Portland votes to create community-run police oversight board

Portland votes to create community-run police oversight board
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Portland, Ore., voters have approved the creation of a police oversight board, aimed at increasing accountability and transparency, The Oregonian reported.

The citizen-driven board, presented as ballot measure 26-217, was approved by more than 80 percent of city voters Tuesday, according to the Oregon secretary of State’s website.

The new oversight panel is intended to replace the existing Independent Police Review, a city agency.

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It will be able to take stricter measures against police, including the ability to investigate complaints made against the Portland Police Bureau and officers' use of deadly force, among other things. To assist with its investigations, the board can subpoena documents and witnesses and access police records. In the event that wrongdoing by police is shown, the board can impose disciplinary actions, including the firing of officers.

Portland has become an epicenter for protests as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, with many demonstrators calling for increased accountability among police.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty told The Oregonian she's expecting a legal challenge from the Portland police union to the measure, which she supported.

“I expect them to file a lawsuit, so it won’t be a surprise,” Hardesty said. “But because the voters passed this by over 80 percent margin, I think the city attorneys will have much confidence that they can rigorously defend the people’s will in court.”

Portland’s Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, who President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE called a "fool" and accused of poorly handling the protests, was also reelected on Election Day.