In the early hours of Monday, November 23, 2020, Aidan Ellison was playing music in his friend's car in the parking lot of the Stratford Inn in Ashland, OR.
A 47-year-old white man escalated a confrontation with Aidan, a 19-year-old Ashland resident and a young Black man with his entire life ahead of him.
The conflict ended with the 47-year-old man shooting Aidan, who was unarmed, in the chest and killing him.
Join us this Saturday!
Over MLK Weekend, we are celebrating the life of Aidan Ellison with music, food and culture. This is a DRIVE-IN event in Ashland that will where we will gather, hear from Aidan's family and play music in our cars through KSKQ Radio.
Pictures from vigil at Jackson County Courthouse on December 2, 2020
Our community has come together to demand proper action be taken with Aidan's case.
In the following days of Aidan's death, we have seen a refusal from local law enforcement and legal services to consider racial bias in the shooting of an unarmed, Black teenager; irresponsible reporting for news outlets who initially reported on this tragedy by highlighting the positive characteristics of Aidan's murderer and ignoring Aidan's identity; and apathetic responses from these entities when their problematic behavior was brought to attention.
As such, we are calling on our fellow community members to take action in the following ways:
Join our forming Civil Remedies Team to create an independent network of community members and professionals who can support victims of discrimination and hate crimes. We are calling on doctors, writers, financial advisors, mental health
professionals, journalists, city officials, lawyers, and other invested community members who are willing to contribute to their talents to this effort. Email Kayla Wade if you are interested in this effort.
Reach out to local media and ask that they conduct an investigative series on their own station's racial bias as well as the history of race and oppression in Southern Oregon.
KOBI - General Phone: 541.779.5555 General Email:
KTVL - News Director Phone: 541.245.5604 General Email:
KMVU - General Phone: 541.772.2600 General Manager Email:
Mail Tribune - General Phone: 541.776.4411 Newsroom Email:
Daily Courier - General Phone: 541.474.3700 Front Desk Email:
Rogue River Press - General Phone: 541.582.1707 Editor Email:
Contact Ashland Police Chief Tighe O'Meara at (541) 488-2211 or to tell him the Ashland Police Department must ALWAYS look at race as a probable cause in similar incidents and to listen to and support the concerns of the Black community in Ashland. Don't forget to CC firstname.lastname@example.org!
UPDATE: On December 4, the FBI announced they will join Ashland PD in their investigation to determine the role of racial bias. We must continue to put pressure on Chief O'Meara to ensure they investigate this case thoroughly.
Contact Head Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert or Ben Lull, the attorney assigned to this case, at (541) 774-8181 or and to request they investigate this matter as a Hate Crime and that the Jackson County District Attorney's office train an attorney to deal with these investigations where racial bias may be involved.
UPDATE: Elected District Attorney Beth Heckert has said that she would supervise this case and have all decisions and investigations run by her thanks to the community's requests. We will continue to monitor the DA's progress in appropriately prosecuting this case.
Contact US District Attorney Billy Williams of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon at (541) 776-3564 and and request that they also open an investigation into this Hate Crime and into the possession of a firearm by someone prohibited from possessing them by law.
UPDATE: An Assistant United States District Attorney from Medford, who is being closely supervised by the Eugene office, has been assigned to fully investigate this case. An FBI agent has also been assigned and is investigating.
REMEMBER: If the phone doesn't work, use their email!
These efforts have been organized collectively by the Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity, the Law Office of Justin Rosas, Student Activist Coalition at SOU, Rogue Action Center, Rogue Climate, and individual community members.