Redefine the Portland Police
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has a well-documented history of racism and excessive violence that has gone unchecked without accountability. We need to redefine their roles and responsibilities in Portland and reinvest money and resources elsewhere to serve the communities that live here. The current police charter gives wide berth to the actions of officers and incident commanders to use violence as they see fit. Black people are twice as likely to be stopped and make up approximately one third of citizens being shot by police, despite being only 6% of the population in a city that is over 70% white. Now, as protesters around the world are raising awareness of police violence against Black community members in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the PPB is indiscriminately launching tear gas at demonstrators and using excessive force tactics each and every night. It’s time the charter and directives focus on valuing human life over public property; helping people in crisis instead of viewing them as a threat; removing racists, antisemites, islamophobes, and other hateful persons from the force; and making each officer fully accountable for their actions. Now that the contract has been extended until July 2021 and new negotiations start in January. We have a lot of work to do. We demand that no new police contract be negotiated until: The Police Charter and Directives are reviewed and rewritten by a task group consisting of local BIPOC organizations and community advocacy groups along with experts in: restorative justice, violence de-escalation, and mental health. How can you help?