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Quick Flashes PPR #73

Multnomah DA Phasing Out Use of Grand Juries

The 2017 Oregon Legislature required Grand Jury proceedings be recorded. Grand Jury proceedings are secret and the person accused is almost never allowed to tell their side of the story. Usually, the only people allowed to appear before Grand Jurors are the District Attorney, the police and witnesses to the event. Many people, including the American Civil Liberties Union, believe Grand Juries are a major cause of racial and economic disparities in the Justice system. Rather than record Grand Juries, in most "non-person" felony cases (about 84% of the time) the Multnomah County District Attorney will now present cases to a Judge during a Preliminary Examination. The accused person will be present at such hearings with their attorney. Many believe this is a more just procedure, even though no money was set aside for defense attorneys to participate. Felonies involving crimes against people-- including officer involved shootings-- will still go to the Grand Jury.

Body Cams Have No Effect on Police Behavior

In contradiction to a 2012 study of the effects of police wearing cameras in Rialto, CA (PPR #64), a 2017 study in Washington, DC determined body-worn cameras had no statistically significant effects on police officer behavior.The study says the presence of bodycams had no detectable effects as measured by arrests for disorderly conduct, police use of force, or civilian complaints filed against police. Over 2200 officers were randomly assigned to either wear a body camera or not, then researchers compared the two groups. This is one of the largest and most rigorous studies on this issue to date. The Lab @ DC researchers state "Law enforcement agencies (particularly in contexts similar to Washington, DC) that are considering adopting [bodycams] should not expect dramatic reductions in documented uses of force or complaints, or other large- scale shifts in police behavior, solely from the deployment of this technology." They indicate more research would be helpful. The New York Times (October 20) says that by 2015, 95 percent of large police departments reported they were using body cameras or are committed to using them in the future, at an expense of over $40 million. After City Council made Portland Police promise to involve the community in creating bodycam policies (PPR #70), the issue seems to have stalled here.

Another Pervo-Cop

On December 14, Officer Christian Berge pleaded guilty to on-duty sexual misconduct and agreed to give up his certification (Oregonian, December 15).

  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.

People's Police Report #73 Table of Contents
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