On Wednesday, October 3, the City Council voted to renew the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF) by 4-1. Commissioner Hales cast the lone vote against. As it turns out, because the PJTTF was promulgated as an emergency ordinance, a unanimous vote was required to renew it. Therefore, the PJTTF currently exists without official city sanction. Mayor Vera Katz has re-introduced it to the Council on October 10's agenda as a regular ordinance, to go up for a vote at the October 17 meeting. |
The October 3 hearing was the second to focus on the PJTTF because so many citizens signed up to comment at the first that time ran out.
The PJTTF is an official partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Portland Police Department and ostensibly exists to fight "terrorism" in Portland. But by the city's own admittance not one "terrorist" has been investigated. By contrast, the list of complaints against the PJTTF by citizens and organizations is long, and includes concerns about civil liberties, surveillance, definitions of "terrorism", and at least one instance of meddling in legal unionizing activities. Additionally, the PJTTF is not subject to any oversight whatsoever from the city, according to the city attorney.
[ Newswire report on second hearing | Newswire report on first hearing | Copwatch report on first hearing | Facts about the PJTTF ]