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Issues News WLAIC

Law Enforcement and Police Reform in the State of Oregon

WLAIC supports the need for government policies and entities that strengthen public health and safety. We believe that sensible guidelines on the use of force in policing support this goal.

WLAIC supports the following State-level policies called for by Legislative People of Color Caucus. The state legislature is taking up the issue of arbitration in its special session on law enforcement. Let your representatives know where you stand.

Police Arbitration Limitations: The concept has been approved twice unanimously by the Senate, as Senate Bill 383 (2019) and Senate Bill 1567 (2020). The new law would prohibit an arbitrator from lessening disciplinary action against a law enforcement officer if the arbitrator and the law enforcement agency determine that the officer has committed misconduct

Outside Investigation/Prosecution: A new legislative concept that would authorize and require the Oregon AG to investigate and prosecute, if the evidence dictates, any death or serious physical injury resulting from the use of force by a law enforcement officer.

Strengthening Standards for Use of Force: The House Interim Committee on Judiciary immediately convene a bipartisan work group to recommend changes to the state’s laws regarding use of physical force or deadly physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape (ORS 161.235 and 161.239). This work will lead to a bill for the 2021 legislative session 

#8cantwait Campaign

WLAIC supports the goals of the #8cantwait campaign to address the use of force in policing. We note that the majority of their recommendations are currently included in the Oregon DPSST Basic Police Use of Force Training Program and are considered best practice. However, we also realize that gaps often exist between policy and practice, as evidenced in the recent Michael Fesser case. WLAIC, therefore, urges the City of West Linn to review the basic recommendations of the #8cantwait Campaign regarding the use of force in policing, and determine how to conduct policing and police oversight in West Linn to ensure that public health and safety is strengthened.

#8cantwait Recommendations

  • Ban chokeholds and strangleholds.
  • Require de-escalation.
  • Require warning before shooting.
  • Require exhausts all alternatives before shooting.
  • Duty to intervene.
  • Ban shooting at moving vehicles.
  • Require use of force continuum.
  • Require comprehensive reporting