Several bills were passed in the special session
During the special session, the legislature passed legislation championed by the Oregon Legislature’s People of Color (POC) Caucus. Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) said “these measures represent just a first step in the long road of reforms that our state must tackle.” Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) confirmed, “We took important steps on that path today, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have much work ahead.”
The measures that passed the legislature today were:
- Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform – HB 4201A – establishes committee to examine policies related to use of force and transparency in policing and recommend legislation to committees of Legislative Assembly related to judiciary on or before December 31, 2020.
- Outlaw the use of respiratory restricting restraints – HB 4203A – declares that a peace officer is not justified or reasonable in any circumstance to use physical force that impedes “the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person” unless it is a circumstance in which an officer may use deadly force as provided by in ORS 161.239. Rules will be adopted prohibiting the training of this force, except as a defensive maneuver.
- Duty to report and intervene – HB 4205A - requires police and reserve officers to intervene to prevent or stop another officer from engaging in an act they know, or should reasonably know is misconduct.
- Transparency of police discipline records – HB 4207A - requires the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) to establish a statewide online public database of records for officers whose certification has been revoked or suspended and specifies the information to be provided.
- Protecting freedom of speech and assembly from excessive force – HB 4208A – prohibits law enforcement agencies from using tear gas for crowd control, except for circumstances that meet the definition of a riot in ORS 166.015. In the event of a riot, the legislation requires sufficient notification and ability for individuals to evacuate an area before tear gas is deployed.
- Discipline guidelines and arbitration decisions – SB 1604 – requires an arbitrator to uphold a discipline decision should they agree that misconduct occurred, as long as the discipline lines up with the discipline guide. The disciplinary guide or matrix would be a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.
“Today we proclaimed that Black Lives Matter,” said Sen. James Manning (D-Eugene).
“For the people marching on the streets today, for everyone who wants to feel safe in their own communities from police harassment, for the future generations who deserve to live in a better World, today is an historic day,” said Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland).
Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio) quoted the late Rep. Vic Gilliam on the floor on HB 4207A “Passing this resolution reminds me of someone who won the game and they continue to celebrate it.” She said, “You’ve won the battle, but this is a poke in the eye.” This bill was on collecting a statewide database on police disciplinary records, whether founded or not, and publish them online.
Law enforcement agencies have a hard time getting recruits. Current law requires a psychological evaluation of all police officers. Will these reforms improve conduct, or reduce the caliber of recruits?
|Post Date: 2020-06-27 08:38:39||Last Update: 2020-06-27 08:54:46|