Judge Hears From Angry Public On Portland Police Use Of Force Settlement
OPB.org – April 20, 2018
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon heard Thursday morning from frustrated and angry members of the public over how the Portland Police Bureau interacts with city residents.
The hearing, held on the 15th floor of the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in downtown Portland, was the third annual status conference on the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Portland over police officers’ use of force.
The hearing came a little more than a week after seven Portland Police officers were involved in the shooting death of 48-year-old John Elifritz in a homeless shelter, which at times overshadowed much of the official agenda.
Federal judge gives ‘conditional’ approval to new community approach in police settlement
Oregonian, April 19, 2018
A federal judge Thursday directed lawyers for the city and U.S. Department of Justice to return to court in six months to update him on how the city’s new approach is working to involve the community in overseeing police reforms.
U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon noted that the city has flouted terms of a settlement designed to reduce police use of force against people with mental illness for nearly a year and a half because it hasn’t had a way for the public to monitor the fixes.
“I think we all realize the city is not, and has not been for some time, in compliance,” he said.
The settlement, adopted by the judge in 2014, followed a federal investigation that found Portland officers too often used stun guns or excessive force with people having a mental health crisis. It called for significant changes to police policies, training and oversight, including offering more extensive crisis intervention training to officers.
The judge approved other amendments to the settlement agreement that include new protocol on how to hold parallel administrative and criminal investigations into police shootings or deaths in police custody. The amendments also give the city’s Independent Police Review office more time to investigate citizen complaints.
PRESS RELEASE – MAYOR TED WHEELER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 18, 2018
Contact: Sophia June, 503-823-8582
Facilitator Selected to Assist in Establishing and Developing the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing
City’s Evaluation Committee recommends local organizations Training for Transformation and Brad Taylor Group
Portland, OR—Facilitators have been selected to support in the establishment and development of the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP), a committee of community members charged with assessing the City of Portland’s implementation of the Settlement Agreement with the Department of Justice in addition to conducting a review of Portland Police Bureau (PPB) policies and community engagement initiatives. The Agreement calls for reforms to PPB policies and training, particularly as they relate to interactions with people who have or are perceived to be in behavioral health crisis.
The PCCEP Evaluation Committee recommended two firms work together to facilitate the PCCCEP: Training 4 Transformation (T4T) and Brad Taylor Group (BTG). The PCCEP Evaluation Committee made their recommendations from four very qualified local candidates. The Evaluation Committee felt strongly that the top two candidates working together would best serve the PCCEP and the communities of Portland.
Training 4 Transformation is an Oregon State-certified Minority Business Enterprise and Emerging Small Business that specializes in equity-focused community building between law enforcement and the diverse residents they serve. The organization has facilitated Community Conscious Policing workshops with law enforcement, both locally and statewide. Their goal is to “humanize our collective experiences and bring people together who may otherwise remain at a perpetual distance.” As pioneers in community-led policing, T4T published Best Practices in Community Conscious Policing: A Reflection on Law Enforcement Community Building Workshops that identifies gaps and opportunities in community engaged policing. The owners of T4T have lived experience as survivors of numerous racial profiling cases. They evolved into advocates defending the civil rights of fellow community members and now work in partnership with law enforcement. Additionally, the organization has expertise in developing government processes that are trauma-informed by centering community needs and their voices. T4T offers speaking engagements, racial justice trainings, committee and organizational development, technical assistance and community engagement consultation for non-profits, businesses and government.
You can read more about the Training for Transformation here.
Brad Taylor Group (BTG) is an Oregon State Certified Emerging Small Business specializing in developing communication strategies through training seminars, conflict resolution and facilitation services. BTG has trained diverse groups locally and statewide to communicate more effectively and compassionately, and has provided group facilitation focused on identifying and overcoming differences in order to achieve shared outcomes and goals.
Brad Taylor has worked as a direct line social worker, empowering residents living in supportive housing; as a homeless outreach worker, advocating for some of Portland’s most vulnerable residents; and as a mobile mental health crisis response worker within Multnomah County.
As the City of Portland’s Mental Health Specialist and as a Crime Prevention Coordinator with the City of Portland, he facilitated community-empowered meetings and processes that involved a variety of perspectives centered around police accountability. Taylor served as the chairperson of the board for Street Roots, a non-profit that provides income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing an award-winning newspaper. BTG processes allow for the safe sharing of information, encourage productive questions, nurture trust-building, inspire intentional listening, and maintain the emotional and physical safety of all participants.
You can read more about Brad Taylor Group here.
The City is excited about the opportunity to improve upon the community engagement and oversight process of the Settlement Agreement. We remain committed to a more authentic, transparent process that centers the experiences of people impacted most. We look forward to engaging with the community in this process. The Evaluation Committee is grateful for the outstanding work all four proposers do in the community, as well as their willingness and passion to facilitate the PCCEP process.
PCCEP Facilitator Evaluation Committee:
Freda Ceaser, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Central City Concern
Dana Coffee, member, Portland Commission on Disability
Jan Friedman, Attorney, Disability Rights Oregon
Janie Gullickson, Executive Director, Mental Health Association of Oregon
Mandi Hood, PCCEP Project Manager, City of Portland
Kalei Luyben, member, Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform
Daniel Portis-Cathers, member, NAACP
Training for Transformation and Brad Taylor Group are expected to begin their work as PCCEP Facilitator by the end of April.