September Justice Reform Roundtable

A conversation about use of force policies

September 23rd, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

You can review a recording of the meeting here.

Thank you to our presenters for taking time to share with us the work they are doing during this unprecedented pandemic. We also want to thank those who were able to join our call.


Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann, District 4

Multnomah County Sheriff Michael Reese

State Representative Chris Gorsek

Gresham Activist Shemar Lennox

Taji Chesimet and Alana Nayak - Raising Justice

Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) Executive Director Abbey Stamp

Below are questions asked during the event along with the timestamp where you can view the answers in the video.

16:30 - What is House Bill 4301 and how does it change use of force policy in the state of Oregon?

19:35 - Which policies around use of force should be further reformed and how does that impact communities disproportionately in contact with law enforcement?

23:00 - What are the most common calls that MCSO respond to when patrolling? What is the primary reason, if you can infer, for resisting arrests that then lead to use of force? 

26:10 - What is the intended role of Use of Force in the community when the majority of instances are in the efforts of detaining or arresting an individual?

28:30 - What types of use of force are most common for MCSO?

29:50 - What circumstances lead to more instances of the use of force in detention facilities rather than patrol?

32:10 - What message do you have for EC residents who want to be involved, what advice do you have for long term change in policy areas related to use of force?

34:25 - Are there any bills coming to the 2021 legislature to further address use of force by law enforcement?

38:30 - Part of the problem seems to be a mindset among some officers that justifies aggression and discrimination. We can change rules among officers, but how do we change a mindset?

45:25 - What situations justify use of chemical weaponry? Do your officers know the minimum safe distance for deploying pepper spray?

56:45 - When is a lethal weapon considered to be a proportionate response?

58:05 - How is the county ensuring that there is a wide diversity of voices being heard as changes are being implemented? Most processes are put into place by leaders and those vocal in the process. How are individual community member voices being solicited and heard and how are individual officer's voices being heard? What will make officers feel safer in doing their jobs? What needs to be in place for community members to feel safe? What needs to happen so that officers are actually doing police work rather than having to take on other roles because funding for those services is not in place?

01:06:05 - In situations that sometimes lead to use of force, how do people give feedback when they observe differential treatment between white people and BIPOC communities. What is the avenue to give feedback and how do community members know that feedback is being heard?

01:08:25 - Police accountability is key to limiting unnecessary force.  Is it a conflict of interest when police participate in elections via endorsements and contributions? Isn't it a conflict of interest when they participate in deciding (beyond voting) who their bosses might be?

01:11:50 - I would be interested to hear how the events of the last several months nationally and locally involving the high profile deaths of so many black men and women like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the scenes and cries of protest that followed have impacted you personally and/or changed any of your views

01:15:55 - What potential changes to your existing use of force policy do you anticipate being made during this window of review?

01:19:45 - The cost of reviewing, recovering evidence, cataloging body camera footage and archiving it is incredibly expensive. How do we prevent body cam usage from being a budget cut?

01:21:40 - Can you talk about difference between Portland Police, Gresham Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s office, including their jurisdictions geographically and their roles in the area?

01:28:20 - I would like to make a comment about the role of the unions in the operations of the police and sheriffs office and some experience as Chair of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission that I have experienced.

01:35:35 - How are you ensuring that deescalation practices are emphasized as one of the first methods to handle a conflict, rather than resorting to use of force as a first response?

01:42:50 - What impact do you feel protests, demonstrations and vigils have had so far? Do you see the needle moving in the right direction? Are changes coming fast enough? How do we convince law enforcement and the government that the time for incrementalism is over?