PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN) — A new audit into the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) shows how they handled information gathering on demonstrators during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
The city audit, which was prompted by concerns from the community, found that police had no firm policies or procedures on how officers could collect information about protesters.
The audit said officials discovered that PPB held information about possible political activity without safeguards, including keeping video long after it was determined not to show evidence of a crime.
There was also concern about the use of general surveillance during protests and social media posts that may have violated First Amendment rights.
“We don’t want officers trolling around,” said Portland City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero. “(It’s) a poor use of resources.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says that police will follow the recommendations, which include how to use social media for investigations, such as documenting the reason for searching individuals and groups.
The audit also recommends that police be more transparent about the use of surveillance technology.