Hardesty, activists push for police oversight ballot measure
Amid a national uprising over police violence, a Portland city commissioner and a coalition of activists are pushing toward a November ballot measure that would reshape police oversight.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's office has contacted more than a dozen groups and individuals, including civil rights organizations, attorneys and religious leaders, seeking input on a potential fall measure.
If passed by voters as currently envisioned, the measure would create a new police oversight system, enshrined in the city charter and independent from any elected office or city bureau. The measure would also create a committee tasked with building out the city charter's requirements and fleshing out the finer details of how the new police oversight body would function.
The changes enacted by a ballot measure and the resulting committee could open the door to reforms long-sought by many in the community, such as the ability for an oversight body to gather evidence through subpoenas, have final say within the city when it comes to disciplinary actions against officers, and the ability to change police directives and policies.
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