Last week Occupy Portland rocked City Hall, testifying about police misconduct.
On Wednesday, City Council will again hear testimony about misuse of force. They want to hear specifically about 41 points raised by social justice advocates (see Changes to Portland's Civilian Oversight System at Portland Copwatch ... soon to be updated ...).
Portland's "Independent" Police Review Division (IPR) was established in 2001 and given authority to conduct investigations separately from the Portland Police Bureau's Internal Affairs (IA) unit ... yet NO SUCH INVESTIGATION HAS EVER HAPPENED. In March, 2010, the IPR was given broader authority to review Internal Affairs investigations, but The People's 9-member Citizen Review Committee (CRC) was told to wait before they receive more power. A group of citizens, police, and city officials met for four months and, in December 2010, 'The Stakeholders' presented 41 recommendations for change to City Council.
On November 16, the City Auditor (who oversees IPR) proposed a meager SIX changes to the ordinance, only three of which in any way reflect community concerns. The Mayor and Chief put out a document essentially agreeing that the CRC, should not have any more power than what the Auditor proposes, claiming the CRC's role is simply to review the quality of police-led investigations.
CRC's tagline is "community oversight of the Portland Police Bureau." It is not "oversight of the IPR and Internal Affairs." We need to demand more change. Ask for ALL 41 Stakeholder Report recommendations to be adopted. We need true civilian oversight, and if we don't get more meaningful change now, we may have to wait another 10 years for a chance.