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PSU Shooting Aftermath: Rallies, Demands and a Vigil for the Victim

Students and community members are working hard to #DisarmPSU as they protest, list their demands and remember the man who was shot and killed.

PSU Shooting Aftermath: Rallies, Demands and a Vigil for the Victim

The march began where Jason Washington was shot and continued through campus, ending outside of the building the protesters will occupy until their demands are met. Image: iStock.com/Oinegue

When Jason Washington was shot and killed on June 29 by two Portland State University (PSU) campus police officers, it was not only a tragic death but the re-opening of PSU’s decision to give their officers firearms.

This decision was made back in 2014, despite the majority of students being against the idea.

Since the shooting, footage from the officers’ body cameras has been released, that showed what happened the night Washington was fatally shot by two PSU campus police officers.

The officers, Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey, were cleared of all charges by a grand jury.

On Monday, which was also the first day of the fall term at PSU, a rally was held outside campus safety offices, reports Oregon Live.

It was led by the PSU Student Union, who has been vocal about their concerns on arming campus police officers since the decision was made.

They have created a campaign called, “#DisarmPSU,” in an effort to get the guns off campus.

It was reported that members of the Washington family attended the rally as well.

“His motto was God, family, friends and country,” Michelle Washington, the victim’s wife, said. “He was our everything. He was needlessly and violently taken from us.”

Rally participants began their march where Washington was shot and ended at the student recreation center where the university’s board of trustees meets.

It was earlier reported that the board had planned to meet about the subject of arming campus police officers on Oct. 4.

Once the march ended, rally leaders announced their intentions to occupy the area in front of the building in protest.

“This is where we’re putting our foot down,” said activist Alyssa Pagan. “Please stay as long as you can.”

The group has listed three demands, reports Fox 12 Oregon.

The three demands include:

  1. Disarming PSU campus police officers
  2. Firing the two officers involved in the shooting of Jason Washington
  3. Placing a permanent memorial to Jason Washington on the PSU campus

On Monday night, a vigil was held for Washington. Family, students and community members honored him with candles and a moment of silence.

The occupiers say they will remain outside the building until the board of trustees meeting next week.

About the Author

Katie Malafronte
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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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