On Saturday, August 4, at least three Portlanders were seriously injured by so-called "less lethal" munitions shot into a crowd of counter-protesters by Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers. Mounting outcry from public over PPB's actions during the protest, which was organized by Washington alt-right group Patriot Prayer, and subsequent counter-protest ignited an investigation by the city's Independent Police Review (IPR). But many question the veracity of that pending investigation, since the IPR is a city-run program that works closely with the police.
Perhaps its this skepticism that's pushed PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw to consider an outside investigation into her officers' actions on Aug. 4.
"[Chief Outlaw] is presently weighing the options of having an outside critical incident review conducted of PPB's police response on Saturday, August 4th, in order to gain an outside, expert perspective," writes PPB spokesperson Pete Simpson in an email to the Mercury. Mayor Ted Wheeler also hinted at an outside investigation during this morning's city council session.
It wouldn't be the first time PPB has relied on an outside team to investigate police conduct. Since 2010, the the California-based OIR Group has contracted with the city to investigate more than 40 officer-involved shootings within the PPB, and its findings have regularly informed policy changes—like the end of the 48-hour rule.
Simpson gave no timeframe as to when Outlaw would decide on an outside inspection.