Portland Police Bureau will be required to release personal cell numbers for officers to the public

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PORTLAND, OR – During the many protests and riots that occurred following the death of George Floyd, officers were ordered to cover their name tags and place their personnel numbers on their shields and helmets for identification.

Those numbers were considered confidential by the agency but now they are required to disclose that information after a lawsuit.

The Portland Police Officers who were on the front lines and being attacked by rioters with bottles, fireworks, and other improvised weapons requested that they conceal their name tags in fear of doxing that had been occurring.

The command staff of the agency agreed and told them to instead make their personnel numbers visible so that their private information was protected.

Most of the officers who adhered to this policy change did so by wearing tape with their six-digit personnel numbers. However, a smaller number of officers, who were a part of the now-defunct Rapid Response Team, wore two-digit numbers that were specific to the team in which they were assigned.

Protesters and rioters would use the numbers that were displayed, either the six or two-digit numbers, whenever they wanted to complain on officers. However, some of the officers that were complained about were unable to be identified.

As a result, public activist and lawyer, Alan Kessler, filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland after public record requests for the information on identifying the officers were denied.

The request was denied because the city thought that Kessler was demanding the six-digit numbers which they believed were protected by Oregon law. This was because the numbers were tied to the police officer’s personal information which is confidential by statute.

Kessler appealed the ruling and took the case to the Multnomah County Circuit Court. On November 10th, Judge Pro Tempore Terence Thatcher wrote the legal opinion which Kessler believed was accurate, that the city of Portland had to release the information to him.

Thatcher believes that the personnel numbers of the officers are in a government-protected system that is unlikely to be breached. Therefore, the system that has the personnel numbers tied to the officer’s confidential information is protected and the number itself can be released. He wrote:

“It is hard to see how release of numbers used mainly in a secure computer system inaccessible to the public could constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy. Except for their use during the protests, the numbers are essentially meaningless when removed from the system in which they are primarily used.”

Kessler, happy with the ruling, now believes that the personnel numbers were allowed to be used by the command staff because they ultimately did not want their officers identified. He told the Oregonian/Oregon Live outlet:

“We shouldn’t have a secret police. That’s something I think most people will agree is bad. And it shouldn’t take a lawsuit and 16 months to get the city to tell us who the officers are who are committing heinous acts.”

Kessler did not stop there as he also fought to get the personal cell phone numbers from officers that either sent or received text messages from a city-owned phone during the violent protests and riots. Kessler argued that the city was required to do so and filed a lawsuit.

The initial hearing of the case happened with the city itself which denied Kessler’s request, citing that it was personal information tied to a police officer which meant that it was confidential. Kessler felt that was inaccurate and sued the District Attorney which upheld the city’s ruling.

Kessler then took the lawsuit to the Multnomah County Court and this particular case was heard by Judge Shelley Russell. Russell ruled that the city was required to provide Kessler with the personal cell phone number of officers as they became part of the public record when they were used with city-owned phones. Russell wrote:

“The City’s interpretation is inconsistent with both the plain language of the statute and with the Attorney General’s interpretation of that statute as set out in its Public Records and Meetings Manual.”

Kessler praised the ruling and feels it is vindication for the year that he fought to get the officer’s personal cell phone numbers. He said that he hopes to match the numbers to text messages that he has copies of, which, would make one believe that he has located text messages he believes would be determinantal in some manner to officer’s careers.

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Critics slam Portland officials after defunded police stood down during riot that caused $500k in damage

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

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PORTLAND, OR- Another day, another riot in the shithole known as Portland, Oregon, where the once beautiful Pacific Northwest city continues to fade into a distant memory.

This week, the city was once again overrun by criminal thugs, which sadly has become the regular course of business in the city. All of this comes about after city officials have effectively tied the hands of their police department.

ABC News reported:

“A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon—smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least $500,000 in damage—but police officers didn’t stop them.”

 

According to officials with the Portland Police Bureau, the lack of response by the agency is directly the result of legislation passed by Oregon legislators, which have effectively hamstrung them from using the appropriate response to such widespread anarchy.

“The reason that we did not intervene goes back to what we talked about last month with House Bill 2928 and the restrictions placed on us in a crowd control environment,” Portland Police Lt. Jake Jensen told a neighborhood meeting last week, as reported by KOIN.

That response led some Portland residents, including a woman named Linda Witt if that meant it was now anything goes in the city.

“Does that mean we are now like a lawless city?” she asked, to which Jensen replied those responsible can face consequences later on.

HB 2928 prohibits the use of typical crowd control devices such as pepper spray and rubber bullets for crowd control, with the exception being if circumstances constitute a riot and where the officer using the less than lethal option “reasonably believes” its use is necessary to stop and prevent more destructive behavior.

“The law clearly allows Portland Police to use effective tools necessary to control violent crowds,” House Minority Leader Christine Drazan told the AP last week. “However, activist attorneys are deliberately misinterpreting legislation to prevent police from intervening. They have no business putting law enforcement and the community at risk.”

Meanwhile, Sgt. Kevin Allen of the Portland Police Bureau said police were awaiting to get some clarity on the legislation, however until then they are following the most “restrictive interpretation” of it while it’s being analyzed by the city attorney’s office.

Part of the issue in Portland is you have anti-police nutjob JoAnn Hardesty as a member of the city commission who has made it her life’s work to hassle and interfere with the police bureau. Likewise, Mayor Ted Wheeler, who still finds himself employed as mayor as the city devolves into nightly chaos has proven to be a feckless leader.

ABC News said they reached out to Wheeler’s office for comment, however neither he nor lawmakers in the Democratic legislative caucuses of the legislature responded.

In last week’s riot, some 35 separate locations were targeted, including banks, retail stores, coffee shops and government buildings.

The riot have been a regular occurrence in Portland, escalating after last year’s overdose death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, blamed on a city police officer who was seen apparently kneeling on the side of Floyd’s neck as he lay prone on the ground, where he had asked to be placed.

At one point last summer, there were some 100 consecutive days of riots mostly centered in the vicinity of the federal courthouse. The violence which emanated from Floyd’s death has spiked the number of murders in Portland, which surpassed its previous record of 66 from 1987.

The latest anarchy in Portland drew the attention of the Twitterverse, which had a field day poking at the stupidity of the left:

“Progress, comrades!”

 

 

“We all get to watch a laboratory experiment of the Left’s vision for public safety.

 

 

“Portland Police…say that’s because of legislation passed by Oregon…which restricts the tools they can use to confront people vandalizing buildings and causing mayhem.”

 

“Doesn’t matter. Destroying property isn’t violence. Besides, these places have insurance. These people should be allowed to express their frustrations.

“Am I doing this right?”

 

 

“Where were the social workers?”

 

One poster reminded the Twitterverse about the ridiculous scene from last year, when Ali Veshi of MSNBC, standing in front of a burning building in Minneapolis, told viewers not to believe their eyes (basically) and defined it as a “mostly peaceful protest.”

In case you missed it:

 

As with Portland, other liberal cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago and others have seen police morale plummet in the wake of constant riots and lack of support from city and state officials. As police morale dropped, crime spiked as in cities such as Minneapolis police stopped conducting traffic stops and ceased to stop and detain suspicious individuals as politicians questioned their every move.

 

Statistics show that murders have spiked 16% in major cities thus far in 2021 compared to last year, according to the Council on Criminal Justice’s (CCJ) pandemic crime report.

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