News

Portland State and family of Jason Washington reach agreement
Author: Portland State University
Posted: December 31, 2019

 (Joint statement from Portland State University and family of Jason Washington)  

Portland State University and the family of Jason Washington have reached a settlement of their claim against the university after the 2018 shooting death of Mr. Washington by university police officers.  

Under the terms of the settlement, the family agreed not to go forward with the lawsuit and PSU agreed to pay $1,000,000, a portion of which will be used to establish the Jason Washington Memorial Scholarship. The university also agreed to require their officers to complete additional PSU post-academy training.    

“Mr. Washington’s death was tragic, and our campus community mourns his loss,” said Interim President Stephen Percy, noting that Washington was a Navy veteran and long-time U.S. Postal Service worker. “His death made us significantly reassess our approach to campus safety.”      

After the incident, PSU hired an independent public safety consultant who held numerous campus forums and produced recommendations in a lengthy report. 

In October, Percy announced a comprehensive campus safety plan. Under the plan, officers receive enhanced training that includes de-escalation techniques designed to minimize the use of force; increased oversight by a university committee made up of students, faculty, staff and community members; hiring and training new student safety ambassadors and new safety officers; expanding building security measures; and coordination between officers and professionals who provide support services and crisis intervention.  

“We are grateful that the members of the Washington family were willing to work with PSU to resolve their claims,” Percy said. “This is an important and meaningful step in the healing process for PSU.”     

Michelle Washington, Jason’s wife, said: “We have come to a resolution that acknowledges our profound loss. However, the pain and emptiness that we are consumed with daily will be part of us for the rest of our lives. Our goal is that these changes will bring about awareness and help prevent this type of tragedy from ever occurring again. We pray that no family will ever endure the pain and suffering of losing someone as irreplaceable as Jason.

“Our focus for the future will be to keep Jason’s memory alive by establishing a memorial scholarship. This will serve as a reminder of Jason’s huge impact on not only his family and friends, but the entire community. Jason is and always will be remembered as a God loving, caring family man that was a friend to all,” she said.