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Police Shootings Report Again Leaves Out Issues of Race, Civilian Oversight

Los-Angeles based consulting firm OIR Group released their third broad analysis of Portland Police Bureau (PPB) shootings and deaths in late November, covering nine incidents. Once again, the report contained useful recommendations which could both reduce PPB deadly force and increase accountability measures. However, it also repeats the flaw of skipping over the important issue of race as a factor, and all but ignores the concept of civilian oversight.

In 2010, OIR did an analysis focused on the 2006 in-custody death of James Chasse (PPR #51).

Roughly 25% of people involved in deadly force incidents in Portland are black. Particularly troubling is the story of Darris Johnson, a 26 year old who ran away from a 2011 traffic stop when officers wanted to cite him for failing wear a seatbelt in the back seat, then died after complaining repeatedly he was short of breath (PPR #54). OIR does not ask if the initial stop on a "Cadillac without tail lights" was racial profiling, or whether the cops would have cited a white passenger in the back seat. PCW brought up concerns about profiling stops leading to the deaths of James Jahar Perez (PPR #57) and Keaton Otis (PPR #60) in previous OIR reports.

OIR repeats a recommendation to abandon use of the "East County Major Crimes Team," where cops from nearby jurisdictions investigate shootings. The visiting detectives are behaving worse than the PPB by asking leading questions. But OIR doesn't suggest that a non-law-enforcement body replace the investigators. The "Independent" Police Review Division, which has been going to the scene of each incident and sitting in on investigations, is only mentioned once in the report.

To see PCW's summary analysis of the report go to http://www.portlandcop watch.org/shootings_analysis_short14.html.
  People's Police Report

January, 2015
Also in PPR #64

Police Shoot Another Black Man;
  PCW Lists 101 Statewide Cases

  8 More Police Shootings in Oregon

City Appeals Judge's Order on DOJ
Body Cameras and Civil Liberties
Police Post Policies for Pushback
  New Policy Prohibits Handcuffing Minors
Board Finds Rights Violation
Report Exposes System Failures
Shootings Report Ignores Race
Updates PPR 64
  • Mohamud Sentenced to 30 Years
  • Training Council Updates
City Delays Profiling Data Release
More Misery for Pdx Homeless
Oregon Illegal Entry, Free Speech
  and No-Fly List Court Victories

Quick Flashes
  • Chief Reese Retires, O'Dea on Deck
  • Man Awarded $500K After Beating
  • Police Attack Ferguson Solidarity Protests
Rapping Back

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #64 Table of Contents
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