PORTLAND -- The family of Aaron Campbell has settled a lawsuit with the city of Portland over his January 2010 death from police gunfire and Mayor Sam Adams issued an apology.
Marva Davis, the mother of the 25-year-old man shot to death during a police standoff in Northeast Portland sued the city after the shooting.
"As Mayor of the City of Portland, I would like to personally apologize to Aaron Campbell’s family, particularly to his mother, Marva Davis, and his four children," Adams said Wednesday morning, "Today’s settlement does not erase the Campbell family’s pain, nor does it bring back their father, son, brother, and cousin. And for that, I am very sorry."
A family statement said the bulk of the $1.2 million settlement payout will be placed into a trust fund for Campbell's children.
"As a mother, I regrettably do not believe my living sons are safe," she said Wednesday, "That bond of community trust has been broken. I cannot say to them that if there is a mental health crisis... 'call the police.'"
On the day of the shooting, Campbell threatened to kill himself after learning his younger brother had died from a heart condition in the hospital. Campbell came out of his apartment with his hands behind his head but was shot by a police sniper.
The lawsuit filed by attorneys James McCandlish and Tom Steenson in November 2010 alleged that the Portland Police Bureau had created an under-trained, undisciplined culture that created the circumstances in which Campbell was shot.
Steenson said Wednesday that the bureau still falls short in improvements to bureau culture and officer responses.
Officers Ronald Frashour and Ryan Lewton and sergeants Liani Reyna, John Birkinbine were named as defendants in the suit, along with the City of Portland.
Frashour was eventually cleared in the shooting, but later fired.
The incident began when police responded to an apartment in Northeast Portland on reports that a man at the apartment was despondent and armed.
Officer James Quakenbush established communication with Campbell via cell phone and text messages and then hours later, Campbell came out of the apartment, unarmed.
Court documents said that officers were yelling at Campbell as he was walking backwards with his hands behind or on his head.
Campbell was hit with beanbag rounds from a shotgun fired by Lewton. Then, he was hit by gunfire from an AR-15 fired by Frashour, according to court documents.
Reyna and Birkinbine were supervisors on the scene.
Campbell's shooting led to protests and calls for greater police accountability and improved steps in how officers respond to the mentally ill or despondent.