PORTLAND COPS released new data this month reinforcing what accountability advocates have long been calling out: Over an extensively studied five-month span in 2011, almost 12 percent of traffic stops by the Portland Police Bureau involved an African American person—even though African Americans make up about 6 percent of the city's population.
The rate for pedestrian stops was even more disproportionate, at nearly 20 percent, as were rates for how often black and white Portlanders were searched. Black Portlanders were asked for "consent" searches and patted down more often than whites—even though they were less likely to have contraband.
Much of that disparity appears to be driven by which police unit makes the stop. Gang and patrol units were far more likely to stop an African American person than traffic cops. DENIS C. THERIAULT
DAN SALTZMAN actually said his opposition to a land deal giving homeless rest area Right 2 Dream Too nearly $850,000 to move somewhere besides a city-owned lot in the Pearl District had hardened since he first blocked a vote on February 12. But instead of delaying the transaction any more than he already had—a non-unanimous council vote would have held up the necessary contracts until mid-March—the city commissioner left the city council chambers instead of voting no during a re-vote on February 19, so the deal could be sealed immediately. DCT
A FLURRY of election law complaints against the campaign to create a new sewer and water district have been tossed because the Oregon Secretary of State's office couldn't determine whether they had merit.
Beginning last fall, the office began receiving accounts—many from opponents of the campaign—of petitioners spreading misinformation about the measure to attract signatures. The campaigners allegedly suggested Nestlé was close to a takeover of the Bull Run Watershed (it's not) and trumpeted the support of environmental groups who actually stridently oppose the measure.
But the secretary of state's office announced on February 20 it was unable to determine the alleged bad actors' identities, let alone prove, as the law requires, that they had spread lies "knowingly." DIRK VANDERHART