PORTLAND, Ore. — UPDATE: As of Sept. 28, Transit police say they will in fact check the TriMet system for fares, following a circuit court judge's ruling that TriMet transit police and fare enforcement officers violated the Oregon constitution.
Ana del Rocio, a school board member in Portland, was "stopped and seized without individualized suspicion" in a fare inspection mission at a MAX platform in March 2018. All passengers exiting the train were asked for proof of payment by TriMet employees. Two Portland Police officers were present.
Del Rocio was eventually charged with evading fare and giving false information to a police officer.
The court decision, issued by Judge John Wittmayer, found the stop violated del Rocio's constitutional rights.
"What crossed line for judge appears to be involvement of Portland Police officer assigned to TriMet," according to Steven Wilker with Tonkon Torp LLP in Portland. "It also involved or [had the] potential for criminal consequences of fare inspection. Because that’s a potential crime, it’s not merely an administrative stop."
On Wednesday, Sept. 26 Sgt. Chris Burley from Portland Police told KGW the bureau won't be "conducting fare inspection missions on the TriMet system ... at this time."
He added the bureau is working with the city attorney's office "for advisement and will follow applicable laws related to the TriMet system."
However, two days later, a Transit Police Commander told the Oregonian they will in fact continue going on fare missions. Portland Police and other metro-area law enforcement agents make up the Transit Police.