Improving Police Oversight

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.

Below is an excerpt from our testimony. You can read the whole statement here.

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.

A Letter to Congress

Continuing our work for racial justice

In a June 4th email to League members, LWVUS President Chris Carson wrote:

 

The League is committed to expanding our voice beyond the statement we released last week. We are joining our partners who serve in the civil rights community in fighting for policy reform that will dismantle systematic racism. We joined coalition partners on a letter calling for congressional action on police violence, and in the weeks and months ahead, the national office will be stepping up our commitment to racial justice.

 

The coalition’s letter was sent from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and signed by over 400 organizations. LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase serves on The Leadership Conference Board of Directors.

Here are a few quotes from this letter:

“we urge you to take swift and decisive legislative action in response to ongoing fatal police killings and other violence against Black people across our country. Federal statutory reforms are urgently needed on a range of policing issues, including use of force, police accountability, racial profiling, militarization, data collection, and training.”

“Now is the time for Congress to pass meaningful police reform legislation. While we appreciate hearings and resolutions, we need comprehensive measures enacted. We need Congress to advance meaningful legislation to protect Black communities from the systemic perils of over policing, police brutality, misconduct, and harassment, and end the impunity with which officers operate in taking the lives of Black people.”