Portland will immediately ban all police bureau members from cooperating with federal law enforcement or intentionally using force on or arresting journalists and legal observers, under new policies the City Council passed Wednesday.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who crafted and introduced the last-minute resolutions, Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Mayor Ted Wheeler unanimously voted to approve the new rules, calling them necessary as President Donald Trump has refused to remove federal officers from the city.
Portlanders have taken to the streets for eight weeks to protest police brutality and systemic racism and have been met with force from city and federal officers leading to injuries, arrests and lawsuits.
The ban on coordinating with federal officers cites “an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by the federal government” as reason to discipline any Portland police member if they provide, request or willingly receive operational support from any agency or employee representing the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshal Service, Federal Protective Service, Customs and Border Protection or any other federal service while they are occupying the city.
The other policy condemns intentional targeting of press members and legal observers who are documenting police conduct during the protests unless city officers have reasonable suspicion that they have committed a crime. A federal judge in Portland has already ordered credentialed journalists and legal observers be exempt from arrest or threat of arrest by Portland police after officers have issued an “unlawful assembly” or “riot” declaration.
The new city policy will remain in place for as long as the judge’s order remains in effect.
Eudaly said she feels the city has to take every action available to ensure the police bureau protects people and that people’s rights aren’t being violated. She said federal officers have tear gassed and fired munitions at protesters without warning and the majority of people impacted by them aren’t engaged in criminal activity. She denied the notion that the city is “under siege”. She also thanked journalists and legal observers for their work documenting demonstrations over the last two months, saying they shouldn’t have to risk their safety to inform the public and noting that it’s their job to hold the government accountable.
“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 and the violent suppression of individuals exercising their constitutional rights,” Eudaly said.
There is more at the link above. Basically the police must now act to protect the protestors or go rogue against the civilian body that gives them their authority. Either the police will be under civilian control or they will be an authoritarian body with no controls. Hugs