The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has updated its internal policy on when the department releases the names of officers who use deadly force against members of the public—months after not adhering to the policy's predecessor.
It's long been PPB policy to release the name of an officer who uses deadly force against (ie: shoots a firearm at) someone within 24 hours of the event taking place, absent a "security threat." A new executive order made by PPB Chief Chuck Lovell extends that time frame to 15 days.
"This new procedure strikes the right balance between transparency and the security concerns of our PPB members, and I am grateful for the patience of our community as we carefully considered this policy change," said Lovell in a press release.
This policy update follows months of PPB refusing to share the names of officers who shot at Portlanders, instead citing the "security threat" exemption. Per our previous reporting:
PPB first mentioned the security threat exemption in July, after officers shot and killed a man who was firing a gun in Southeast Portland yard. At the time, PPB withheld the identities of the officers responsible, citing threats of "doxing"—the act of sharing the home address or other personal information of someone online to prompt harassment of that person and their family. A month later, three other PPB officers shot at a Portlander, and the bureau again withheld their names due to alleged doxing concerns. At the time, PPB announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating these threats.
Portland officers have fired their guns at members of the public three additional times since, and had their identities protected by police. PPB has not acknowledged if those officers were facing a security threat as well.
According to PPB, the FBI investigation has concluded. PPB did not share any information about the findings of that investigation. The bureau did share the identities of all nine officers whose names had been withheld since July.
In an email to the Mercury, PPB spokesperson Kevin Allen wrote that PPB wasn't told if the FBI has made any arrests linked to their investigation.
"It’s fair to say that Chief Lovell remains concerned about the safety of the PPB membership," Allen continued, "but the we no longer have an articulable security threat."
Per the Friday press release, all nine officers' decisions to use deadly force remain under internal review. Four officers' actions have been determined legal by the Multnomah County District Attorney's office, while five officers remain on administrative leave pending a ruling from the DA's office.