Target: Portland Police Bureau and Portland Commissioner of Public Safety, Randy Leonard.
Goal: Halt use of excessive force, specifically against the mentally ill.
It was discovered that the Portland police department has been using excessive force against people, many of whom were mentally ill. Now under scrutiny, the department is revising its procedures and policies; however, they need to know that they will continue to be watched even after media attention has subsided.
Following an investigation by the Justice Department, the Portland Police Bureau has been charged with the act of unconstitutionally using excessive force against suspects. The past three years in Portland, Oregon have seen the deaths of 12 suspects, 10 of whom were mentally ill persons, and all of whom can be said to have died due to the use of excessive force.
In the spotlight, the Portland Police Bureau has begun revising their policies and looking for new ways to deal with mentally ill suspects. However, history has taught us that many institutions have the tendency to get on top of the problem whilst under public pressure and then lose progress as attention fades. Don’t let this happen here. The Portland Police Bureau must understand that their past tactics are unacceptable. Tell the Bureau that as United States citizens we will not stand for such a huge misuse of power. Remind the Portland Police Bureau that they are under public pressure and will continually be until they revise their procedures and solve the current problems.
Dear Portland Police Bureau and Commissioner of Public Safety, Randy Leonard,
After the recent investigations into the misconduct of the Portland Police Bureau, I understand that the police department is implementing revisions to their current policies and procedures. I am glad to see that this is the case because the misuse of power that has been occurring in the area of Portland is unacceptable.
I am writing to you today to make it known that I will be following up on this issue for months to come. I expect continuous progress to be made so that excessive force will no longer be used against any suspect. I also expect the Portland Police Bureau to institute new policies for dealing with mentally ill suspects so this problem never arises again.
Thank you for your efforts in the current situation and I will be checking back to see how things progress.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Light Cue 23