In a city that isn’t that dangerous or known for violence, the police are sometimes proving to be a worse threat than average criminals.
In Portland, Oregon a father and U.S. Navy veteran was shot and lost his life at the hands of police for seemingly no reason, as witnesses to the event report he was doing nothing but try to be a good Samaritan and break up a fight between a few people.
He wasn’t using it and he had a legal right to carry a firearm, but during the ordeal his gun fell out of his holster, and when he reached to pick it up the police shot him and took his life.
On Friday, the bodycam footage was finally released although the tragedy happened in June. A grand jury ruled that none of the police would be charged for the shooting of 45 year old Jason E. Washington.
He was a father to three daughters, somebody who could easily be revered in what you might call “mainstream culture,” having married his high school girlfriend, and served in the U.S. Navy, to work an ordinary job as a U.S. postal worker.
Nearby police did nothing about a fight that broke out on a street corner in downtown Portland, so the man took it upon himself to do it. The result was the police taking the life of the only person man enough to intervene (not that intervening in somebody else’s conflict is necessarily a good idea every time).
A woman named Keyaira Smith started filming the incident at the time, and she said to Oregon Public Broadcasting that she believes the man was simply “trying to be a good Samaritan,” in his attempt to stop the fight on that street corner in Portland.
When a couple Portland State University cops showed up to the scene, the witness reports they “did not appear to try and stop the fight.”
The video starts with Washington trying to calm a man in a blue shirt down, who according to Smith is responsible for the initiation of that conflict, because he was using racial slurs against a nearby Black man.
“The guy in blue had used some racial slurs earlier when they were in the street kiddy corner to where they were in this video and that’s what brought it to this point, and started the whole thing,” Smith said.
Washington was legally, openly and honestly carrying a pistol on his right hip. When he tripped, it fell out. “The gun slipped out of the holster when he had fallen, and I think he may have tried to retrieve it,” Smith said. “Then they said ‘gun.’”
If you ever heard an officer shout “GUN,” someone is about to get shot. When they spot a firearm, legal or illegal, they might do that.
Then, several shots were fired into the man and that was the end of his time on Earth.
James Dewey and Shawn McKenzie, the two people with badges who executed this man on a busy Portland street corner downtown, who dumped 17 bullets into the man are now facing no charges.
Washington’s family is left with the memory of their father, and his friend, Alyssa LeCesne, said that he will be remembered as “an upstanding man who was proud to have helped raise a household full of women,” while he leaves behind his three daughters, a 5 year old granddaughter who “worshiped the ground he walked on,” and a wife.
Michelle Washington, Washington’s widow released a statement after the grand jury let the police go:
“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. I will be looking to my attorney, Christopher Larsen, to guide us through the next steps in this process. 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.”
In other news, in case you didn’t know, recently a man in Dallas, Texas was shot and lost his life in his own apartment at the hands of a female cop, who claimed she entered the wrong apartment from hers on a different floor, and thought the man in his own home was actually in hers.
According to the New York Times:
“Officer Guyger has been charged with manslaughter and released on a $300,000 bond, and numerous questions remain unanswered as the investigation continues.”
So it’s “manslaughter” and she somehow came up with $300,000 to get out of jail. Other police who support her taking lives probably helped raise that money, it’s happened before.
If guns are banned, that means these police would be the only people to possess them. This man was exercising his right as a man to be armed, and he was trying to keep the peace without even using his weapon.