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End Cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force 2020

Today, September 8, 2020, 27 organizations (and two individuals) signed a letter urging Portland City Council to end all Portland Police cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Most of the groups were involved in the 2017 campaign which led to the removal of two part-time Portland Police officers from the JTTF in 2019. However, the May 2019 Council resolution allows the PPB to work with the JTTF on cases of terrorism "and/or threats to life including hate
crimes." (see  https://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/Record/12946365/ )

The new letter acknowledges the current political climate in which JTTFs
are blatantly being used to spy on Americans' First Amendment
activities.
Today, September 8, 2020, 27 organizations (and two individuals) signed
a letter urging Portland City Council to end all Portland Police
cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Most of the groups were involved in the 2017 campaign which led to the
removal of two part-time Portland Police officers from the JTTF in 2019.
However, the May 2019 Council resolution allows the PPB to work with the
JTTF on cases of terrorism "and/or threats to life including hate
crimes."
(see  https://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/Record/12946365/ )

The new letter acknowledges the current political climate in which JTTFs
are blatantly being used to spy on Americans' First Amendment
activities.

The letter is pasted in below and posted at
 http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/EndCooperationWithJTTF2020.pdf .

For more information contact Portland Copwatch at 503-236-3065 or see
 http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/pjttf.html .



-----------------forwarded message-------------------

Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2020 14:35:21 -0700
From: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>
To: Portland City Council Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty
< joann@portlandoregon.gov>, Commissioner Amanda Fritz
< amanda@portlandoregon.gov>, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly
< chloe@portlandoregon.gov>, Mayor Ted Wheeler
< mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov>
Cc: News Media < newsmedia@portlandcopwatch.org>
Subject: End Cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force 2020

End Cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force 2020

We, the undersigned, call on Portland City Council to end all
cooperation between the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and the FBI's Joint
Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), including disallowing any temporary
assignment of PPB officers to work with the JTTF. We further call for
expanding the annual reporting required by City resolution 37424
("Establish parameters of cooperation between Portland Police Bureau and
the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force") to
include the nature of closed cases referred from the PPB to the FBI,
including the demographics of persons investigated, and the disposition
of those cases, which will apply to any cases handled before the end of
cooperation. There also must be contemporaneous, oral public testimony
taken when the 2020 report is made in January.

The 2019 report [1] on JTTF to City Council said that Homegrown Violent
Extremists inspired by "global terrorist organizations such as ISIS or
Al Qaeda" were one of the JTTF's "greatest concerns." However the 2020
report [2], which included demographics and case dispositions, showed
that all cases referred by the FBI to PPB were of domestic threats by
white people, that none of the closed cases resulted in criminal
charges, and, in the cases referred to the FBI by PPB, of the known
individuals involved, there was one Black man and the others were all
white men. At the 2019 hearing on JTTF withdrawal, Portland residents
testified to the trauma caused by FBI investigations of Muslim, Arab,
and other community members, and the 2020 report showed no credible
threats of terrorism.

Since the murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests against
police brutality have been met by more police brutality. Moreover,
Attorney General Bill Barr pledged to use the nation's JTTFs to
investigate "organizers and instigators."[3] JTTFs are part of the
communication network of fusion centers that have spied on nonviolent
Black Lives Matter protests for years. The Portland JTTF is part of the
brutal system of policing that is currently the focus of protests across
the United States.

In response to attacks and civil rights violations by federal forces
deployed to Portland in "Operation Diligent Valor," City Council passed
a resolution ending cooperation with federal agencies directed here by
executive order in the operation. Some of these same agencies are
members of the Portland JTTF and can still cooperate with PPB on a
case-by-case basis. Therefore, ending cooperation with militarized
federal police is incomplete unless the City also ends cooperation with
the JTTF.

Signed,
Portland Democratic Socialists of America
Portland JACL (Japanese American Citizens League)
Portland Jobs with Justice
350PDX
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Oregon
ACLU of Oregon
PAALF Action Fund
Unite Oregon
Brandon Mayfield (survivor of illegal FBI spying)
Peace and Justice Works/Portland Copwatch
Pacific NW Family Circle
Ainsworth United Church of Christ
Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland
Empower Portland
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Portland Independent Business Bloc
Portland United Against Hate
League of Women Voters of Portland
Japanese American Museum of Oregon
Portland-Metro People's Coalition
BerniePDX
American Friends Service Committee West Region
As the Spirit Moves Us
First Unitarian Church of Portland
Portland's Resistance
Rev. Dr. Janet Parker, Senior Minister, First Congregational United
Church of Christ, Portland*
Oregon DA for the People
Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance
Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition (PIRC)

*organization listed for identification purposes

[1]  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/712408
[2]  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/752679
[3] USDOJ News release, May 31, 2020,
 https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-william-p-barrsstatement- riots-and-domestic-terrorism

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