Mayoral Candidate Tom Potter has positioned himself as a progressive with a vision. Former Portland Police Bureau Chief Tom Potter has cast himself as a populist. He has spoken about his vision for "Community Policing" and how it was lost in recent years to a more militarized model. |
The truth is somewhat different. Potter while giving lip service to putting more cops on the street, gave Portland (and much of the Nation) a more militarized model of the police. Under his direction the paramilitary branch of the Portland Police Bureau grew by almost as much as 3000%, and the number of patrol officers shrank in proportion to the population of Portland. Shootings by police were epidemic, and were characterized by unusually large discharges of bullets - the FBI statistics at the time put us at the third highest in the nation.
In addition to this, there was a blatant disregard for the rights of protest. In addition to demonstrations marked by liberal use of sweeps and pepper spray, there were scandals involving illegal infiltration and surveillance of legal peaceful protesters.