Grand Jury Declines to Indict PSU Campus Police Officers In Fatal Shooting That Killed A Man In Front Of The Cheerful Tortoise

Students called for PSU to disarm campus police and erected a memorial in front of the Cheerful Tortoise in the weeks after the shooting.

A grand jury declined to indict two Portland State University police officers who shot and killed a man outside of the Cheerful Tortoise, a downtown bar, on June 29.

Officers Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey were placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.

A bystander told reporters that Jason Washington, 45, had been trying to break up a fight in front of the bar when police showed up. In the skirmish, Washington's gun was knocked out of a holster on his waist. He bent down to pick it up.

Someone shouted "Drop the gun" before McKenzie and Dewey fired their guns, striking Washington and killing him.

In the aftermath of the shooting, students called for PSU to disarm campus police and erected a memorial in front of the Cheerful Tortoise.

"Although my family and I are disappointed the PSU officers will not face criminal charges, we appreciate the hard work of those serving on the grand jury," says Jason Washington's wife, Michelle Washington. "We want those responsible for the death of my husband to be held accountable. We will always remember and love Jason and know he was needlessly killed while attempting to keep the peace."

Her attorney says the Washington family intends to pursue a civil lawsuit against the officers.

"I respect the decision of the grand jury," says lawyer Christopher Larsen. "I, along with our team of lawyers and experts, will now have an opportunity to review all the evidence that has been obtained and developed by law enforcement and the District Attorney's office. We intend to vigorously pursue legal action against those who are responsible for this tragic death."

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