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Community Survey Continues to Show People of Color Fear Profiling

On March 3, Mayor Ted Wheeler's office released the second survey conducted by DHM Research required by the DOJ Settlement Agreement gauging community trust in police. Not unlike the survey contracted by former Chief Mike Reese in 2014 using Portland State University, the 2016 survey tends to put a positive spin on everything, starting with the figures that 90% of those surveyed said they would work with police to identify criminals and 89% would call police to report a crime. Lower down they note 45% of Portlanders believe police use too much force against people of color, and 44% believe they use too much force against people with mental illness (highlighted by the DOJ when they sued the City in the first place). DHM didn't seem too concerned that only 58% of people said they would call the police if someone they knew were in a mental health crisis (the same as 2015). They did note, however, that respondents were "skeptical" about Portland's system to investigate and hold officers accountable.

Another example of positive spin: DHM reports even though 40% of people think police use race and ethnicity when deciding to stop a person, while only 22% do not, "respondents did not necessarily hold negative perceptions of Portland police" because, in this case, 38% expressed no opinion. In reality, the only place where "no opinion" was equal or greater than those responding positively or negatively was in asking about reforms made to the Bureau, where 49- 61% of people had nothing to say.

Some of the more alarming, if not unexpected, results showed while only 27% of people overall felt police treat them differently because of their race, that number was 78% among African Americans and 42% or higher among Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and those of "other" races/ethnicities.

Only 29% of people thought police were receptive to complaints while 34% disagreed. Overall, DHM notes, on a scale of 1-5, the Bureau was rated at 2.9, which they called "fair performance." Actually, if you were grading, for the police to get a "D minus" they'd need a 3.5 rating.

Side note: COAB designed focus groups to be surveyed among "mentally ill, youth, LGBT, and houseless populations." The Compliance Officer/Community Liaison's revised 1st/2nd Quarter 2016 report (released March 6), says those groups met before COAB was forced into recess in August. Yet there is no mention of the existence or the outcome of those groups in the survey. The COCL posted the focus group report on April 18 after an inquiry from Portland Copwatch.

  People's Police Report

May, 2017
Also in PPR #71

Police Kill Black Teen,
  Wound White Man Same Day

  Oregon Police: 31 Shootings 2016-17
City Disbands DOJ Oversight Body
Council Hears Rare Misconduct Appeal
Changes Made to Oversight System
Protests Met with Violence or Hugs
Newspaper Shows Profiling Widespread
Survey: People of Color Fear Profiling
Problems Plague Jail, Sheriff
Training Council Focuses on Tasers
PRB Report: Officer Not Disciplined
Police Absent in Houseless Debate
PPB Asks for Policy Input Again
City, County and ICE
Quick Flashes PPR 71
  • Trooper Slaps Son, Loses Job
  • Chief, Aide Put on Leave
  • Civilian Kills Homeless Man, No Charges
  • Law Will Exclude People from Meetings
Updates PPR 71
  • Mohammed Mohamud's Appeal Denied
Rapping Back #71

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 #71 Table of Contents
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