the family will drop its lawsuit against the school.

Washington, 45, was shot and killed by campus police outside a sports bar called the Cheerful Tortoise when he tried to break up a fight. When Washington reached for a gun that fell out of his holster, police shot him nine times. A grand jury ruled that the officers were acting in self-defense. 

At PSU, the fatal shooting of Washington, a black man, sparked protests about the presence of armed cops on campus.

Related: Portland State University Retains Armed Cops, Adds Unarmed Positions in New Campus Safety Plan

As part of the settlement, PSU will require officers to complete additional post-academy training.

"Mr. Washington's death was tragic, and our campus community mourns his loss," interim PSU president Stephen Percy said in a statement. "His death made us significantly reassess our approach to campus safety."

A portion of the settlement money will also be used to create a Jason Washington Memorial Scholarship.

"We have come to a resolution that acknowledges our profound loss," Michelle Washington, Jason's wife, said in a statement. "However, the pain and emptiness that we are consumed with daily will be part of us for the rest of our lives. Our goal is that these changes will bring about awareness and help prevent this type of tragedy from ever occurring again."

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