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US Department of Justice Investigation of Portland Police:
Information, Analysis and Background

In 2012, the US DOJ found a "pattern and practice" of excessive force by the PPB, particularly against people experiencing mental health crisis.

A 180+ paragraph Settlement Agreement went into effect on August 29, 2014, but was essentially on hold while City Council appealed the judge's proposed order to hold annual hearings on implementation. Ultimately Judge Michael Simon agreed to a modified order to hold "Status Conferences" instead. (Note: The next status conference is set for October 25, 2016.)

As part of the Settlement Agreement, the City established the office of the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL) and the Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB). Information on these bodies previously could be found at <http://cocl- coab.org>.

In August 2018, the City established the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing (PCCEP) which replaced the COAB and first met in November 2018. Prior to that time the COCL launched a new website at portlandcocl.com.

The PCCEP's creation was a result of the Settlement Agreement being amended in May, 2018, though the amended version has yet to be fully approved by the Judge as of May 2019.


   NEW! 4/19
  • PCW's analysis of the COCL's first quarter 2019 report on remaining issues (4/30/19)
  • PCW's analysis of the COCL's 4th quarter 2018 report on Accountability / Outreach (2/14/19)
  • PCW's analysis of the COCL's 3rd quarter 2018 report on Employee Info & Training (10/31/18)
  • PCW's analysis of the COCL's 2nd quarter 2018 report on Use of Force (7/27/18)
  • PCW's analysis of the DOJ's 2017 progress report to Judge Simon (pdf-1/12/18)
       on progress and outcomes of the agreement.
  • PCW's analysis of the COCL's 1st-3rd quarter 2017 report (11/1/17)
    on progress and outcomes of the agreement.
  • PCW's analysis of the COCL's 3rd/4th quarter 2016 report (4/24/17)
    on progress of the agreement.
  • See PCW's analysis of the COCL's 1st/2nd quarter 2016 report (10/24/16) on the implementation of the Agreement.
  • Read Portland Copwatch's analysis of the COCL's 2nd quarter 2015 report on the implementation of the Agreement.
  • Read for yourself--

  • COCL's third/fourth quarter 2016 compliance report (4/3/17)

  • DOJ first annual assessment (9/10/15)

  • COCL first quarter 2015 report (7/10/15)

  • COCL second quarter 2015 report (Draft 10/1/15)

  • COCL first semiannual 2015 outcomes assessment (10/19/15)

  • NOTE: links to other COCL documents are mostly embedded in PCW's analyses, though as of April 2019 the COCL-COAB website has disappeared.

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    Past info and analysis


    Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 9:00 AM, Federal Courthouse, 1000 SW 3rd
    Testify whether the DOJ Settlement Agreement is "fair, adequate and reasonable"
    More info at the AMA Coalition website
    including the Court's announcement of the fairness hearing and documents you can use to file testimony.

    Portland Copwatch will hold an informational meeting about the DOJ Agreement on Saturday, February 8 from 2:30-4:30 PM at the AFSC office, 2249 E Burnside (following the PJW annual meeting) the AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is holding at least 4 forums.

    Read Portland Copwatch's testimony to the federal court on the "fairness" of the Settlement" (January 31, 2014):

  • pdf format (16 pgs)
  • text format (Intro + 11 sections with links)
       Dozens testified whether the DOJ Settlement Agreement is "fair, adequate and reasonable"

       Read the court transcript

    Below are links to official documents as well as analyses by Portland Copwatch and our allies related to the agreement.

    DOJ Letter of Findings (dated 9/12/12)

  • The DOJ Letter of Findings of September 12, 2012 can be seen at:
      (Here's a news release about the findings:   http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/September/12-crt-1111.html)

  • The ACLU and other community partners, as well as the AMA Coalition (with PCW) released analyses of the DOJ Findings Letter on Sept. 27, 2012.
      • ACLU/Community partners analysis
      • AMA Coalition/Portland CW analysis
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    DOJ Agreement with the City of Portland (adopted 11/14/12)

  • Read the 74-page DOJ / City of Portland Settlment Agreement adopted November 14, 2012.
  •   Read Portland Copwatch's analysis calling US Department of Justice / City of
          Portland Agreement "a plastic mallet to hammer in a problem nail" (10/31/12):
          • 7-page Analysis in PDF format Analysis in html (text) format (with links)
  •   Read the AMA Coalition analysis of the final agreement (Nov. 13, 2012)
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    Changes to PPB Directives

  • Comments on Profiling, Accountability and other Directives, September 2018

  • Comments on the Search and Seizure Directive, May 2018

  • Comments on Discipline, Performance Deficiencies and Directives Directives, August 2017

  • Comments on Internal Affairs Related and "Laws, Rules" Directives, July 2017

  • Comments on Immigration Enforcement Directive (810.10) May 2017

  • Comments on Special Weapons Directive, February 2017

  • Comments on Accountabliity and Mental Health Directives April 2015
  • In October 2012, Chief Reese published proposed new policies on Tasers, Force & Deadly Force
  •   Read Portland Copwatch's comments on the proposed directives (10/22/12)

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    On This Page

    Compliance reports
    DOJ Letter of Findings
    DOJ/Portland Agreement
    Changes to PPB Directives

    Portland Copwatch
    PO Box 42456
    Portland, OR 97242
    (503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
    e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

    Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

    Posted December 18, 2012, last updated May 24, 2019

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