The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a complaint against the City of Portland for not controlling its cops. Since June of 2011, the U.S. Gov had been monitoring the police bureau, which was supposed to adopt and implement certain reforms in order not to be sued; in other words – the U.S. Gov gave them every chance and the PoPo dug in and accomplished exactly none of it. These reforms included:
- Examining use of force policies to ensure officers have necessary guidance when encountering someone with mental illness or perceived to have mental illness.
- Increasing capacity for crisis intervention with specially-trained officers and civilians.
- Enhancing the early warning system to identify gaps in policy, training and supervision.
- Expediting investigations of complaints of misconduct while preserving the thoroughness and quality of investigations and community participation.
- Creating a body to ensure increased community oversight of reforms.
It will come as no surprise to anarchists, that in lieu of adopting any much-needed policy changes, the police bureau opted instead to continue sending untrained, terminator-types, equipped with guns, tasers, battering rams, riot gear, and an ‘Us and Them’ attitude, out into the community to blast away at any and all perceived threats. Particularly threatening to the Portland police, seem to be the class of people comprised of the disadvantaged – the homeless, those with mental challenges; especially people of color, or anybody struggling with poverty.
We realize that rooting for the DOJ, vs. the Portland Police, is a bit like being given a choice to stick your head into either a decomposing cadaver, or a basket of rattlesnakes. Nonetheless, below, in red, are the two paragraphs we like best, taken from the actual Complaint filed in Federal Court – Case 3:12-cv-02265-SI Document 1 Filed 12/17/12
We’ve also included the link for the PDF, so you can go admire the whole thing for yourself if you want:
Uncle Sam; Entirely Fed Up with the Antics of the Portland Police
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
THE CITY OF PORTLAND,
Case No. _______________
Plaintiff, the United States of America, brings this civil action pursuant to the Violent
Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141, for injunctive relief, and
alleges as follows:
1. This action seeks to remedy a pattern or practice of unconstitutional uses of force
by officers of the Portland Police Bureau. Too frequently, persons who have or are perceived to
have mental illness and are in crisis are subjected to unnecessary or excessive force by police
officers. The Portland Police Bureau lacks adequate policies to guide officers in these
circumstances, or training, supervision and accountability measures necessary to ensure that
officers comply with the constitutional rights of people in mental health crisis
10. PPB officers engage in this pattern or practice of constitutional violations while
performing law enforcement activities within the scope of their employment. The violations
arise from the City’s failure to provide adequate policies, training and supervision to PPB
officers on the proper use, reporting, and investigation of force.
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