Voices from the Edge 07-28-11 US DOJ investigation into police practices and policies

program date: 
Thu, 07/28/2011

How seriously will the Feds look at police practices?

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is beginning an investigation into the policies and practices of the Portland Police Bureau to determine whether officers routinely use excessive force to violate Portlanders' civil rights. Community leaders who have been calling for such an investigation were finally joined in their request by Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Dan Saltzman following the January 2010 police killing of Aaron Campbell. While the DOJ determined no federal law had been violated in the Campbell case, the agency did feel a review of bureau policies and practices are needed. This investigation will take place while the DOJ is also investigating whether the state mental health system is violating the rights of institutionalized Oregonians.

This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave look at the scope and structure of the DOJ investigation. How broadly will federal investigators cast their net? How aggressively will they go into affected communities to obtain testimony from Portlanders and will these efforts seek to overcome the reluctance of many residents to speak out publicly against the police?

Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years

Join Jo Ann and Dave every Thursday as they bring you guests and conversations on the issues that are important to you. Support Voices from the Edge by becoming a member of KBOO today (just click the "tip jar" on our website to find out how).

Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Bowman and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Bowman
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson

 

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