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Portland IPR and study of police arrests of houseless persons 7.26.18

We at Portland Copwatch were glad to read that your office is starting
an investigation into whether Portland Police practices toward the
houseless population display any kinds of bias. We encourage you to not
limit your investigation to the arrest data generated by the Oregonian.

Here are some other key factors to look into:
Director Severe

We at Portland Copwatch were glad to read that your office is starting
an investigation into whether Portland Police practices toward the
houseless population display any kinds of bias. We encourage you to not
limit your investigation to the arrest data generated by the Oregonian.

Here are some other key factors to look into:

--Use of Force against houseless persons
a) the PPB's figures show at a level of 44% of all force in 2017
 https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/682975
b) the COCL's report which says "transients" are 34% more likely
to experience a serious use of force
 https://www.portlandcocl.com/reports/2018/7/2/compliance-and-outcome-assessment-use-of-force-draft
at p. 60

--Use of Deadly Force against houseless persons
a) John Elifritz was shot in a homeless shelter (though he was not
himself houseless) in April 2018
b) Tyrell Johnson was houseless when shot and killed in May 2017
c) Christopher Healy was houseless when shot and killed in March 2016
d) Nicholas Davis was houseless when shot and killed in June 2014
e) Merle Hatch was houseless when shot and killed in February 2013
f) Thomas Higginbotham was houseless when shot / killed in January 2012
g) Jack Collins was houseless when shot and killed in March 2010

These are seven out of the 39 Portland Officer involved shootings since
2010, or 18%. Homeless people are said to make up about 3% of
Portland's population. These are seven of 20 people who died at the
hands of police, or 35%.

--Possible unlawful warrant sweeps
The PPB uses ATVs to go up and down the Springwater Trail (and
other locations), where they reportedly came to people's living
quarters and demanded ID, ran warrants, and arrested quite a number
of people. The use of ATVs brings to mind stormtroopers on wheels.
The ID checks and warrant sweeps seem to be targeted at persons whose
only "crime" otherwise was living outside. Thus the legitimacy of these
operations should be part of IPR's study of the arrests of houseless
persons.

--Claims of community-driven arrests
It seems unlikely that the ATV sweeps and the massive amount of
arrests based on warrants and other technicalities could really be
driven by calls from community members. This question should be
addressed in the IPR study. If it is possible to determine how
many calls or operations were prompted by businesses or business
groups like the Portland Business Alliance, that also would be
enlightening.

We will continue to provide IPR with information and questions regarding
police and the houseless community as this information becomes
available. We look forward to your response and, eventually, to the
report.

Thank you
dan handelman, Regina Hannon, Peter Parks, and other members of
Portland Copwatch
(a project of Peace and Justice Works)
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
503-236-3065 (office)
503-321-5120 (incident report line)
 copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
 http://www.portlandcopwatch.org

homepage: homepage: http://www.portlandcopwatch.org