People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Updates People's Police Report January 2022
In our last issue, we noted the Portland Police Association (PPA) had pushed the City into holding all collective bargaining sessions behind closed doors,
whereas the meetings from January to June alternated between being private and public. At the time the mediation sessions began, 30 of the contract's 68 Articles were agreed upon (tentatively). As of November 24, only 12 more had been posted, meaning there are 26 paragraphs still being hammered out. These slow moving negotiations show the PPA's claim that holding public meetings was hampering the progress was a lot of horse-hockey. It's unclear whether the concurrent mediation about the US Department of Justice Settlement Agreement-- which includes requirements about police using body cameras-- added to the delay (see the Budget article in this issue). For their part, the PPA claims they are enthusiastic supporters of body cameras, but that appears only to be if they are allowed to review the footage before writing reports or talking to investigators.
Officer Brian Hunzeker, who resigned as Portland Police Association (PPA) President in early 2021, remains under investigation. The Willamette Week, which has been running a weekly "Hunzeker Watch" column, broke the story on December 13 that Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the subject of leaked information incorrectly identifying her as a suspect in a hit and run, filed a suit against Hunzeker and the PPA for $5 million (asking the City for just $1). The suit says Hunzeker and Officer Kerri Ottoman violated state law and Bureau policy, damaging Hardesty's reputation with the leak. Despite playing a role in casting aspersions against Hardesty, the Oregonian scooped WW when they revealed the Police Review Board was supposed to hear Hunzeker's case on October 20 (Oregonian, October 15). The results of those hearings are only published twice a year, with officer's names omitted (see the Police Review Board article in this issue). There has been no update on the other incident involving Hunzeker recording people attempting to assist community members passed out in a car (PPR #84).
Meanwhile, WW also reported Hunzeker appeared in court at least 11 times in July and
August, racking up over $400 in overtime pay despite his being otherwise paid not to do police
work while the investigation is ongoing (September 8). Nice work if you can get it.
Although the Portland Police have tried to sell a few replacements for the Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT), the revamped Gang Enforcement Team which was defunded in 2020 (PPRs #83- 84), their much-touted Focused Intervention Team (FIT) has yet to get off the ground. While the FIT comes with the benefit of a Community Oversight Group, it still seems destined to overpolice Portland's relatively small Black community like its predecessors. Putting a member of the GVRT in charge, Acting Lieutenant Ken Duilio, did wonders to encourage 46 officers to apply for the 12 slots on FIT (Oregonian, November 14). However, from a community standpoint, Duilio's 2001 experience shooting and wounding Bruce Browne, a Black man who had actually apprehended a criminal at a gas station-- costing the City $200,000 in a settlement (PPR #29), seems like a bad idea. Regardless, Portland's shooting rate is well over 1000 and homicides are over 75, both at record numbers, and many people with roots in the communities affected by gun violence agree throwing more police at the problem won't change the underlying causes of the violence.
Meanwhile, the Q3 traffic stop data, released on October 17, show that about 18% of drivers
stopped by police are Black in a city with a 6% African American population, similar to the previous
numbers remarked on by the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison in their Q2 Report (see the article in this issue).
The PPB also continues to expect the public to believe ridiculously low numbers of pedestrians
were stopped over the course of three months-- in this instance, they say just 10 people were
stopped (and only one was a Black person). This is compared to 2275 traffic stops.
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.