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Report Calls For 21 Changes in Wake of Portland Police Shootings, In-Custody Deaths

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


A report commissioned by the City of Portland has recommended that a rule requiring investigators to wait 48 hours before interviewing an officer who has shot and killed someone, should be eliminated and that internal investigations into police shooting and in-custody deaths should happen faster, according to the city officials.

The Report to the City of Portland on Portland Police Bureau Officer-Involved Shootings and In-custody Deaths was released Tuesday afternoon and made 21 recommendations to improve police procedures.

“Investigations should be conducted in a timely manner,”  Constantin Severe, director the Office of the City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division, said.

The report released Tuesday, conducted by the consulting firm of OIR Group, and reviewed the cases of nine people who had died in police custody, or through the use of deadly force, since 2006.  The findings also suggested scaling back the use of police dogs and allowing the East County Major Crimes Task Force investigate Portland police officer-involved shootings.

The report by OIR Group is the third report the firm has issues since 2010. But this time the findings were released after a week of protests and clashes between demonstrators and Portland police erupted in the wake of the exoneration of a Ferguson Missouri policeman who shot and killed an unarmed black teen Aug. 9.

“In light of Ferguson, there is more attention around this report,” said Severe. 

A group of activists organized under the banner Don’t Shoot Portland attended the report release event at City Hall Tuesday afternoon. 

Teressa Raiford, the group’s spokeswoman, said the findings in the report were not strong enough.

“We’re going to recommend that these recommendations not be accepted,” Raiford said her group wanted time to review the report and contribute to the recommendations.  “There should be a community report added to this.”

The report and its recommendations will be presented to the Portland City Council Wednesday at 2 p.m.  The public will have an opportunity to comment. The council was not asked to adopt the recommendations, Severe said.

“It’s up to the police commissioner, the mayor, to adopt the recommendation,” Severe said.


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