Council bars Portland police from working with feds
Portland's City Council has passed a pair of resolutions intended to prohibit coordination between the Portland police and federal agents — as well as to prevent the police bureau from targeting journalists.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly drafted the resolutions that were rapidly brought to the dais after all four sitting members of the council agreed to place the items on the four-fifths agenda. They were both passed unanimously on Wednesday, July 22.
"I stand in solidarity with protesters defending Black lives, demanding racial justice and the transformation of our justice system," said Eudaly. "But whether you agree with the protesters or not, if you believe in the Constitution of the United States, you must oppose the actions of this president."
The first approved resolution orders the Portland Police Bureau to not "provide, request, or willingly receive operational support" from any of the deployed officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That includes embedding police officers in the federal command center, sharing information or engaging in tandem acts of crowd control.
Read the first resolution here.The resolution also requires that any plea for help from the federal agents be reported to the City Council. Officers who violate the policy may be subject to discipline.
Local police ejected on July 18 all Federal Protective Service staff from the police bureau's incident command center in the Multnomah County Justice Center. On July 20, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty ordered that all local law enforcement, including Portland police, stop using fire stations as staging areas.
"We cannot put the blame totally on this federal secret police force. The blame should rest entirely on the Portland Police Bureau and their lack of deescalation skills," Hardesty said during the virtual meeting, repeating her calls to be given command of the bureau by Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Hardesty added that the presence of federal officers was payback for the city's decision to leave the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and not send police to protests at an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facility.
The second resolution condemns the intentional targeting of media members, and largely affirms a July 16 court injunction preventing Portland police from dispersing journalists alongside other protesters.
"We unequivocally need local press," said Eudaly. "To all Portlanders, please consider supporting our local media outlets, all of who have been hard hit during the COVID-19 crisis."
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