People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Following the mistrial in her lawsuit against the Portland Police in December (PPR #67), Lisa Haynes lost the re-trial that was held in January. Haynes had been stopped by
Officers Greg Baldwin and Justin Winkel on suspicion that she was a five foot-four inch Latino male suspect who'd been rifling through mailboxes, even though she is a four foot-ten inch African American woman. According to the Oregonian (January 23), Haynes plans to appeal the jury's verdict that Baldwin did not violate her rights.
Since the Mayor of Portland usually takes on the role of Police Commissioner, the issue of police accountability has come up repeatedly on the campaign trail this year. Some candidates are talking about hiring more cops than necessary (see "Rapping Back"), some explicitly want to get rid of the "48-hour rule" and some are not sure. There are too many candidates on the May ballot for PCW to sum up all their positions.
Even as the New York Times published an excellent on-line "test" showing how subjective and unreliable police body cameras can be (April 1), Portlanders are supposed to be receiving a package from the Police Bureau soon that shows both their proposed policy for bodycams and a budget to pay for them. PCW continues to take a neutral stance on the cameras but believes that City Council should vote not just on the budget but on any proposed policy. In a March 25 editorial, the often conservative Oregonian called for the policies to be decided clearly and the money to be budgeted properly, stating "Portland needs to do this right, or not do it at all."
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.