Portland police investigating 'offensive' protest training slide
The Portland Police Bureau is conducting an internal investigation into what officials describe as an "offensive slide" at the end of a police PowerPoint training presentation on protests.
The slide appears to show a police officer beating a protesters and includes religiously themed text that says the protesters deserves it. The presentation is titled "Protest & Riot History."
The investigation was announced by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell on Friday, Jan. 14. They said the slide was authorized to be part of the presentation and that the bureau does not know how it was included.
According to the announcement, it appears this material may have been created in 2018, although further investigation is needed to confirm that. It was discovered n late September 2021 during a review of documents for a lawsuit against the city related to 2020 protests.
Wheeler and Lovell both denounced the slide as offensive and said the investigation was intended determine how it had been included.
"I am disgusted that this offensive content was added to a training presentation for our police officers," Wheeler said in the announcement. "As soon as I was made aware of the incident, I reached out to Chief Lovell, who shared my deep concern and assured me that a thorough and complete investigation was underway. That investigation began in September of 2021 and is still ongoing. I believe that the hard-working members of the Portland Police Bureau who are seeing this for the first time are also angered and disgusted by the image and words on this slide and how it portrays members of our community and law enforcement. The Portland Police Bureau must reject the harmful and divisive attitude expressed in that slide. As Police Commissioner, I am not able to comment any further on this case or the investigation until the investigation and any subsequent disciplinary process is complete."
The chief of police weighed in as well. "The message on the training presentation slide was contrary to PPB's values and what we are trying to achieve as an organization," Lovell said in the announcement. "Upon learning of its existence, I ordered an Internal Affairs investigation. That investigation is still open and therefore, details cannot be discussed. However, I want to make it clear that the content of this message is not representative of the Portland Police Bureau and it is disappointing to all of us who work so hard to earn the community's trust. PPB has existing policies governing professional conduct (Directive 310.00 Professional Conduct and Courtesy) and we are committed to addressing policy violations and other misconduct in a fair and appropriate manner. Members are required to, and regularly do, report misconduct as appropriate so that an investigation can begin."
According to the announcement, "To help protect the integrity of the initial phase of the ongoing PPB Internal Affairs investigation, this document was not previously released. We are voluntarily releasing this presentation now as it is expected to be included in a related court filing."
A link to the full PowerPoint presentation can be found here.
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