On this week's show, we hear from the Stop the Violence event held on Saturday, January 25 at Maranatha Church in NE Portland, marking the ten-year anniversary of the police killing of Aaron Campbell. Campbell's death was the latest in a series of police killings that led Portland activist groups--including the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform, the Mental Health Association of Portland, Disability Rights Oregon, Portland Copwatch, and others--to call on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Police Bureau. The D.O.J. found that the city's police force engaged in a "pattern or practice of using excessive force, with a patiicular focus on the use of force against people with mental illness or in mental health crisis," and entered into a settlement agreement with the city in 2014 to address this. In the week leading up to the Stop the Violence event, an independent monitor of the settlement ruled that the city had reached "substantial compliance" with its responsibilities under the agreement. This did not land well with the event's attendees, in light of the recent increase in people in crisis shot by police, the continuation of racist policies and tendencies in the PPB, and other ways the system fails the community. Many of the speakers also brought visions of ways to move forward, from the state to the city to the neighborhood level.
In the second part of show, we speak with Karlee Provenza, an organizer with Albany County for Proper Policing (ACOPP) in Laramie, Wyoming. ACOPP was founded in reaction to the police shooting of Robbie Ramirez in 2018 by a sheriff's deputy who had already killed two people in the line of duty. Provenza describes the group's beginnings, the challenges of organizing in a predominantly rural area, hostile reactions from local officials, and the need for oversight of law enforcement officers, even in areas that have a deep respect for authority.
A short video about ACOPP can be found here.
The full May 17, 2019, Albany County Commission meeting described in the interview can be seen here.
The press conference given by Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent following the grand jury decision not to indict Deputy Derek Colling for killing Robbie Ramirez can be found here.