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Portland Settles with DOJ Over Police Use of Force

September 03, 2014  | 

In a move that community leaders say "should lead to better treatment of all Portlanders," a judge signed off Friday on an long-awaited agreement between the federal government and the city that seeks to improve the sometimes violent encounters between police and people with mental illness.

The settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Michael Simon calls for a long list of changes in police policies, training and oversight. Among the reforms: more clear-cut policies about when officers can use deadly force, a push for greater diversity in police hiring, an expansion of the city's mobile crisis units and quicker investigations into officer misconduct, the Oregonian reports.

A key part of the judge's approval: The city must give him annual updates of its progress in carrying out the reforms, which could take as long as five years. The city and police union had objected to the annual check-ins, but a community group said they were necessary to hold the city and police accountable.

The judge also ordered the city or its new compliance officer to give him quarterly reports.

Comments (1)

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Ima Leprechaun @ 9/4/2014 2:23 AM

After seeing exactly what the Officers were doing to people, I feel they got off lucky with just a consent decree. I had never seen an officer use pepper foam by spraying it directly on the retina of a handcuffed suspect and then the officer rubbing it in with his finger. Officers used long riot batons on several unarmed suspects that were handcuffed behind their back and laid prone on the ground. The officers smacked them in the head with the long batons back and forth like they were playing golf with their heads. Never ever hit anyone in the head with anything, that is basic training 101. These and many more images were caught on camera by a documentary crew. Revolting!

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