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Outlaw's Outpost
New Chief Talks About Being a Mom and a Cop While Taking Heat from Local Paper

As reported in PPR #72, Mayor Ted Wheeler appointed a Deputy Police Chief from Oakland to lead the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). What the community has learned about Outlaw has mostly come from her resume, her quick interviews with the media in the first days of her tenure, a clip of her playing "Wheel of Fortune" as a college student, and her actions in the ensuing weeks.

A flashpoint came when the City Council considered creating a Deputy Chief position on October 25. While some raised concerns about the potential cost, Portland Copwatch (PCW) noted that under Larry O'Dea, there were four Assistant Chief positions, which Chief Marshman scaled back to three. In other words, the police should be able to find money to fund the position. Additionally, from an institutional standpoint, it makes sense that rather than have one of the Assistant Chiefs leave their posts (heading up the Operations, Investigations or Services branches), a Deputy Chief could step in and act as Chief when she is incapacitated, out of town, or even just to relieve the 24/7 nature of the job. PCW sent an email giving our analysis to City Council ahead of their vote. At the hearing, after several community members testified in opposition, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly noted PCW's support of the idea into the record. Mayor Wheeler wasn't there, so the presentation to Council was made by his aide, and the position was presented as being important to Outlaw personally-- putting all the burden of why this was being done on the new Chief rather than making the institutional analysis or owning it in the Police Commissioner's office. The head of Human Resources and Commissioner Nick Fish, however, noted that most Bureaus have Deputy Directors to step in in their absences so it makes sense even on a broader scale-- not just for the police.

Within her first few weeks, Outlaw attended classes at the State Police academy and took other measures to be certified as a law enforcement officer in Oregon. On October 25, the third young African American man of 2017 was shot by the PPB, his name was not released for nearly a week, and the Chief deferred comment while the investigation was ongoing (p. 1).

Going a bit overboard, the Oregonian took to its editorial page on November 1 with the headline "A disappointing start," saying Outlaw or the Mayor should have presented on the new position (she was at a police chiefs' conference). Apparently they were unaware that the vote taken that day was to approve the position ahead of the fall budget bump discussion two weeks later on November 8, and in order to put in a request for funds (which, by the way, wasn't approved), there were not many choices on when to bring it up. They also criticized her for not stepping up around the shooting. However, half of the editorial board is made up of white men who may not recognize that an African American woman may be facing serious challenges taking on the role as the head of a militaristic old-boys' agency. For her part, Outlaw told a group of Women of Faith that she caused alarm in Oakland when she told other cops she feared for her teenage sons' safety when they were out in the streets, noting that she can hold in her head both the idea of being a police officer and the reality of how police treat the black community (SixTen Visuals, November 29).

PCW got on a waiting list to meet with the Chief back in September. We will report back once we the meeting happens.

  People's Police Report

January, 2018
Also in PPR #73

PPB Shoots 3rd Young Black Man in 2017
  25 Oregon Deadly Force Incidents About Average
PPB Drops "Gang List", Releases Data
Sheriff Clears Self of Immigration Wrongdoing
DOJ Analyses: Lack of De-Escalation
Training Council: Force Data Missing
Oversight Body Challenges 2 Findings
Police Review Board Minimizes Force
Mayor Pushes Houseless from Downtown
Chief Outlaw Talks Frankly, Takes Heat
Campaign: Pull PPB from Terror Task Force
Protests: Resistance and Arrests
Crowd Policy Authorizes Violence
Quick Flashes PPR 73
  • Multnomah DA Phasing Out Grand Juries
  • Body Cams Don't Affect Cops' Behavior
  • Another Pervo-Cop
Rapping Back #73

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 #73 Table of Contents
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