PORTLAND – Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice have told Portland’s police chief and city attorney to give them all “original, unredacted” Portland police Rapid Response Team training materials, furious the city didn’t make them aware when it knew months ago of a right-wing police training slide that advocated for violence against protesters.
The Oregonian reported lawyers are seeking the materials after the city released the PowerPoint training slide on Friday. The attorneys wrote that the city of Portland should have reported the Rapid Response Team training materials to the Justice Department when they were developed, as required by the city’s 2014 settlement with the federal agency.
Justice Department attorneys Jared D. Hager and R. Jonas Geissler said they were shown the slideshow hours before the mayor’s office released it to media.
They described the training slides as having “varying degrees of offensive content, incorrect guidance and false or misleading information.”
“Had the City informed us of the existence of these training materials at the time, we would have had the opportunity to provide substantial edits and decline to approve the training,” Hager’s and Geissler’s letter said.
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 original settlement followed a federal investigation finding Portland officers used excessive force on people with mental illness.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.