A PAIR OF PORTLAND cops who ordered the mass detainment of peaceful protesters in November 2014 might soon have to answer to city council for the move.
The city's Citizen Review Committee (CRC)—a volunteer body charged with scrutinizing complaints against police—decided on January 6 that those orders violated the rights of protesters demonstrating in response to the death of Missouri teen Michael Brown on November 29, 2014.
More than 100 protesters were swiftly "kettled" by riot cops in a downtown intersection and told they were under arrest. In reality, only 10 people were put in cuffs, but dozens of people complained.
After an internal review, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) found the orders to kettle protesters—by PPB Commander Sara Westbrook and an unnamed sergeant—were within bureau policy. The CRC disagreed.
The body's finding will now go to Chief Larry O'Dea. If he disagrees, and if the CRC sticks to its guns, the matter will wind up before Portland City Council for a final decision. DIRK VANDERHART
HOMELESS PORTLANDERS are about to have a safe spot to stow their things.
After months of delays, the city plans to roll out the first of two planned day storage centers on Thursday, January 14. The site will be located beneath the west end of the Steel Bridge, and feature a large modified shipping container, restrooms, and trash disposal.
The city's also planning a second site on the Eastside, near the Hazelnut Grove encampment on North Greeley.
Mayor Charlie Hales first announced the day storage sites in August, saying they'd free homeless Portlanders from having to lug around belongings all day.
The city says the storage site will be open for drop-offs from 6 to 7:30 am. People can pick up their things from 4:30 to 6 pm. DVH
YOUR TAX-FREE DEMOLITIONS are safe!
After enduring heated public testimony in October, and being rebuffed by city commissioners in December, Mayor Charlie Hales has cast aside his idea to assign a $25,000 tax to most home demolitions within the city.
The idea had been pitched by Hales as a way to slow the pace of demolitions in Portland's rapidly changing housing market, and also to generate funding to build affordable housing.
But though it had fans, the proposal met resistance from developers and homeowners alike—so much so that securing three votes on Portland City Council seemed like a longshot at best.
This might not be done, though. Hales hinted in December that there are "other options" he'd like to explore to slow demolitions. DVH