[pjw] COMMENTS on Joint Terrorism Task Force Directive, August 2019

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Mon Aug 12 19:29:03 EDT 2019

PJW and PCW supporters

We sent these comments in this afternoon on behalf of Peace and Justice
Works and Portland Copwatch.

The deadline to comment is Wednesday at 5 PM.

Feel free to share; and let us know if you sent in your own comments.

(and, sorry for duplication with the Copwatch list)
--dan handelman
peace and justice works/portland copwatch

-----------------forwarded message-------------------

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2019 16:12:30 -0700
From: Portland Copwatch
To: Chief Danielle Outlaw, Portland City Council Commissioner Jo Ann
     Hardesty, Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Commissioner Nick Fish,
     Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Mayor Ted Wheeler,
     Captain Bryan Parman, "Lt. Craig Morgan",
     Dennis Rosenbaum, PCCEP-Claudia Claudio,
     Citizen Review Committee, Independent Police Review,
     PPB Directives <PPBDirectives at PortlandOregon.gov>,
     Mary Hull Caballero, Nicole Grant
Cc: Jonas Geissler, Jared Hager
 	<News Media <newsmedia at portlandcopwatch.org>
Subject: COMMENTS on Joint Terrorism Task Force Directive, August 2019

SUBJECT: COMMENTS on Joint Terrorism Task Force Directive, July 2019

To: Chief Danielle Outlaw, Portland Police Bureau Directives project,
      Mayor Ted Wheeler and members of City Council,
      Auditor Mary Hull Caballero, Independent Police Review,
      US DOJ, Compliance Officer/Community Liaison,
      Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing and others

cc: members of the public and the media

From: Portland Copwatch  / Peace and Justice Works

To Chief Outlaw, the PPB Directives Team, Mayor Wheeler and
Commissioners Eudaly, Fish, Fritz and Hardesty:

We were among the many organizations who worked diligently to ask the
Portland Police to remove its two part-time officers from the FBI's
Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). After Council voted to get those
officers out of the Task Force, a second resolution passed on May 8
described the ways in which the PPB will interact with the JTTF moving

One provision of that second resolution was for the Bureau to draw up a
policy (Directive) describing that relationship. A draft policy
(750.00) has been posted to the Bureau's website at
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/737115 .

Having examined the draft Directive carefully, the only major difference
between the language in the policy and the language of the Council
resolution can be found in Section 2.3, which has the Chief direct
Criminal Intelligence Unit officers sharing information about the threat
of terrorism with the JTTF. The resolution's version of this item
included the important phrase "in compliance with Oregon State law." We
strongly urge that phrase be added to the Directive as well.

We also suggest adding the following two sections to further assure that
the reasons for withdrawing officers are safeguarded by this policy:

4.2 Any training material the FBI provides to PPB task force members
will also be provided to and maintained by the city attorneys office
(in accordance with the provisions of section 1.2).

4.3 Any training that is discriminatory and biased against any minority
group shall be immediately reported to the city attorney and will be a
basis for not participating in the JTTF (in accordance with the
provisions of section 1.2).

We cannot let it go without saying, however, that the language reflected
in Section 1.2 is based on an unacceptably broad policy set by Council
in the Resolution. This is language we warned the Council could allow
the PPB to work with the FBI's task force dozens or maybe hundreds of
times per year if there are cases in which anyone's life is threatened
or a hate crime is committed, as opposed to the handful of cases the PPB
works on with the FBI now.

That language says the Chief can:

  assign PPB officers to work with the Portland FBI JTTF to assist in the
  investigation of any individual suspected cases of terrorism and/or
  threats to life, including hate crimes, in or having a direct nexus to
  the City of Portland where there is reasonable grounds to suspect
  the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal

It is still not clear why a Terrorism Task Force would be interested in
any threat to life absent the qualities which would make that threat a
form of terrorism, or how hate crimes by themselves automatically come
under the rubric of terrorism. We urge the Chief, who now has the
discretion to accept or reject in any case the FBI asks for assistance
(Sections 1.1 and 3.1), to err on the side of caution. The many
organizations who objected to the PPB working with the FBI raised
recent and long-term concerns about how the secretive federal agency
tends to target immigrants, communities of color, political activists
and other vulnerable populations.

Finally, it has recently come to light that at least one PPB officer
(Andrew Hearst) and the JTTF have been supporting the South Western
Oregon Joint Task Force, which the Guardian newspaper reports is keeping
tabs on environmental activists, but not necessarily based on
reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.* We hope the Chief and Mayor
recognize that the limitations set forth in the JTTF Resolution and
Directive apply to all activities of Portland Police.

Thank you for your consideration

Dan Handelman, Peter Parks and other members of
Peace and Justice Works/Portland Copwatch

*- https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/08/fbi-oregon-anti-pipeline-jordan-cove-activists

More information about the pjw-list mailing list