The AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is working toward these five
1. A federal investigation by the Justice Department to include criminal and civil rights violations, as well as a federal audit of patterns and practices of the Portland Police Bureau.
2. Strengthening the Independent Police Review Division and the Citizen Review Committee with the goal of adding power to compel testimony.
3. A full review of the Bureau's excessive force and deadly force policies and training with diverse citizen participation for the purpose of making recommendations to change policies and training.
4. The Oregon State Legislature narrowing the language of the State statute for deadly force used by police officers.
5. Establishing a special prosecutor for police excessive force and deadly force cases.

The AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform follows these three principles:
--Embrace the five goals.
--Accept the principles of non-violent direct action as enunciated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
--Work as a team in concert to achieve the goals.

from the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform

1--The community has to be involved in setting any rules if the Bureau decides to get cameras.

2--A third party Oregon company subject to Oregon law who's not the manufacturer nor any law enforcement entity should store the footage, to ensure access/storage and prevent tampering.

3--If civilians who are in the video ok its being released, the footage should be released. To the extent possible under state law, the images should not be blurred out of those who have given release permission.

4--Policy should require officers to turn cameras on before interacting with any community member. There must be increasing, structured disciplinary measures depending on the seriousness of violations, including failing to record interactions or turning cameras off during contact.

5--Officers should not be allowed to review the footage before giving statements/writing reports so that they don't use the footage to change their statements.

6--Police must inform community members that they are being recorded, and inform them of their rights to remain silent and not make incriminating statements or walk away as appropriate.

7--Police cannot use footage to gather data on people's lawful activity in violation of state law (181.575).

8--PPB shall not tie the video to facial recognition software to pull up information on people when they have no suspicion of criminal conduct.

9--Footage should be used to hold police accountable for officer misconduct/ criminal activity and to improve training and policy.

10--Footage should not be used to prosecute community members for minor infractions; and footage should not be used to retroactively go back and find minor crimes to prosecute.


Originally compiled November 5, 2012, with analysis of City Council's Nov. 8 amendments

November 13, 2012
Click here for 5-page document (pdf)

based on the Letter of Finding and Statement of Intent published Sept. 12, 2012
Sept. 27, 2012
from the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform & Portland Copwatch

Click here for 15-page document (pdf)

News Item

For Immediate Release   June 19, 2012

Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) Coaltion for Justice and Police Reform
      and Portland Copwatch


In mid-May, 2012, the Portland Police Bureau released the traffic and pedestrian stop data for Portland in the year 2010. Despite the "Plan to Address Racial Profiling" being adopted by City Council in September, 2009, and pledges to improve the "hit rate"-- that is, if people are stopped and searched, the searches should turn up contraband at the same rates regardless of the ethnicity of the drivers-- the AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform and Portland Copwatch have found that the numbers have not improved, and may be getting worse.

While the common indicator, the higher number of traffic stops of African Americans compared to their representation in the population, continues to be irregularly high-- 11% of stops vs. 6% of the population-- the police argue that due to factors about who is driving in what areas at what time of day can skew the numbers. They also say officers can't always see what race the person is who is driving. (This does not explain why the pedestrian stop data, released since 2006, continually show African Americans stopped at 3-4 times their representation in the population.)

To offset this criticism, the keys to analyzing the traffic stops data, made available by the Bureau annually since 2004, are to look at the most important part of the incidents after the stops, searches and whether any illegal items are found.

First, dividing the number of discretionary searches (ie, not inventory searches required when towing a car) into the number of total stops for particular ethnic groups.

The percentage of African Americans and Latinos who are searched after being stopped continues to be over twice as high as the percentage of whites who are searched.

African Americans in 2010: 14.5% of people stopped were searched
Latinos in 2010: 11.4% of people stopped were searched
Whites in 2010: 6.5% of people stopped were searched

While the overall percentage of people being searched has gone down since 2004 (from about 12% & 25% to about 7% and 15%), the proportion of Portlanders of color searched remains twice as high as white people searched.

Second, dividing the number of times contraband is found on people in each ethnic group by the number of searches of that group.

The percentage of African Americans and Latinos found to have illegal drugs, weapons, alcohol, or other contraband is about 7/10 as high as the percentage of whites found with the same kinds of items:

African Americans in 2010: 26.1% of searches turned up contraband
Latinos in 2010: 23.7% of searches turned up contraband
Whites in 2010: 36.2% of searches turned up contraband

The highest average "hit rate" for people of color was 83% in 2006, but in 2010 it was just 69%, indicating that police are searching people of color far more often than they are finding anything illegal on them.

In other words, not only is the "hit rate" not improving, it is getting worse.

It is possible that some of the changes are due to the increased number of "unknown" race being reported by officers at the initial stops, which has climbed from 4% in 2004 to 29% in 2010.

The AMA Coalition and Portland Copwatch have been demanding improvements in how police make choices to stop and search people in Portland for many years, most intently since the Racial Profiling Committee was convened by Mayor Potter in 2007-2008. That Committee was dissolved and its charge taken over by the Human Rights Commission's Community and Police Relations Committee (CPRC). CPRC will be looking at the statistics next Wednesday, June 20th, at their monthly meeting. The AMA Coalition and Portland Copwatch will present their findings to the CPRC at that time.

(See the attached chart for a graphic representation of the data.)

JoAnn Hardesty and Dan Handelman are members of the Steering Committee of the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) Coalition for Justice and Police Reform. Handelman is also a founding member of Portland Copwatch.
The AMA Coalition has been organizing around issues of police use of deadly force and racial profiling in various forms since 2001, most notably around the deaths of Kendra James (2003) and Aaron Campbell (2010). Portland Copwatch is a civilian group promoting police accountability through citizen action since 1992.

More on the AMA:
More on Portland Copwatch:

Searches and contraband chart
Discretionary searches chart