Please come out next Wednesday, March 31 to City Hall (1221 SW 4th Av) for
the continuation on the hearing regarding strengthening the "Independent"
Police Review Division (IPR). There will be public testimony allowed--it's
just not clear whether the people who spoke on the 18th will be able to
We're still trying to make sense of the fact that a Portland Police
Officer shot and killed a homeless man carrying what's been described as a
crafts knife inbetween the historic March 18 first hearing about
strengthening the IPR (the professional office in the Auditor's portfolio
that includes the city's "police review board," the Citizen Review
Committee) and the continuation of that hearing, which is coming up next
While some of the concerns we raised in our email last Tuesday about the
ordinance have been addressed, there are still shortcomings that we hope
can be ironed out in the 90 days this ordinance gives for "stakeholders"
to come up with more changes to make the IPR better and stronger.
For now, the indication is that by postponing the vote, Commissioner
Leonard may be able to secure a 5-0 vote. That is not only an important
political statement, but it also allows the ordinance's emergency clause
to kick in and go into effect right away.
I can say that I hope this gives the City more resolve to make it 100%
clear that the new powers being given to the "Independent" Police Review
Division (IPR) in the ordinance, which will allow them to investigate
or oversee investigations on any police-citizen interaction that generates
a complaint, will include shootings and deaths in custody. (The place for
the Council to resolve that issue, unfortunately, is in the bargaining
sessions with the Portland Police Association, as the "union" contract is
the only place it's currently written that the City acknowledges the IPR
does not have jurisdiction over these events.) The PPA contract also
indicates that only other police officers can ask questions to cops
accused of misconduct; that needs to be changed for IPR to be able to
conduct fully independent investigations.
We'll try to get some other talking points out in the next few days, but
the short of it is, this ordinance is a strong step in the right
direction, we have a chance to make it even better with the 90 day review
clause, and we need someone who's going to hold the police accountable for
individual cases of wrongdoing as well as fixing up poor training and
policies at the Bureau.
Hope to see you there, please spread the word!!!
(a project of Peace and Justice Works)
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065 (office)
(503) 321-5120 (incident report line)