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Campaign to Get Portland Back Out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force Launched

On November 8, Kimberly McCullough of the ACLU, Marleen Wallingford of the Portland Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and Brandon Mayfield, a local attorney wrongfully accused of terrorism by the FBI (PPR #33), each had three minutes to tell City Council why Portland should withdraw once more from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The FBI- led coalition of law enforcement includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), IRS, Homeland Security and local police representatives. Portland Copwatch (PCW) first discovered the Portland Police were participating in the JTTF in 2000 (PPR #23), and eventually helped push for them to pull their two officers in 2005 when then-Mayor Tom Potter complained he did not have the same security clearance as officers he was supposed to supervise (PPR #36). After the FBI set up Somali teenager Mohammed Mohamud in 2010 (PPR #52), the city re- joined part-way, finally authorizing two full time officers to be on the JTTF again in early 2015 (PPR #65). One of the main concerns: Oregon law limits collecting and maintaining information on people with no suspicion of criminal activity, while the FBI has far fewer restraints. Prior to the Council "communications," McCullough, Wallingford and Mayfield spoke alongside members of Unite Oregon and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Oregon at a news conference attended by most every media outlet in the City. (The only coverage online is from the Portland Mercury and the Oregonian.)

The speakers presented a letter signed by 23 organizations (and Mr. Mayfield) calling for the City to pull its two "full-time" officers out of the Task Force as specified in the 2015 resolution. The City's response was to say the officers are not working with the FBI full-time because of staffing shortages. Campaign organizers (including PCW) being unaware of that fact just illustrates how secretive the JTTF is.

The campaign was built over the course of 9 months, and in the meantime a parallel effort by Portland's Resistance started up on Change.org. That campaign generated over 600 signatures. Though there is no way to know whether there is overlap, the ACLU's page generated another 800+ emails to City Council.

In addition to the transition to the Donald Trump/Jeff Sessions Department of Justice, which seems less interested in civil rights than any of its predecessors, part of what prompted the effort was that San Francisco ran a successful campaign leading to their police pulling out of the JTTF in early 2017 (Washington Post, March 10). In addition, Portland's status as a sanctuary city is threatened by the influence of ICE in the Task Force. More recently, the FBI generated a document published in October that labels anyone participating in the Black Lives Matter movement as a "Black Independence Extremist," suggesting those who want police accountability are also responsible for violent attacks on officers and seeking to separate America into black and white nations (Oregonian, October 29).

The ACLU's action alert is at http://www.aclu- or.org/JTTF; more information about the JTTF and the campaign can be found at http://portlandcopwatch.org/pjttf.html.

  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
MCSO Clears Own Immigration Misconduct
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.

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