Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued the following statement on the Oregon legislature’s People of Color Caucus policy recommendations issued yesterday pertaining to police accountability.
“In the aftermath of the tragic events involving police use of force in Minnesota, this is an appropriate time to review applicable statutes and procedures in Oregon and throughout the country.
“The People of Color Caucus has provided three policy recommendations designed to improve police accountability. One of these is for Oregon’s Attorney General and Department of Justice to be designated to investigate and prosecute any case involving death or serious physical injury resulting from use of force by law enforcement. We look forward to working with the caucus and other stakeholders across the state to refine these proposals in the weeks to come to ensure that we have fair and impartial procedures in place for independent investigations and prosecutions in all police use of force situations.
“I have been closely involved with the legislature and stakeholders in criminal justice reform over the past four years, including successful collaborations on police profiling and hate crimes that have resulted in important changes in the law in these areas. It has been far longer since we last engaged in a meaningful and comprehensive review of the laws governing the investigation and prosecution of excessive use of force. The time is now—we should not wait for tragedy to strike.
“Legislators in the POC caucus have been actively involved in these reform efforts. They are doing all of us a great service with this timely work.”