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police / legal may day 2001-2012

Whose Streets? -- Recommendations to the Portland Police Bureau for Responding to First Amendment Assemblies

The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center and the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild work together to safeguard the rights of political activists in Portland. At every major demonstration in downtown Portland, legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild take to the streets to walk alongside protestors, documenting incidents of police misconduct. In addition, National Lawyers Guild legal workers and attorneys volunteer their time to defend the rights of individuals arrested at protests. The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center investigates protestors' complaints of police misconduct.

In the sections that follow, this report provides a chronology of Portland Police Bureau tactics during protests in Portland over the past decade. The report also analyzes the Portland Police Bureau crowd control and use of force policies as they relate to these tactics. Finally, the report concludes with a series of specific recommendations for changes in Portland Police Bureau policy.

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AUDIO FILE: Whose Streets?

Today, May 1, 2007, the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center and the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild released the report, "Whose Streets? Recommendations to Improve the Portland Police Bureau's Response to First Amendment Assemblies."

The report was released at a Press Conference, moderated by Alejandro Queral, Director of the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center. Alejandro spoke briefly about why these recommendations are necessary. "The report presents recommendations on what the Police Department needs to do to improve it's crowd control tactics. Over the years we have seen time and again the Portland Police Bureau using excessive force against protesters, ranging from just a show of force all the ay to using impact munitions, such as bean bags and rubber bullets. There have been a number of incidents over the years involving pepper spray...we have also seen the use of mounted patrol as crowd control tactics which have resulted in injuries, panic by the crowd and adverse reactions by the crowd."

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Companion Video to Recommendations (via youtube)