The City of Portland has dropped a legal challenge to court-mandated police reforms that was to be heard before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A settlement had been reached in response to a 2012 federal investigation which found instances of excessive force by police, especially with regard to persons living with mental illness. The investigation also found improper use of stun guns. Now that the city has dropped its challenge, a hearing will be held to discuss some mutually-agreed upon amendments to the settlement agreement. The legal challenge to the settlement agreement had been made in December 2016.
The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform support the proposed amendments, but they argue that there has been too little involvement of the impacted communities, and would like those citizens to have more opportunities to voice concerns before the plan goes forward.
Changes include an 11-member panel that reports to the mayor called the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing. They would hold regular town meetings open to the public, and issue public written reports to the mayor. Another change calls for a stricter separation between Internal Affairs and criminal investigations, presumably to protect whistle-blowers in the ranks of police.
On the other hand, the reform calls for a streamlining of the review process when police commit minor infractions. As this flurry of citizen activism shows, justice and fairness do not simply appear out of nowhere. They must be fought for. An experienced Portland criminal defense attorney like Ed Kroll can help you get back to life, whether the crime of which you have been accused is a relatively minor crime, or a serious felony. Don’t leave yourself to the mercies of police and prosecutors. Get an advocate who’s fought for justice and fairness for years. The consultation is free.