Portland City Council Limits Police


Portland City Council passed two resolutions on Wednesday that limit police cooperation with federal law enforcement and ban the police from targeting journalists.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty made comments accusing the Portland Police of being as guilty as federal law enforcement for the activities that have happened involving demonstrators. Wednesday evening she released the following statement:

"Today I let my emotions get the most of me during council and the comment I made to the press. But I’m angry, frustrated, and horrified by what has happened these past 50 days. I’m angry that even as a City Commissioner, I am coming up against countless barriers from protecting protesting Portlanders from the deluge of tear gas, pepper spray, and other munitions on a nightly basis. Every night I am terrified that someone will be killed because of an officers’ inability to de-escalate or walk away from a situation. Or my worst fear, that those that seek to discredit protests are helping initiate it.

As a child of the Civil Rights movement, it is my experience – and those who studied history know this too – that in justice movements and mass protests, people have been sent to infiltrate these spaces to create incidents that justify enhance police actions. Using unfounded claims and misinformation is something no one in any position of power should do, and you deserve better. I appreciate the reminder that as a public servant I need to be careful making statements out of misinformation, and I take this to heart. I hope this is something Portland Police Bureau will also remember as they put out nightly statements regarding the protests, their conduct, and their involvement with federal officers, because we can all agree lives are on the line.

We all have bad days but most of them don’t happen publicly. I have always said we can disagree without being disagreeable, but today I did not meet that standard, and I’m sorry."