Our mayor, Charlie Hales, ran on a platform, four years back, of police accountability. Once he was elected he took personal control of the municipal police as its Commissioner.
Since then Mr Hales has had an almost perfect record of opposing any proposal, whether from community members, the upper levels of government, or the court system, for greater police accountability.
Nevertheless, he announces his willingness to have the police who arrested protesters at anti-Trump rallies for property damage, to be examined as to whether they infringed anyone’s rights.
Mayor Charlie Hales called Wednesday for an investigation into allegations of excessive force by Portland police when they arrested activist Kathryn Stevens last week during an anti-Trump protest.
When the Department of Justice called for the City to uphold its obligations regarding the court-ordered settlement of a suit, brought by the federal government, against the City for a pattern of violation of civil rights by the Portland Police Bureau, then Mayor Hales opposes it.
Portland Copwatch reports that the watchdog group Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform [AMA, not to be confused with the American Medical Association] filed a response to
a request by the City Attorney to file a Writ of Mandamus (asking a higher court to tell Judge Simon what do to) objecting to Judge Simon’s order for them to return to the court on January 31.
The Ama statement said today
The AMA Coalition stands against racism in all of its forms. The Coalition condemns the October 25, 2016 verbal attack directed to Judy Prosper to “go back to Haiti” as racist.
However, the Coalition does not support the City using this unfortunate incident to change the narrative and take the focus off of their non-compliance with certain provisions of the Settlement Agreement.
Such a bait-and-switch has been characteristic of Mr Hales’ behavior his entire term of office. The Portland Tribune’s report is headlined, “Portland Wants to Appeal Federal Police Oversight Judge”. This is not the first time the City has requested overturning the judge’s efforts to hold the City to its obligations under the Agreement to settle the federal suit.
Update 3 December 2016: Word came from Portland Copwatch an hour ago, that the Mayor and the Chief of Police will not be attending the next meeting of the group tasked with overseeing the compliance of the City with the Agreement to meet conditions of the Department of Justice suit against the City with respect to a finding that the City of Portland had engaged in a pattern of depriving arrestees of their constitutional rights.
There was supposed to have been semi-annual meetings with the Chief of Police, but this is the first such meeting in the first two years. And yet, not only is the Chief, and the Mayor, not in attendance, the Mayor is even protesting having to report the result to the federal judge before whom the suit was held.