Editor’s Note: We are publishing this letter at the request of the Associated Students of Lane Community College Student Government. The views and opinions expressed within do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch or its editorial board.)

We, the Associated Students of Lane Community College Student Government
(ASLCCSG), stand in solidarity with the Portland State University Student Union
(PSUSU) and their requests to Portland State University in response to the fatal
shooting of Jason Washington by two PSU campus police officers. The shooting
further fueled protests against a policy the school implemented in 2015 to arm part of
their campus safety force as sworn officers. Their requests are as follows:

“We, the Portland State University Student Union will be occupying the space
directly in front of the Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) on PSU’s campus at
633 SW Montgomery St. until;
1. PSU immediately disarms all of their campus public safety officers
2. PSU fires officers Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey, the two officers who
murdered Jason Washington
3. PSU creates a permanent memorial for Jason Washington, and allow this
process to be led by the Washington family”

Of the 17 shots fired by the two campus police officers, 9 struck Jason, and the
other 8 bullets flew down the street toward campus, demonstrating the use of
excessive force and the irresponsibility of the officers in this situation. The US
Department of Justice has released reports of investigations into police brutality in
cities across the country, including Portland, Oregon. These reports have shown
patterns of abuse and excessive force by police officers, particularly against people of color and people with disabilities. These communities deserve equal protections and
equitable support from those sworn to protect.

We, the ASLCC Student Government, believe it is in the best interest of
students to refrain from arming campus safety officers with lethal weapons. Feeling
safe on campus is an integral part of every student’s ability to learn & the presence of
armed officers on campus can disproportionately affect the safety of students of
color, victims of gun violence, and students with disabilities. Students deserve an
inclusive and equitable campus where they can feel safe and supported so that they
may be successful in achieving their dreams.

As fellow Oregon student body representatives, and representatives of
students who may transfer to PSU, we stand in solidarity with PSUSU in doing what
they feel is best to support the safety and success of the students they represent. We
commend those leading the #DisarmPSU movement and all those taking part in the
occupation for the amount of organization & dedication that goes into standing up for
the best interest of students and demanding justice for victims of police brutality.
Our hearts go out to the family of Jason Washington and all those affected by this
tragic situation.

In Solidarity,

Keely Blyleven
ASLCC President
And The Associated Students of Lane Community College Student Government

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