This excellent video adds valuable information to our study of Portland Police Oversight. Listen as three expert panelists explain the problems we face and the work being done on these difficult issues. The speakers also use slides and stories to make their points.
Attorney Carol Johnson reviews some of the main points in the study.
Training Advisory Council Chair Shawn Campbell talks about the progress made so far. He also addresses the remaining issues of inequity, use of deadly force and lack of transparency.
Then, Representative Janelle Bynum highlights the work of the Oregon Legislature in 2020 and 2021 to address police accountability.
Finally, all three speakers answer questions from the audience to round out the discussion. Click the arrow below to view the video.
This program is also being rebroadcast on public access TV channels. See the schedule below for dates and times.
Speaking out again for better community oversight of police
The Portland League has sent testimony to the City Council, supporting Commissioner Hardesty’s proposed charter amendment on police oversight. The City Council will discuss this proposal on Wednesday, July 29, at 3:30.
Although we recognize that it will take more than a charter change, this proposal has the potential to bring us much closer to the type of system envisioned by the majority of Mayor Katz’s workgroup in 2000. That workgroup called for an independent civilian agency guided by a community board with the power to investigate complaints of police misconduct, compel officer testimony, and make policy recommendations to the police bureau and city council.
In addition, the League’s testimony recommends building on the successful parts of our current oversight system. We also believe that improving the current system requires input from the community.
On July 1, 2020, The Oregonian published an “IN OUR OPINION” piece by LWV of Portland Action Chair, Debbie Aiona, and founding member of Portland Copwatch, Dan Handelman. The Portland League and Portland Copwatch have been working to improve police oversight for decades. In their Opinion article, they recommended changes to make the system more effective. These would give more power to Portland’s Independent Police Review (IPR) office and its Citizens Review Committee (CRC).
Ensure that in addition to being able to subpoena civilians and documents, IPR has the power to compel officers to testify or face discipline if they refuse. The office also should be given the authority to access all relevant police files.
Empower IPR to investigate incidents in which police officers use deadly force, and give survivors or their family members the right to appeal their cases to the IPR’s Citizen Review Committee.
Empower the CRC to review cases based on whether the majority of the evidence supports a given finding, rather than having to defer to police bureau decisions.