City council officially removes ’48-hour rule’

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council put an end to the “48-hour rule” regarding police officers giving statements after use of deadly force.

The city council voted unanimously on Thursday after Mayor Ted Wheeler requested a 2-week extension on the proposed reforms. The council met on August 9 for the first reading of the proposal.

Police-involved shootings end up with 2 investigations: a criminal one to see if the officer did anything illegal; and an internal one to see if they violated bureau policies. An officer has the right to remain silent in the criminal investigation, but can be compelled to make a statement in the internal investigation.

According to a tweet from Wheeler, officers will now be required to give a statement to internal affairs investigators as soon as possible. The only reason an officer wouldn’t provide a statement to investigators within 2 days is a physical inability to do so.

District Attorney Rod Underhill has a more conservative interpretation of the new Wheeler policy, so the Portland city attorney’s office will seek a court ruling on the legality.The city is also adopting a committee on engaged policing to review police policies and recommend reform. The committee will include 9 to 11 volunteers appointed by Wheeler and will report to him.  

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