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Portland, feds reach deal on excessive force compliance

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 11, 2022

Associated Press

Associated Press

PORTLAND – 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.

After a judge directed the parties to return to mediation, all involved have reached a pact that will go before City Council for a vote, the Oregonian reported.

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 reserves final approval on any body camera policy negotiated between the city and police union.

The original 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 speedier investigations into alleged police misconduct.

In April, the Justice Department issued a formal notice to the city that it had failed to meet key reforms under the settlement, citing inappropriate police use and management of force during 2020’s racial justice protests, inadequate training and subpar supervision by higher-ups.

The Justice Department then outlined nine steps the city should take to meet the settlement terms, which included a body-camera program.

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