Portland Police Hide Fact that 64% of Gang Enforcement Stops Are of
Sometime in the last few weeks, the Portland Police Bureau quietly posted
the 2015 annual report on traffic stops data. Not surprisingly, the stops
continue to reflect that African Americans, who make up 6% of Portland's
population, make up a disproportionate number of stops (13%). The data
also again show that in general, African Americans are found with less
contraband on them when they are searched (85% as often as whites). But
buried deep in the report is a statistic that the Bureau was so afraid to
publish that they subtracted the information instead of isolating it:
64% of the Gang Enforcement Team's stops are of African American drivers.
Portland Copwatch (PCW) had to calculate the last two figures. The report
only shows searches by Traffic officers for 6 months while the Patrol
officers have one year of data, and the Gang Team's stops are not listed out.
Instead, they subtracted the GET's data from the North Precinct data,
concluding that "The Gang Enforcement Team stops had a minimal impact on
the racial disparity in Patrol stops of drivers in North Precinct." This
is mildly surprising since the overall stop rate for N. Precinct is 27%,
over twice as high as the citywide rate. The GET's 64% rate is astounding
considering that the 2013 date showed that Team stopping African Americans
just 38% of the time.
The raw numbers:
GET stops total: 340 (7971-7631)
GET stops of African Americans: 216 (2243-2027)
The Bureau has been releasing quarterly data with no public feedback while
the Community Police Relations Committee has been on hiatus since March of
this year (after only meeting that one time after September 2015). The
CPRC had requested that the GET data be separated out. In doing so, it
should have been clear to the Bureau that did not mean excluding GET data
from other information.
Portland Copwatch calls on the Bureau to live up to its promise to examine
institutional racism and reissue the report with active, useful data.
PCW published the gist of this information in its new September 2016
newsletter, the People's Police Report #69, and we believe we're the first
to report on the data since its July 13 publication date (though it was
posted on line later than that).
The PPB report can be found at
For more information contact Portland Copwatch at 503-236-3065
(a project of Peace and Justice Works)
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065 (office)
(503) 321-5120 (incident report line)