Portland State University students in the state of Oregon have organized a rally to demand that officers responsible for on-campus security be stripped of their weapons. This is on the heels of what many have considered the wrongful shooting of a black man named Jason Washington. Both officers were tried and recently found not guilty by a jury who claimed the officers were acting in self-defence.
The students have demanded that all officers responsible for campus safety be disarmed, that the officers involved in the shooting of Jason Washington be fired, and that a memorial to Jason Washington be erected on the campus.
Both of the officers involved in the shooting have returned to work after being cleared of all charges, though will now be undertaking mostly administrative work. Many of the students and special interest groups that are protesting the return of these officers as well as armed security claim that Jason Washington was only trying to break up a fight and that the shooting was not warranted. This is a misleading oversimplification.
The body cam footage of the incident shows men fighting outside of a bar, and one man immediately going to the police to tell them that Jason had pulled a gun on them. Jason Washington continues to fight with the men outside the bar, even after police make themselves seen, and even pull back on Jason demanding he stop the aggression. He subsequently fell on the ground, and the gun he had a permit to carry fell out of his holster. Police told him to stay down and not to touch the weapon, even warning by yelling “we will shoot you.” Jason proceeded to try and grab his gun, and police opened fire.
Watch the video below (WARNING: Graphic Material):
The claim that disarming officers would make students safer is patently untrue. On campuses of certain sizes, controlling who walks onto University Property can be tremendously difficult. Not having armed officers would make University grounds tremendously vulnerable to crime and attacks, not to mention that using Jason Washington’s shooting to defame two police officers who acted accordingly to push an agenda is inappropriate, to say the least.