x Chief Tells Training Council Census Data Inaccurate, Should Not Be in Force Statistics PPR #79

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Chief Tells Training Council Census Data Inaccurate, Should Not Be in Force Statistics

At their November meeting, the Training Advisory Council (TAC) finally received word back on the recommendation they made in March asking the Police Bureau to include demographic informa- tion from the census to contextualize use of force data (PPR #77). Their request would have made it so when the public sees 25-30% of people who are subjected to force are African American, the report would show the city is only 6% black. In brief, Chief Outlaw's response was that census data are not reliable due to ten year gaps between data collection and the number of tourists and commuters who come into Portland daily. Never mind that census data are used for a Oregonlive article on Police rejecting the TAC 
recommendationsnumber of other Portland Police Bureau (PPB) reports, including for traffic stops (though those reports now also say census data don't matter--see Profiling article). It seems easy for the police to garner how many people against whom they used force had Portland addresses or not. Perhaps part of their reluctance may come from the fact that about 50% of those subjected to force are houseless or do not give them an address. Regardless, police generally do not know where a person is from when they approach and use force on them, so the demographics would still give the public a better idea of the likelihood of force being used on them based on their race. At the end of the meeting, the person who pushed hardest to include the demographics, TAC member Danielle Droppers, announced she was resigning out of frustration.

The Bureau had also responded to several of the TAC's other recommendations, mostly saying they agreed and/or were already doing what was recommended, even when the implementation didn't line up with the Council's proposal or the police claimed they can't get around to acting on the ideas due to backlog.

At the September meeting, the TAC adopted recommendations about the Bureau's Procedural Justice training, based on attending a dry run. The suggestions indicate officers aren't given enough of a variety of interactions in the single traffic stop scenario being used. They also discussed the Bureau's nascent program on officer wellness, and ideas to broaden the "emotional intelligence" ideas they discussed with the cops, which would in theory improve officers' ability to "be aware of, control and express their emotions."

At that meeting, a Bureau analyst presented a 2017 audit of the Training Division, previously summarized in Compliance Officer reports as required under the US Department of Justice Settlement Agreement. Ironically, before the discussion on use of force at the November meeting, the Bureau made a presentation on their Equity and Diversity efforts. Lt. Jeff Niiya, infamous for texting with alt-right activist Joey Gibson (PPR #77 and see Protest article), was transferred from the Rapid Response Team to be the "Force Inspector." Thus, he presented the Use of Force data for Q2 and Q3 2019 in November. While Niiya did briefly stop on his slide showing how many people of color were subjected to force, he did not engage in a long discussion about it with the Council. The PPB's general excuse is to compare the force ratio to custodies; in other words, those who are being arrested or cited are more likely to be subjected to force than the general population. But this doesn't answer the question, why are police arresting and citing so many more African Americans than is proportionate to who they are likely to encounter on any given day in 77% white Portland?

The TAC's recommendations and other information can be found at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/61449.

  People's Police Report

January, 2020
Also in PPR #79

Campaign for Accountable "Union" Contract
Compliance Officer: PPB Doesn't Have to Change
Portland Police Shoot Another Man in Crisis
  Oregon: 2 Years of 30+ Shootings Over Average of 26
Info Supports Staying Out of Terrorism Task Force
Review Committee Accepts, Challenges Findings
Police Review Board: Bait & Switch Discipline
Will New Programs Help Unhoused Community?
Apparent Racial Profiling at Climate Protest
Chief Tells Training Council: Census Data No Good
Legal Briefs: OR Supremes Throw Out Fishing Expeditions
Stop Data Reports Paint Differing Pictures
PPB Slows Down Policy Reviews
Rapping Back #79

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