PORTLAND -- The Portland City Council on Wednesday approved a settlement with the Justice Department on police reforms.
Earlier this year, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation concluded that the Portland Police Bureau engages in a pattern or practice of excessive use of force, specifically when dealing with the mentally ill. The investigation found such use of force violates the U.S. Constitution.
Dan Handelman with Portland Copwatch expressed frustration there was no opportunity for public comment. Handelman said the ordinances cannot go into effect for 30 days, at which point they hoped the city would allow public feedback.
Federal officials found the problems revealed in the probe are not unique to Portland and the vast majority of PPB's use of force falls within constitutional limits.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams said the report also found that law enforcement agencies are often the first responders in mental health crises, which points to a lack of options for adequate community-based mental health services.
The investigation was launched in June, 2011 to examine the use of deadly force against all citizens, with a specific look at the mentally ill.