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  Portland Copwatch's Joint Terrorism Task Force page

NEW! January 2021:

As the City gears up to hear its second annual report from the Portland Police on the "case by case" cooperation with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, community groups released another People's Report on the JTTF on January 4.

The annual report is expected to be presented to Council on Wednesday January 27 at 10 AM.

October, 2020:

On October 9, 2020, 16 Oregon-based social justice organizations and three prominent individuals sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown asking her to end the state's cooperation with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

NEW! September-October 2020:

On September 8, 2020, 27 organizations (and two individuals) signed a letter urging Portland City Council to end all Portland Police cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The letter was updated on October 6, 2020 adding five more organizations (and another individual) bringing the total to 32 groups and three prominent individiuals.

Most of the groups were involved in the 2017 campaign which led to the removal of two part-time Portland Police officers from the JTTF in 2019. However, the May 2019 Council resolution allows the PPB to work with the JTTF on cases of terrorism "and/or threats to life including hate crimes."

The new letter acknowledges the current political climate in which JTTFs are blatantly being used to spy on Americans' First Amendment activities.

INFO April 2020:

Check out this City Council candidate questionnaire
asking the 54 candidates for the four contested seats about the JTTF.

UPDATE January 2020:

On January 28, participants in the campaign to keep Portland out of
the Joint Terrorism Task Force held a mock City Council hearing to
present concerns about the first Annual Report being given to the City.

Watch video of the event at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdMAnRght_A

The next day, City Council heard from the Police with their take
on the Bureau's 2019 annual report. The public was not allowed to testify.

Read the People's Report on the JTTF which was presented ahead of the City's report.

UPDATES May 2019:

On February 13, City Council voted to pull the two officers out
of the JTTF, with a deadline of April 9 to come up with a plan for
how the PPB will interact with the FBI in the future.

On April 17, 21 of the signers of the original letter to Council (plus one new group)
sent a letter urging council to take action.

On May 8, Council adopted the second resolution which allows the PPB to work
with the JTTF on cases of terrorism "and/or threats to life including hate crimes."
A report is due out in January 2020 which should tell us whether this increased,
rather than decreased PPB involvement with the FBI.

January 2019:
Read about the FBI's bizarre December 4 news conference where they admitted they deport people on immigration issues if they can't find criminal evidence.

Also, on January 9, the Oregonian posted an uncritical piece stating how the PJTTF helped Mayor Wheeler investigate a death threat coupled with extortion (which isn't terrorism), in what seems to be part of a public relations blitz after Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's election and her promise to pull out of the JTTF.

In November, the FBI posted a long list of Portland JTTF incidents trying to prove their value to the community, but most are about individuals committing crimes, not organized "terrorism."

Watch video of the April 17, 2018 Community Forum:
"Why Portland Should Get Back Out of the Terrorism Task Force"
at Maranatha Church

More informationWatch video on YouTube

Also watch this clip from 2001 about the JTTF including testimony at City Council and community voices such as Jo Ann Bowman (now Hardesty).

November 8, 2017:
  (updated October 13, 2018 and February 13, 2019)


On November 8, 2017, a letter then signed by 23 organizations (now 49) and a prominent Portland area survivor of unwarranted spying was presented to Portland City Council asking to get the Portland Police out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

Note: full list of signatures in right hand navigation bar

Since the late 1990s, Portland Police have been working with the JTTF, an FBI-led coalition of law enforcement which includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS, Homeland Security and local police agencies.

The FBI and partner agencies have been targeting Muslims, immigrants, the Black Lives Matter movement and other activists .

--Between 2000-2004, Portlanders organized to get the PPB to remove its two full-time officers from of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, succeeding in 2005. Between 2011 and 2015, the PPB semi-rejoined the JTTF, only assigning officers to work with the FBI part time, and requiring annual reports which were extremely vague about the JTTF's activities. In 2015, the PPB re-assigned two members full time after a 3-2 Council vote led by then-Mayor Charlie Hales. As of 2017, the PPB officers are only assigned part time.

--Times have changed and there is reason to believe the targeting of people for their First Amendment activities will only ramp up.

--We need you to contact City Council today and tell them to get the Portland Police out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Contact information is below, or you can use the ACLU's action alert site to fill in a pre-written email:
<http://www.aclu-or.org/JTTF >.

[PPB out of JTTF] Mayor Ted Wheeler <mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov> 503-823-4120
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly <chloe@portlandoregon.gov> 503-823-4682
Commissioner Nick Fish <nick@portlandoregon.gov> 503-823-3589
Commissioner Amanda Fritz <amanda@portlandoregon.gov> 503-823-3008
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty <joann@portlandoregon.gov> 503-823-4151

1221 SW 4th Av Portland OR 97204


• Check out this history timeline of the Portland JTTF (written 2/17)

NOTE: Because this was written at the beginning of the
campaign to get Portland back out of the JTTF, it does not include
City Council's 3-2 vote getting Portland out (Feb 2019) or the
subsequent vote outlining the Bureau's ability to work with the FBI
on a case-by-case basis (May 2019).

• Follow the list of links to more information.

MEMBERS OF THE PORTLAND JTTF (according to a 12/10/15 news release):
    Oregon State Police
    Port of Portland Police Department
    Washington County Sheriff's Office
    Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Internal Revenue Service
    U.S. Department of Justice
    U.S. Attorney's Office
    U.S. Department of State
    Diplomatic Security Service
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Immigration/Customs Enforcement
    Federal Air Marshal Service
    Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service
    Defense Criminal Investigative Service

Note: In 2005, the Multnomah County Sheriff joined the JTTF, it's not clear why they are not mentioned in this list.

Read PCW's testimony to City Council on Sanctuary Cities and the JTTF (2/28/18)

City Council Hearing on the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force 2011!
    Thursday, February 24 March 10 March 17, 2011, 2:00 PM
    Thursday, April 28, 2 PM City Council Chambers (SW 4th and Madison)
    We worked on the effort for Portland to withdraw from the JTTF in 2005;
    now Council is considering joining again. Download proposal from
   the ACLU of Oregon on improving the 2005 agreement: (.doc file) (.pdf file)
   And the Mayor's proposed Resolution

May 4, 2005:
Portland Votes to Remove Officers from Joint Terrorism Task Force

On April 28, 2005, Portland City Council voted 4-1 to withdraw its two police officers from the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF).

The resolution requiring the withdrawal allows 90 days for the officers to stop going to work every day at the FBI building, but rather to come back to work for the Portland Police Bureau's Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU).

Despite criticism from the mainstream media, the Portland Police Association, the Citizens Crime Commission, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Senator Gordon Smith, and others, the resolution explicitly calls for the Portland Police to work cooperatively with the FBI. As has been encouraged for many years by many of the organizations testifying to City Council about the PJTTF, it is possible for Portland to help the FBI with legitimate criminal investigations of those who are using violence to blow up and otherwise harm people for political (or any other!) reason without giving up oversight of what those officers are doing.

Details of the resolution, which stemmed from an agreement reached by Mayor Tom Potter after FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Jordan refused to grant him, Chief Foxworth, and the City Attorney "Top Secret" clearance to oversee the officers on the task force, include:

--The two officers will retain their "Top Secret" clearance for use during a "critical incident or imminent terrorist threat."

--The FBI can request the officers assist in any "Secret" level investigation subject to review and withdrawal by the Chief and the Mayor.

--Mayor Potter (the Police Commissioner) will not be allowed to sit in on the PJTTF Executive Group, but Chief Foxworth will be able to, and after Potter has "Secret" clearance Foxworth can brief the Mayor on those meetings.

So for all the fearmongering that the sky is falling and the City snubbed the feds, those who have expressed concerns about the FBI's past and current record of spying on people for their political, religious or social affiliations have more to worry about than those who think Al Qaeda is sleeping under every child's bed.

For instance:

--The resolution doesn't explicitly call for the City Attorney to be involved in the oversight of officers involved in "Secret" investigations;

--The resolution doesn't address oversight in cases of "Top Secret" emergencies;

--The FBI was reluctant to give "Top Secret" clearance or allow Mayor Potter on the PJTTF Executive Group because he is an elected official, not a member of Law Enforcement; however, the Multnomah County Sheriff's office is considering joining (and the Clackamas County Sheriff's office is currently on) the PJTTF. It has not been made clear whether those Sheriffs, who are both elected officials _and_ law enforcement, will be allowed into the meetings;

--The FBI continues to assert that Senator Wyden has the ability to oversee the Task Forces nationally, but Wyden was quoted in the paper saying he would "trust and verify," which is not the same thing as having an ongoing monitoring of the JTTFs to prevent abuses;

--JTTFs in Denver, Fresno and elsewhere have already been found to have infiltrated non-criminal peace organizations;

--Oversight of the Portland Police Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) is practiced and permitted by the "Independent" Police Review Division (IPR). However, the actions of the officers once activated by the FBI may not be due to the security clearance issues;


--The FBI and the US Attorney admitted it is not their job to ensure Portland officers are following Oregon law.

But this is all the more reason for us to continue to demand transparency and public reporting on the activities of the CIU and the PJTTF.

We recommended that the Mayor add an annual review to report how often the officers are asked to join the FBI and whether the new agreement is working. He said he would consider doing that, if the FBI agrees to participate.

At the April 28 hearing, Mayor Potter emphasized the point that, in fact, is why Portland Copwatch is a project of a peace group: That in this country, we have the President, a civilian, to oversee the military, and so we must have civilian oversight of law enforcement on a local level. He admitted that prior to becoming a police officer, he shared the fear expressed by one Arab-American man whenever he saw a police car in his rear view mirror. He said that the community should be assured that officers are there to protect them, not to harm them.

He expressed confidence that the resolution was the correct decision to make, shrugging off a suggestion from a reporter who told him that if anyone were to attack Portland, he would be "toast." He joked, "I suppose that depends how close to it I am."

Again, he emphasized that he had built a working relationship with the FBI and the US Attorney, perhaps a better relationship than existed when the officers were left to work for the FBI unsupervised.

Six months after the officers actually withdraw from the Task Force, the Mayor, Chief and FBI will re-examine the agreement. (Perhaps the ACLU, who sat in on the negotiations with Potter and the FBI, will be involved in that discussion, too.)

By taking this proactive step now, Portland is perhaps stemming the tide of post-9/11 hysteria and avoiding what will likely be the subject of reparations and apologies some 40 years down the line.

Background information from prior to this new resolution is included elsewhere on this site.

Read information on a case of Portland Police spying on our parent group, Peace and Justice Works, which was rejected by the US 9th Circuit Court on March 2, 2005.

To 2003 PJTTF documents page

Read the City Council Candidate Questionnaire for the May 15, 2018 election including answers from 7 of 10 candidates running for two seats.

(Note: The full Portland Copwatch questionnaire with five other questions can be found here.)


On This Page

Recent info 2017->
Historic info

List of signers to Sept 2020 letter:
(as of 10/6/20)

Click here for
an alphabetical list

Portland Democratic Socialists of
Portland JACL (Japanese American
  Citizens League)
Portland Jobs with Justice
Council on American-Islamic Relations
  (CAIR) of Oregon
ACLU of Oregon
PAALF Action Fund
Unite Oregon
Brandon Mayfield
 (survivor of illegal FBI spying)
Peace and Justice Works/
  Portland Copwatch
Pacific NW Family Circle
Ainsworth United Church of Christ
Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland
Empower Portland
Oregon Physicians for Social
Portland Independent Business Bloc
Portland United Against Hate
League of Women Voters of Portland
Japanese American Museum of Oregon
Portland-Metro People's Coalition
American Friends Service Committee
  West Region
As the Spirit Moves Us
First Unitarian Church of Portland
Portland's Resistance
Rev. Dr. Janet Parker, Senior Minister,
  First Congregational United
  Church of Christ, Portland*
Oregon DA for the People
Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance
Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition
Asian Pacific American
  Network of Oregon
Albina Ministerial Alliance
  Coalition for Justice and
  Police Reform
Latino Network
Oregon Justice Resource Center
Malcolm Chaddock
  (survivor of JTTF surveillance)
Political Action Committee of the NAACP's Portland Branch

List of signers to Nov 2017 letter:
(as of 2/13/19)

Click here for
an alphabetical list

ACLU of Oregon
Unite Oregon
Portland Japanese American
  Citizens League
Albina Ministerial Alliance
  for Justice and Police Reform
Peace and Justice Works/
  Portland Copwatch
Brandon Mayfield
League of Women Voters of Portland
Oregon Physicians for
  Social Responsibility
Asian Pacific American Network
  of Oregon (APANO)
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Veterans For Peace Chapter 72
Council on American-Islamic
  Relations of Oregon
Islamic Society of Greater Portland
Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland
Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition
Freedom to Thrive (formerly Enlace) Portland
Portland National Lawyers Guild
Portland Jobs with Justice
Sisters Of The Road
Oregon Progressive Party
International Socialist Organization
Individuals for Justice
Network Against Racism and
350 PDX
Basic Rights Oregon
Portland Committee for
  Human Rights in the Philippines
Empower Portland
  Ad Hoc Committee
Portland Democratic Socialists
  of America
NAACP Portland Branch
Peace Action Group of the
  First Unitarian Church
Chinese American Citizens Alliance
  Portland Chapter
Portland's Resistance
Ainsworth United Church of Christ
Americans United for Palestinian
  Human Rights (AUPHR)
Northwest Abortion Access Fund
Pacific Green Party
Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance
Occupy ICE PDX
Oregon Justice Resource Center
Queer Liberation Front
Portland Peaceful Response
Eastside Democratic Club
Code Pink Portland
Portland Association of Teachers
Portland-Metro People's
  Coalition (PMPC)
First Unitarian Portland
People Organizing for
  Philippine Solidarity (pops)

Endorsers include:
Defending Rights & Dissent
  Washington DC (on behalf of
  their members in Portland)
Duell Wealth Preservation
Kafoury and McDougal

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.

Page updated January 21, 2021

To 2003 PJTTF documents page

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