Police union, activists react to selection of new Portland chief

Reaction to choice for Portland's new police chief

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Many Portland residents are sharing their opinions about the selection of Portland’s new police chief.

Danielle Outlaw, 41, was named the new chief on Monday. She will be in Portland for a formal introduction and news conference on Thursday, but people are not waiting to weigh in.

Read more: Danielle Outlaw, deputy chief from Oakland, named new Portland police chief

Some activists worry Outlaw was a political pick that allows Mayor Ted Wheeler to keep the status quo.

“I’m not swayed by a black face in a blue suit. I want to see action,” said Glenn Waco a member of Don't Shoot Portland. He wants to see a change in the way police deal with gang youth, to focus more on education, less on incarceration.

Mayor Ted Wheeler praised Outlaw's leadership, and her commitments to community policing, transparency and accountability.

“I have concrete goals for the Portland Police Bureau, all of them challenging to achieve. I need a partner. I need a leader. More than that, I need someone with a passion for this work who will be in it for the long haul. Danielle Outlaw is that person,” Wheeler said in a statement announcing his selection.

Some people took to Facebook, angry that the current chief, Mike Marshman, who is white, did not get the job.

“Motivation by Wheeler is because Marshman is a white male, not diverse enough for him. Marshman was doing an outstanding job but that's not good enough for Portland,” wrote Kayla Smith.

Others came to Outlaw's defense.

"I'm sure she is more than qualified. Maybe a new way of doing things can improve the city. Don't be haters until we can see what she can do, it won't be easy, give her some time," wrote Shirlene McGowan.

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The powerful police union backed Marshman, who applied for the job.

“Chief Marshman came in and took a ship that was running aground on the rocks and turned it around toward the horizon and got us back moving in the right direction,” said Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner.

“Morale was built, stability was built by somebody who had come up through the organization,” he said.

The founder of Don't Shoot Portland worries the new chief comes from a toxic culture.

“I have concerns about any officer that’s coming from another community and especially a community like Oakland, which is known for the excessive force and police brutality and the murders of young black men,” said Teressa Raiford.

Russ Bohanon agreed on Facebook.

“I don't give a damn what gender or race she is. The fact she comes from a crime infested city like Oakland is what I find troublesome,” wrote Bohanon.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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