Thursday, November 15, 2012

Robert King Disappears From PPB PIO Post; Given New Assignment

Robert L King, the even-tempered poker-faced Public Information Officer for the Portland Police Bureau, has been reassigned.  KPAM asked where and was told he was now a Lieutenant in Vice as of about a week ago. No reason was given for his reassignment when asked, however King's been in the middle of a mudslide of bad PR for the cop shop since the Aaron Campbell shooting.

King was the expert regarding training at the time Officer Ron Frashour shot Campbell. King, the former head of the police officers union, initially found that Frashour's tactics were within police training and procedures but abruptly changed his story within hours. The change in the story was in line with the City of Portland's political choice to fire Frashour.

The whiplash-quick story-change by King and the City's hopeless attempt to buck the system and get rid of Frashour prompted this post by former Multnomah County Sheriff and former Gresham Police Chief Bernie Giusto in October. It's excerpted below:

Now follow the bouncing ball in the form of  the city's intent to appeal the employment reinstatement to the Court of Appeals;

  • Frashour was then fired by Mayor Adams and Police Chief Reese for acting outside of that same policy and not following those same bureau's training protocols regarding the use of deadly physical force;
  • and then reinstated to his position after an arbitrator--following Oregon law--found that the officer had not acted in a manner that ignored his policy or training;
  • and then the arbitration hearing found Frashour's actions were supported by police trainers who testified they believe he acted with the bureau's policy and his training;
  • and then Lieutenant Robert King agreed in an official police command review that not only were Frashour's actions within the policy and training....the policy left much to be desired;
  • and then--surprisingly-- he changed or was forced to change his position just before arbitration;
  • and then on appeal regarding the arbitrator's decision, the State of Oregon Employment Relations Board affirmed the arbitrator and told the city to put the officer back to work with all back pay;
  • and then the city decided to appeal to the Court of Appeals based on the "Public Interest Exception";
  • and then the Portland Police Command directly and publicly questioned the veracity (sounds like being called a liar to a cop), of the officers who testified in the arbitration process;
  • and then Lt. King's conflicting statements gets hung out to dry again on the front page without a safety net again; 
  • and then begging this question.....................HUH?

What a mess. No wonder King got the heck out of there. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Victoria,

    At least Larry O'Dea explaimed that Robert "was on a journey" from being a union president to manager. The only changes on those 5 drafts were for spelling and punctuation, not content or conclusions. I've known and worked with Robert for a long time and respect him a lot. This is such a sorry tale, I wish I had the words to describe it.

    I'd love to know the interaction between Reese and Adams on this.