This Week in the Mercury


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tell the Feds How to Fix the Portland Police Bureau

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Here's something you can do tonight!

The Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform is hosting the first of three upcoming forums on the city's proposed police reform deal with the US Department of Justice.

Tuesday, January 28 • 6:30-8:30 pm • First Unitarian Church • 1011 SW 12th

Saturday, February 8 • 2-4 pm • St Johns Community Center • 8427 N Central

Thursday, February 13 • 6-8:00 pm • Rosewood Community Center • 16126 SE Stark

The forums are meant as an education session about the particulars of the agreement—an answer to charges that Portland cops use excessive force, particularly against people with mental illness—and as prep for anyone who wants to tell the judge presiding over the deal why they think it either does or doesn't go far enough.

US District Court Judge Michael Simon is holding what's called a "fairness hearing" on the deal February 18, where he'll consider written comments and oral testimony on the agreement. (Click here for a comment form courtesy of the Mental Health Association of Portland; comments are ostensibly due by January 31) If Simon decides the deal is fair and reasonable, then he'll approve it. If the comments persuade him otherwise, he can send the city, police union, and feds back to make more changes. Or schedule a trial.

The AMA, working with Portland Copwatch, has prepared a quick analysis of the deal for anyone trying to get up to speed. The coalition has loudly complained, during several city votes on the proposed reforms, that they don't go far enough.

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