#DisarmPSU protesters address Board of Trustees

Civic Affairs

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of Portland State University students who want the campus police to disarm addressed the university’s Board of Trustees at a meeting Thursday morning.

Students are pressing the university on 3 demands:

—  to immediately disarm all Campus Safety officers
— to fire the two officers who shot and killed Washington
— to create a permanent memorial for him and his family.

Many PSU faculty members attended to support the disarm movement from their students.

Student Union leaders said if the PSU Board doesn’t take action immediately, they’re going to escalate their tactics beyond Occupy PSU.

“We are prepared to take action if that happens to challenge them on that and to move forward with this campaign in whatever way is going to get us closer to winning, if that’s not in sight today,” Olivia Pace said. 

The student union has gathered nearly 6000 signatures from the campus community in support of their #DisarmPSU movement, and they delivered them by the hundreds to the board of trustees. 

At the beginning of the meeting, the PSU Board said they would keep an open mind but they don’t plan to rush a decision.

The university has contracted 2 independent experts to review the shooting in-depth and make recommendations to the board. Once they’re complete, they’ll be made available to the public.

The board will host 9 more public forums on the issue and will allow online comments on the topic.

On Wednesday night, the group held another vigil for Jason Washington, the man shot and killed by campus police officers. The June shooting happened in front of the Cheerful Tortoise,a bar just outside of campus. Officers were “justified” in the shooting, a Grand Jury ruled. 

PSU Board of Trustees Meeting is where Occupy PSU hopes to accomplish its goal: to persuade the board to disarms campus police officers. 

“We have to remember there is a solution that can come from this,” said Olivia Pace, a member of the Occupy PSU movement. “There is a way to stop this from happening again.”

KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.

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