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Michael Munk PDX Historian



PICKET LINE/NEWS CONFERENCE TO PROTEST OFFICER FRASHOUR'S REINSTATEMENT
                     Justice For Aaron Campbell
   Thursday, Dec. 31, 11:30 AM, Portland City Hall, SW 4th and Madison

Tomorrow, Thursday December 31, the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) 
Coalition for Justice and Police Reform will hold a picket line and news 
conference to protest the Oregon Court of Appeals' ruling that the City 
must reinstate Officer Ron Frashour to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). 
Frashour shot the unarmed Aaron Campbell in the back in January, 2010 and 
was fired later that year. The  action will take place at 11:30 AM on
the 4th Avenue side of City Hall, between Madison and Jefferson Sts. The 
Coalition demands that Frashour be assigned to a job or shift at the Bureau 
that requires the least contact with the public as possible, because of the 
potential that he may do harm to community members.

There has been a history of officers with problems being assigned to desk 
jobs and other areas of the Bureau to minimize their interactions with the 
public.

The Coalition protested the Arbitrator's decision in April, 2012, and 
applauded the City's decision to file an appeal, asserting their right to 
make such personnel decisions.

The reinstatement of Frashour continues a long line of arbitration 
overturning firings of officers who wrongfully use deadly force, or 
otherwise take actions often targeted at communities of color.

--Officer Scott McCollister, who was suspended for six months after shooting 
and killing African American Kendra James in 2003, was reinstated with back 
pay;
--Officer Douglas Erickson, who shot and wounded African American Gerald 
Gratton in the back in 1993, was reinstated;
--Officers Richard Montee and Paul Wickersham, fired for selling T-Shirts 
reading "Don't Choke 'Em, Smoke 'Em" after an officer choked African American 
security guard Lloyd "Tony" Stevenson in 1985, were reinstated;
--Officers Craig Ward and Jim Galloway, fired for tossing dead opossums on the 
porch of a black-owned business in 1981, were reinstated;
and
--In one case where the victim, Dennis Young, was white, Lt. Jeffrey Kaer was 
reinstated after being fired for shooting and killing Young in 2006.

The apparent racial bias of the arbitration system comes in the midst of a 
national debate on racial profiling, sparked by the shooting of teenager 
Trayvon Martin in Florida. Like Keaton Otis, an African American man shot and 
killed by Portland Police less than four months after Campbell, Martin was 
deemed suspicious for wearing a hoodie. Other cases that have prompted 
protests have included those of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Eric Garner 
in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio, the death in custody of Sandra Bland in 
Texas, and too many others to count.

For more information visit the AMA Coalition website at 
http://www.albinaministerialcoalition.org .

The AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is working toward these five 
goals:
1. A federal investigation by the Justice Department to include criminal and 
civil rights violations, as well as a federal audit of patterns and
practices of the Portland Police Bureau.
2. Strengthening the Independent Police Review Division and the Citizen
Review Committee with the goal of adding power to compel testimony.
3. A full review of the Bureau's excessive force and deadly force policies
and training with diverse citizen participation for the purpose of making
recommendations to change policies and training.
4. The Oregon State Legislature narrowing the language of the State statute for 
deadly force used by police officers.
5. Establishing a special prosecutor for police excessive force and deadly
force cases.

The AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform follows these three
principles:
--Embrace the five goals.
--Accept the principles of non-violent direct action as enunciated by Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
--Work as a team in concert to achieve the goals.


THE AMAC WELCOMES DOJ ASSESSMENT OF CITY COMPLIANCE 
WITH POLICE REFORM AGREEMENT

The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform 
("AMAC") welcomes the US Department of Justice's Compliance Assessment 
("Assessment") <http://www.justice.gov/usao-or/file/771166/download> of 
the City of Portland's progress toward implementing the terms of the 
Settlement Agreement. The DOJ and the City entered the Settlement 
Agreement to resolve allegations that the Portland Police Bureau used 
excessive force particularly against persons with or perceived to have 
mental health issues. The DOJ's Assessment of the city's progress on 
reforms counters the City's position over the past year that it has 
complied with nearly all of the terms of the Settlement Agreement. While 
the AMAC commends the City on its progress on many issues, there remains 
much work to be done.

The AMAC's primary concerns about the City's compliance, addressed by the 
DOJ's Assessment, relate to officer accountability and community 
engagement.

Foremost, as the DOJ notes, the City has not yet acted on the "48 hour 
rule" . a provision in the Portland Police Association's Collective 
Bargaining Agreement that provides for 48-hour advance notice before an 
officer is interviewed in an investigation that could lead to disciplinary 
action. As the City has been told time and time again, this practice 
departs from national policing best practices by not requiring statements 
from officers in a timely fashion. The DOJ has found the City has not 
fully complied on this issue, and the AMAC urges the City to take timely 
and effective action.

The DOJ's Assessment notes the City's shortcomings in several 
other areas required by the Settlement Agreement. 

First, although officers are required to report other officers' 
constitutionally questionable uses of force, the recent case involving 
the tasering and beating of teenager Thai Gurule demonstrates that this 
did not happen. 

The community awaits accountability regarding that case, specifically 
whether any officers will be held accountable for their conduct -- 
a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge found the involved officers had 
unlawfully stopped the teen and were not credible in describing the 
incident. 

Second, the AMAC agrees with the DOJ's critique of the IPR (Independent 
Police Review) system, which noted that the PPB's multi-track system 
adds to the byzantine structure of administrative investigations. The 
AMAC has been long advocating what the DOJ's candid assessment states: 
that as part of a global assessment of administrative investigations, 
the City must simplify its system. 

In so doing, the City should refer to the numerous existing reports 
and recommendations for reform of this system, including the 2010 
Police Oversight Stakeholder Committee Report. 

Third, the AMAC shares concerns highlighted by the DOJ Assessment about the 
City's failure to investigate allegations of intimidation against the PPA 
President, and the City's removal of the disciplinary history for Capt. 
Mark Kroeger. The former was not investigated because of a "special 
relationship," and the latter was done despite the fact, as the DOJ put 
it, that "nowhere ... is there a means to erase past sustained findings 
from an officer's record."

Likewise, the AMAC urges the City to not only strongly heed the DOJ's 
recommendation that the City use community members with lived experience 
of mental health issues in actual training, but also to add community 
members in other aspects of training. Furthermore, the DOJ highlighted 
many ways in which the Bureau treats deadly force incidents differently 
from other force incidents, including allowing officers not to fully fill 
out paperwork otherwise mandated. The AMAC suggests ensuring deadly force 
cases be treated the same way, including removing the provision in the PPA 
contract that limits independent civilian oversight investigations into 
such incidents. In terms of community outreach, the AMAC has suggested the 
City publish information about its meetings related to implementation of 
the Settlement Agreement in the more diverse media and publications, to 
strengthen outreach and community participation.

"The City has made progress, but the community needs to see more on some 
key issues of accountability and oversight. We strongly support the DOJ's 
Assessment, and hope the City takes the opportunity to improve in these 
areas, moving towards substantial compliance with all the reforms set 
forth in the Agreement," says Dr. T. Allen Bethel, co-chair of the Albina 
Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.

CONTACT:
Dr. T. Allen Bethel, 503.288.7241
 AMA Coalition Chair Rev. Dr.LeRoy Haynes, Jr. at 503-287-0261.

Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform c/o Allen Temple
4236 NE 8th Ave   /   Portland, OR    97211   /   503-287-0261
 
 


*CITY CHALLENGE TO ANNUAL COURT HEARINGS
  JEOPARDIZES DOJ AGREEMENT ON IMPROVING POLICE PRACTICES

*** The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform (AMAC) strongly condemns the City of Portland's refusal to agree to annual status hearings on the Settlement Agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The Court has indicated that, absent such hearings the Court will reject the Agreement. The City's refusal to participate in the proposed annual hearings -- in which the Court's authority is limited to receiving information and merely asking questions of the parties -- is unjustified, and is a clear rejection of the Court's continued authority over this case.

The City has spent countless resources negotiating the Agreement with the DOJ to resolve the DOJ's lawsuit alleging the Police Bureau (PPB) engaged in a pattern or practice of using excessive force on individuals with actual or perceived mental illness, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Shortly after the suit was filed, the City joined the DOJ in asking the Court to enter an order approving the Settlement Agreement and to conditionally dismiss the litigation pending the City's implementation of the Agreement.

The AMAC, granted enhanced /amicus curie/ status in the lawsuit, has worked in good faith to support the entry of the Settlement Agreement, despite concerns with the Agreement itself. The AMAC participated in mediation with all parties, resulting in a Collaborative Agreement with the City and the DOJ in which it agreed not to object to entry of the Agreement. Likewise, the Portland Police Association (PPA), which was granted intervener status, entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City and the DOJ, in which it too agreed to withdraw its objections. In a March 24, 2014 hearing, the Court indicated that while the Agreement was substantively fair, adequate, and reasonable, it did not find it to be _procedurally_ adequate.

Specifically, the Court expressed concern that, once the Agreement was entered, more than three years would lapse before it heard from the City and the DOJ regarding its implementation. The Court therefore proposed annual hearings, at which the parties would report to the Court on the implementation of the Agreement. The City and PPA will not agree to participate in these annual hearings. The AMAC has grave concerns regarding the City's and PPA's refusal to participate in annual hearings, despite their knowing this may result in the rejection of the Agreement. "The Community wants to see the Court's limited oversight over the implementation of this Agreement. The symbolism of the parties appearing in Court just once a year before a neutral and consistent observer, to give a status update, demonstrates the parties' commitment to transparency, and to the checks and balances of our system of government," said Dr. LeRoy Haynes, co-chair of the AMAC. "The limited review on the status of compliance sought by the Court should be welcomed by the City, given the City's assertion that it is already in compliance and on track with the implementation of the Agreement," said Dr. T. Allen Bethel, co-chair of the AMAC.

"The City has been operating under the expectation that the Agreement will be entered; it makes no sense to negate all the work that went into negotiating and implementing the Agreement by rendering it unenforceable," Dr. Bethel said. The City's refusal to agree to the hearings, now requires that the parties submit further briefing on the issue to the Court. The AMAC sincerely hopes the City will reconsider its untenable position, before spending more of the public's resources litigating a case involving the excessive use of force against the most vulnerable members of our community.

"The failure of the Mayor, the city commissioners, and the PPA to accept Judge Michael Simon limited annual review represents a missed historical opportunity to unite our diverse communities and take a leap in resolving the rift in our city between the police and the community, particularly communities of color and person with mental disabilities," added Rev. Haynes.

The AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is working toward these five goals:

1. A federal investigation by the Justice Department to include criminal and civil rights violations, as well as a federal audit of patterns and practices of the Portland Police Bureau.

2. Strengthening the Independent Police Review Division and the CitizenReview Committee with the goal of adding power to compel testimony.

3. A full review of the Bureau's excessive force and deadly force policies and training with diverse citizen participation for the purpose of making recommendations to change policies and training.

4. The Oregon State Legislature narrowing the language of the State statute for deadly force used by police officers.

5. Establishing a special prosecutor for police excessive force and deadly force cases. CONTACT: Dr. Leroy Haynes, 503.421.5353 Dr. T. Allen Bethel, 503.288.7241

  • 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington-Portland. Many organizations & people made this event such a success: Special shout out to Michael Alexander, President of the UrbanLeague Portland, Audrey Terrell, President Portland Chapter NAACP & Tony Funchess, First Vice-President! This young brother can preach! One more special shout out to my sister, Kate Lore Social Justice Minister at 1st Unitarian Church, who is one of our unsung community treasures. She does it so lovingly and selflessly its easy to miss the glue that she uses to knit us together.
    Activist and former state legislator JoAnn A Hardesty spoke at the 50th anniversary march in Portland today. photo by Motoya Nakamura/The Oregonian

  • Celebrate! Educate! Demonstrate

    Sponsored by Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice & Police Reform, Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and several labor and other community based organizations.

    Ironically the same issues that compelled the first March, jobs, police brutality, housing, health care, equality are the same pressing issues of today.


     

 
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