FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 26, 2017
THE AMA COALITION CALLS ON THE CITY TO RENEW THE TERMS OF THE
CURRENT COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT ADVISORY BOARD (COAB) MEMBERS
The AMAC is "enhanced amicus" in the lawsuit pending in Oregon federal district court brought
by the US Department of Justice against the City of Portland, alleging a pattern and practice of
excessive force by members of the Portland Police Bureau against individuals in or perceived to
be in mental health crisis. The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement in 2014. A key part of
the Agreement is community oversight of the City's implementation of the Agreement, in the
form of a Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB). The COAB is made up of community
volunteers. While there have been some rough patches in the initial version of the COAB, the
AMAC affirms that continued community oversight is a vital part of this process. The current
COAB members should be appointed for an additional year, which the Settlement Agreement
permits. The City's position is that the current COAB members' terms should expire on or about
January 31, 2017.At the City's direction, the COAB is set to hold its last meeting tonight,
January 26, 2017. These COAB members have put tremendous time, energy, and effort into their
role on the COAB.
For months now, the AMAC has expressed to the City its serious concerns about the City's
planned termination of the current COAB members on January 31, 2017. The City has been
promising an improved COAB model since last Fall. But, even if the City can negotiate
amendments to the Settlement Agreement by the end of January - which appears highly unlikely
-- it will still likely be months before a new COAB can be selected, trained, and start its work.
This gap will be inconsistent with the requirements of the Settlement Agreement and further
alienate and aggravate the community.
AMAC continues to strongly urge the City to re-appoint those members of the COAB who wish
to remain to maintain connection with the community and retain institutional knowledge.
CONTACT: Dr. Leroy Haynes, 503.421.5353, Dr. T. Allen Bethel, 503.288.7241