PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland and the Oregon Department of Justice have reached agreement on changes that could bring the city back into compliance with a 2014 settlement meant to curb police use of excessive force.
In November, a federal judge directed all parties to go back to mediation one more time to try to bridge lingering differences regarding a policy to govern the use of body-work cameras and whether sergeants and higher-ranking officers should be held acco9untable for improper use of force.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Portland and the Oregon Department of Justice have reached a pact that will go before City Council for a vote.
Two main clauses added include that the city agreed that not only higher-ranking, command officers would be investigated and held accountable for improper authorization or use of force during 2020 protests but so would rank-and-file officers. Second, the Justice Department has final approval on any body camera policy negotiated between the city and police union.
Earlier this year, a KGW investigation found of the 75 largest municipal law enforcement agencies in the United States, Portland was the only police department that doesn’t use body-worn cameras.
The original 2014 settlement followed a federal investigation that found Portland officers used excessive force against people with mental illness. It called for widespread changes to use-of-force and Taser policies, training, supervision and oversight, a restructuring of police crisis intervention services and quicker investigations into alleged police misconduct.