Jo Ann says that the "reason behind the Alliance being formed was there was a belief that there neeeded to be an organization that didn't just come together around crisis, around police citizen crisis, but one that would be a constant force, that was there to make sure that the police were accountable to the communites that they serve."|
She cites three reports that have come out in the past year: one was done by a Los Angeles firm, looking at police shootings in custody over a five year period; the second was done by the City Club that talked about community policing and the lack thereof in the city of Portland; and the third was the one done by the Albina Ministerial Alliance Ministers after reveiwing the facts behind the Kenda James case. "All three of those reports talked about some significant changes that need to be made within the Portland Police Burueau and that need to be made with the communities support, involvement and participation."
Jo Ann states that since 1969, until the officer who killed Kendra James, no officer have never ever been found guilty of any wrong doing against a citizen. "Police officers know that there is a phrase, that all they have to say is that they were in fear for their life, and any action that they take is perfectly fine and acceptable within their rules. We believe that this is not acceptable."
So far this Alliance has over 60 organizations and 300 individuals, and has been meeting since the end of September. The next meeting is November 19, 2003 at St. Andrew Communaity Church Community Room, at NE 9th and Alberta from 6-8 pm. All are welcome to help create an organization that is accountable to the people of Portland. Portland Copwatch
Alliance for Police and Community Accountability