Portland Police just announced plans to overhual its use of force rules in ligth of a new report.
Interestingly enough, it is noted that only 1% of Portland police calls use police force. Most of these cases reveal that the officer was exonnerated — at a rate higher than the national average.
Some report highlights:
“¢ While the frequency of use of force in Portland is similar to that of other cities,”Portland officers report using force slightly more frequently than publicly reported by their peers in Minneapolis, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.”
“¢ In 75 percent of the incidents, only one type of force was used. Overall, 83 percent of the reports involved a physical use of force, such as a “control hold,” while 19 percent involved use of a taser, 17 percent involved a “blunt impact strike” including knees, baton and flashlight, 7 percent involved pepper spray and 2 percent were non-lethal weapons such as a beanbag shotgun.
“¢ The report found a high correlation between officers’ rate of use of force and the number of complaints filed against them. In the two-year span, the report said, seven officers had received five or more force-related complaints.
“¢ The report said 10 percent of Portland officers account for 39 percent of the total force incidents reported.
“¢ The report also found that of the suspects on whom force was used, 37 percent were under the influence of alcohol, 19 percent were under the influence of drugs and 14 percent were reportedly mentally ill.
The report also notes: “nothing in our analysis or this report shows that officers in Portland use force inappropriately.”
Then why the need for the need for an overhaul?