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UPDATES PPR #91 January 2024

Council Approves Body Cameras as Pilot Ends Without Data

The Portland Police Bureau's pilot project using body worn cameras came to an end on October 19. While these technological assets are meant to enhance police accountability, the media reported that in the two months of testing, officers from Central Precinct and the Focused Intervention Team generated roughly 30,000 videos, with another 6000 or so generated with an app that allows officers or community members to upload evidence (KPTV-12, October 20). The article doesn't mention anything about complaints or misconduct. The "Independent" Police Review, in its October 4 Director's report, noted that "IPR has multiple investigations underway that involve body worn cameras and we are working through access issues with PPB Records Division." That was 15 days before the program ended.

On November 29, City Council approved Axon (formerly Taser International, yuck!) to equip the full Bureau with the cameras at a cost of $2.6 million. The paperwork and presentation did not list any of the criteria that were used to judge their effectiveness, nor who did the evaluation. PCW was told to file a public records request for that info. Two weeks later, on December 13, Council amended the request to a $10 million purchase. As Portland Copwatch predicted (PPR #64), the bodycams seem to be headed toward being used for prosecuting and spying on community members far more often than they are used for accountability purposes.
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Drone Use Slowly Creeping Up Month by Month

[screenshot of online dashboard]The Portland Police have created a new online "dashboard" to illustrate where, how often and why their new drones are being flown (PPR #90). When the first data were published in October, Willamette Week noted that all but one of 22 flights took place east of the Willamette River (while the rich people living downtown and in the West Hills did not have to have loud buzzing spycraft overhead). The data available as of November 9 show that the pilotless aircraft were used 7-8 times a month from June to August, then 15 times in September and 17 times in October. The most frequent (alleged) use since the start of the program was 19 times for exigent circumstances, where the cops can ignore such niceties as needing a warrant. Warrants generated 12 uses. Sixteen were traffic-related, and seven were training missions.
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  [People's Police Report]

January, 2024
Also in PPR #91

Community Oversight Plan Dismantled by City
DOJ Agreement 1/2 Terminated, Court Monitor OKd
Police Violence Costs the City Another $371,000+
 • "Union" Pays Former Commissioner $680K for False Claims
PPB Kills Third Person in 2023
 • Man in Mental Health Crisis Dies in Milwaukie Cops' Custody
State Police Deadly Force Down from 42 to 30+
 • More News: D.Clark, DEA/Qualified Immunity, CW Graphic
Review Committee Loses Five Members, Gains One
IPR Annual Report Adds Some Detail, Omits Others
Criminalization of Homelessness on Hold
Medford Police Continue Spying on Activists
 • Mohammed Mohamud Loses Appeal Bid
Chief Lovell Steps Down, Bob Day Takes Over
Deputies Indicted: Jail Deaths, Off-Duty Fight
Profiling Data Discussed at Two Public Meetings
Training Council Delays Force Data Presentations
Car Crashes Spotlit in Comments on Police Policies
State Discipline Rules Updated at Iffy Meetings
Still No Deadly Force in Review Board Report
Updates PPR #91:
 • Council Approves Body Cameras as Pilot Ends Without Data
 • Drone Use Slowly Creeping Up Month by Month

Rapping Back #91

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 #91 Table of Contents
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