Defund the police? Portland City Council to discuss

Civic Affairs

A vote is expected on Wednesday

The chambers of the Portland City Council before a press conference, June 4, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After 11 straight days of protests spurred by the death of George Floyd and nationwide calls to “defund the police,” the Portland City Council will consider several police reform measures on Tuesday.

This comes just one day after Jami Resch’s stunning decision to step aside as Chief of the Portland Police Bureau in favor of Chuck Lovell, a highly respected veteran of the force.

Among the items the City Council will consider are a move to defund the Portland Police Bureau’s Gun Violence Reduction Team and its share of the Transit Police, along with a preview of at least three bills to be introduced at the next session of the Oregon Legislature by the People of Color Caucus.

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At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Wheeler said the first phase of the plan is to redirect $7 million from police budget and $5 million from elsewhere toward the black community, dissolve the gun violence reduction team and transit officers, stand with Oregon Legislative People of Color Caucus to bring reforms and ban choke holds.

New Portland Police Chief Lt. Chuck Lovell spoke briefly after the announcement and expressed his support for the plan.

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The discussions could start at 9:30 a.m. when the Multnomah County Tax Supervising & Conservation Commission holds a hearing on the budget already approved by the council to take effect on July 1.

Although the purpose of the state-required hearing is to ensure the budget complies with state budgeting laws, all members of the council are scheduled to attend. Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has already said she will ask the council to defund the two PPB units before it takes effect.

The final council vote on the approved budget is then scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10.

KOIN 6 News will have more information later in the day.

The Portland Tribune contributed to this report

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