Copwatch - a project of Peace and Justice Works]


Site Navigation

About us
People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Cool links
Other Information
Contact info


More Force Data Without Discussion
of Race at Training Advisory Council
Community Restorative Justice and Officer Intervention, Wellness Discussed

The community volunteers on the Bureau's Training Advisory Council (TAC) held meetings in September and December, discussing use of force at both meetings along with a variety of programs. Force data from three quarters were all presented at the first meeting, with no discussion of why 24-30% of force is used against African Americans in a city which is 6% Black. There was a slightly deep dive into force trends in the second meeting, which revealed sometimes officers use a lot of force at a small number of incidents. There were also new staff members to take the Captain and Lieutenant's jobs, continuing the revolving door at the Training Division (PPR #83).

Force Inspector Lt. Chris Lindsey walked through the three Force Reports, once again lingering on some details but skipping over the racial demographics. Unfortunately, considering that the TAC fought to get the Bureau to add population data in the Reports (and lost, twice-- PPRs #75&79), none of the members raised questions about disproportionate use of violence. It's almost as if the uprisings of 2020 never happened. Lindsey did point out that how often officers use force when taking people into custody has gone up dramatically (see the DOJ article inthis issue), but had no firm answer as to why. He noted an increase in force against "transients"-- 101 of 213 people subjected to force. But Lindsey also reminded the group that those data include people who simply don't give police an address-- so they're not necessarily all houseless people.

At the November meeting, a PPB data analyst attempted to answer TAC's question about why the raw numbers of force use were going up, speculating much of it may have to do with officers taken off patrol to work at the protests. The new numbers are actually comparable to 2018 and 2019, she said. Notably, these data are from regular officer interactions with the community, since protest force data are separated out. Most alarming was the information that 38 of 63 times when strikes and kicks were used in the second quarter of 2021 occurred during just four incidents-- an average of almost 10 strikes/kicks per situation. Similarly, 14 of 34 Taser uses came from two incidents, which is an average of seven times each, while it's considered extreme force if Tasers are used more than three times. This last issue wasn't discussed by the Council.

Among the programs TAC reviewed were plans for a Restorative Justice program, where people who are arrested can avoid jail by taking responsibility, discussing the impact their actions have on others and doing some kind of community service. If this is all on the post-arrest end of things, it's not clear why the police have to be involved at all.

They also talked about the new Active Bystander for Law Enforcement training (PPR #84), which encourages cops to stop and/or report on other officers who are acting improperly. One TAC member who observed the training talked about how an officer in Seattle gently pushed another officer's knee off of a community member's neck during a protest, which is an encouraging sign maybe?

In November, Officer Leo Harris talked about the Officer Wellness program, which is gaining popularity among the cops. He thanked TAC for helping push for the concept of letting officers focus on fitness, diet and emotions and do self-care by meditating, doing yoga and other actions. Harris also specifically thanked Portland Copwatch for our comments on the Wellness Directive (see the Directives article in this issue), which he said made it a better policy.

The TAC still participates in the Coalition of Advisory Groups (CAG), which brings together bodies like the Latino Round Table and African American Advisory Council. TAC member Jim Kahan stated twice that the CAG was correct in not publishing notes from their meetings, which Portland Copwatch (PCW) finds troubling for a bunch of people supposedly representing the community to advise the Chief.

[screenshot of meeting]In terms of turnover and other changes, in November, Captain Chris Gjovik introduced himself as having taken over for David Abrahamson, making him the fifth Captain in five years. PCW member Dan Handelman pointed out Gjovik was among the officers who shot and killed Willie Grigsby, a young Black man, in 2004 (PPR #34). For now, acting Lieutenant Jason Jones has taken over for Greg Stewart. Jones was featured in a 2016 Willamette Week article being compassionate with houseless people, so maybe he will bring that attitude to the Training Division. While not a change in status at TAC, Chair Shawn Campbell revealed during a City Council meeting in September that he has been hired to manage the "Clean and Safe" contract allowing businesses to pay special taxes and hire their own security (and four police officers-- see the Houseless article in this issue). For now there seems to be no concern Campbell is a City employee and TAC volunteer.

Info on the Training Advisory Council: portlandoregon.gov/police/61449

  [People's Police Report]

January, 2022
Also in PPR #85

2021 Portland Police Shootings Quadruple 2020
  • State Deadly Force Incidents Taper Off in Second Half of 2021
City, DOJ Hash Out Remedies for Failed Compliance
Council Votes to "Re-fund the Police"
Lawsuits: City Pays Out More for Protest Actions
Citizen Committee Punts Whistleblower Case
Commission to Design Oversight Board Meets
Chief Overrides Review Board to Punish Two Cops
Houseless Community Faces More Private Security
Force Data Ignores Race at Training Council
Sheriff's Last 12 Months Start w/Vax Card Scandal
Organizers Set for Testimony on Terror Task Force
Bureau Agrees with Copwatch on One Policy
Updates PPR #85:
 • Almost No Progress on Police Association Contract
 • Suit: Former Police Assoc. Head Leaked Unconfirmed Info
 • Revamped Gun Team Forming; Profiling Numbers Unchanged
Rapping Back #85

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 #85 Table of Contents
Back to Portland Copwatch home page
Peace and Justice Works home page
Back to top