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Portland Police Faces Video Restrictions
“The Portland Police Bureau play word games with civil liberties.”

In another blow to Portland law enforcement, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Tom Ryan has held that the Portland Police Bureau’s practice of filming and broadcasting protesters via livestreams broadcast internally, such as in the bureau’s situation room and on social media such as Twitter, violates state law that prohibits police from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of people who are not suspected of criminal activity. The court also held that PPB’s livestreams violate an agreement between the ACLU of Oregon and the City of Portland/PPB regarding the collection of information about protestors.

In August of 1988, ACLU and PPB reached a civil settlement agreement regarding the latter’s collection of information about participants in public demonstrations. Among other things, the Agreement obligated PPB to adopt the following formal policy:

“Portland Police Officers shall not collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information relates directly to an investigation of criminal activities, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct.”

In this lawsuit against the City of Portland, the ACLU of Oregon and Marie Tyvoll (“Protestor No. 1”) were represented by ACLU of Oregon pro bono attorneys Edward Piper, Ursula Lalovic, and Joanna Perini-Abbott of Angeli Law Group LLC, Alan Lloyd Kessler and Rian Peck of Visible Law, and Kelly Simon of the ACLU Foundation of Oregon.

Pro bono attorney Edward Piper of Angelia Law Group LLC stated: “We’re very happy with Judge Ryan’s ruling, which shows that the law can keep pace with evolving technology.”

Pro bono attorney Alan Kessler stated: “The Portland Police Bureau and the Portland City Attorney’s office are accustomed to playing word games with our civil liberties. We are grateful that Judge Ryan saw through the City’s obfuscation and identified the PPB’s practice of filming and live-streaming demonstrators for what it is: an unlawful collection of information about protesters’ free speech activities.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-25 14:22:23Last Update: 2021-09-25 14:29:31



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