12-10-2017  8:34 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

'Santaland' on Display at Oregon Historical Society

New exhibit features Santa’s throne, Rudolph, and elves from original Meier and Frank’s Santaland ...

GFO Hosts Personal Papers & Archiving Talk

First Mondays and free GenTalks at the GFO research library ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

Why We Need More Black Men in Early Childhood Education

Royston Maxwell Lyttle discusses the importance of Black male teachers in early childhood education for the NNPA ESSA Media Campaign ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Lisa Loving, Special to the Skanner News and Arashi Young

Portland Copwatch on Tuesday published their most recent count of Oregon law enforcement “use of force” incidents across the state, updating a spreadsheet of data they started compiling two years ago.

The nonprofit watchdog group released its newest numbers this week along with an open letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, urging her to compile such a list as was intended by passage of state legislation in 2007.

“Another year has passed and there were at least 25 more incidents, which we've integrated into our database, along with 5 incidents from 2013-2014 we discovered in the interim,” the letter says. “Below we have done analysis of the 141 incidents, which include 79 deaths that should be part of the AG's report.

“We believe with all the attention on a recent shooting in Oregon, now would be a good time for the AG to publish these numbers,” Copwatch says in their letter to Rosenblum.

The group referred to the shooting of LaVoy Finicum in Burns, Oregon last month, which is still under investigation.

In that case state officials are so worried about disclosing the name of the officer who killed Finicum, state legislators tried to pass a law allowing non-disclosure of the names of law enforcement officers involved in deadly force incidents.

In cooperation with Portland Copwatch, The Skanner has created an interactive map of their report, List of Law Enforcement Deadly Force Incidents in Oregon 2010-2015.

Researchers at the nonprofit compile information about deadly force incidents in Oregon using press reports and public documents on use of force incidents by any law enforcement jurisdiction anywhere in Oregon.

The Skanner is awaiting comment from the attorney general’s office about the new data.

As reported in The Skanner two years ago, Copwatch started gathering the data in response to concerns that Senate Bill 111 was not being upheld despite being passed into law in 2010.

As it happens, many lawmakers around Oregon had thought the Oregon State Department of Justice was compiling the statistics after a law was passed requiring it.

Portland Copwatch sent a public letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in 2014, offering detailed statistics gathered through a review of press reports and asking the attorney general whether her department was compiling them as Senate Bill 111 required.

An examination by The Skanner at the time revealed current state officials were unaware of the law’s provisions and were turning the statistics over to the department of data and statistics to be included in counts of all causes of death statewide.

Former state lawmakers who had passed the law expressed surprise that it was not being enforced for its intended purpose –  use in creating law enforcement policy.

Back then, The Skanner first put the group’s data about police use of force incidents together with location points for the incidents. Then we plotted them on a map.

Now we have updated that map with their most recent data, which we have independently verified and again posted to an interactive Google page.

Some of Portland Copwatch’s key 2016 findings include:

 

Total Incidents:

  • 141 incidents involving 142 civilians
  • 131 shootings, 70 ending in death (53 percent)
  • 6 Taser-related deaths
  • 2 deaths in custody
  • 2 vehicles as deadly force, 1 ending in death

 

Race:

The data shows 6 of the 29 Portland shootings/deaths were of African Americans, accounting for 21 percent of victims “in a city that is 6 percent black.” Also, “At least 8 of the 142 suspects were African Americans, or 6 percent in a state which is 2 percent black.”

 

Veterans:

At least eight victims were primarily identified as military veterans in some kind of psychological crisis. “We are still unable to track how many of the suspects were in crisis,” the report says.

 

Indictments:

Only one law enforcement figure in the state, Portland Officer Dane Reister, has so far been indicted, and he committed suicide afterwards last May.

 

Read more about Portland Copwatch at Portlandcopwatch.org

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