On July 13, President Shoureshi sent out an email to the student body stating he had signed an emergency notice that would initiate contracting of an outside consultant who will independently review the officer-involved shooting that took place at the Cheerful Tortoise on June 29.
The shooting resulted in the death of Jason Washington—a postal service worker and Navy veteran—and reignited public demands that PSU’s campus officers be unarmed. PSU’s Board of Trustees introduced sworn officers into the Campus Public Safety Office in 2015 amid a series of protests. Jason Washington was the first person to have been killed by CPSO officers since the change being implemented.
Christopher Broderick—associate vice president for University Communications—was contacted for a statement regarding any progress in the investigation. Broderick reiterated the message conveyed by Shoureshi’s email, stating, “An independent outside consultant will be contracted with for the review. That hasn’t happened yet.” This will include a review of “all the policies and procedures of the CPSO,” as well as looking into the shooting. The investigation by the Portland Police Bureau, the leading agency in the criminal investigation, is still ongoing.
“Once that [investigation] is complete, they submit evidence to the county [district attorney], who takes it to a grand jury for review to determine whether or not to indict officers of any charges,” Broderick noted. “That is standard procedure in Multnomah County for any officer-involved shooting”.
The University Public Safety Oversight Committee “will help determine the specific scope of the work to be done by the consultant and also recommend to President Shoureshi what firm or agency to contract with for the independent review.” The committee, which consists of students, faculty, staff and community members, approved the decision to add sworn officers to PSU campus on December 11, 2014.
The PPB made a statement on July 12 that there are still witnesses who have not contacted detectives. According to Broderick, PSU is currently “cooperating with Portland Police but have no knowledge of the progress of their investigation.”