PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council discussed the police response to political and racial justice protests over the past 18 months and voted unanimously to accept a report by the Citizen Review Committee’s Crowd Control and Use of Force workgroup.
The report, which was presented during a City Council meeting Wednesday, calls for police reforms. The group recommended creating a “plan to mitigate the risks to public health” in the “event of chemical weapon use.” It also suggests making the existing ban on the Portland Police Bureau’s use of CS gas permanent and expanding it to cover other chemical weapons.
The Crowd Control and Use of Force group said PPB should avoid “less lethal munitions” and adopt “soft clothes” for protests.
“I am curious if you looked at the number of police officers who were injured during these protests. I don’t have that data in front of me for city police, but the feds claim 144 federal officers who were in riot gear were injured. So one of the things I’m trying to figure out is what situations do we have them in protective clothing,” said Commissioner Mingus Mapps.
Members of the group responded, saying it’s nuanced and they understand the need for officers to be protected. The group’s report also stated that there was bias in favor of right-wing groups and against POC protesters and the press.
While commissioners voted to accept the report, they said the vote does not implement the recommended changes.