[pjw] ACTION: Second Joint Terrorism Task Force resolution at Council Wed AM

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu May 2 14:17:23 EDT 2019

Hello Peace and Justice Works Supporters
(Sorry for any duplication with the Copwatch email list).

Below is an article that ran on the Willamette Week website yesterday 
morning about the second Resolution about the Joint Terrorism Task Force. 
As you recall, Council voted 3-2 to get out of the JTTF in February, but 
gave the Mayor and Commissioner Hardesty 90 days to present a plan for how 
the PPB will cooperate with the FBI in the future, now that the two 
part-time PPB officers are no longer permanently assigned to the JTTF.

The result is a Resolution that is mostly responsive to the letter that
Portland Copwatch and other community groups sent to Council last month.


The resolution, says the Council Clerk's office, is scheduled as the
first regular agenda item next Wednesday, May 8. Wednesday sessions
start at 9:30 AM with "Communications" for 15 minutes, then there is a
Time Certain at 9:45 AM, but the schedule may change. We are lining up
speakers from various groups involved in the Campaign, to both thank the
Council and raise a few concerns.

You can read the Resolution via the Willy Week's post:


The most problematic section is the first "Be it Resolved" clause which,
as I said to WWeek, seems to broaden the mission of the Task Force far
beyond "Terrorism":

  NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Chief of Police may, upon the
  request of the Portland FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC), temporarily
  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 suspicion of criminal

Any threat to life or hate crime is indeed something to be concerned
about, but does every one of them require the resources of the FBI,
local and state law enforcement, and federal agencies such as
Immigration and Customs Reform? I don't think so.

So, we are encouraging people to write to Council with their
thanks for a Resolution which mostly limits PPB participation
with the JTTF-- especially around immigration issues-- but also concerns
about the Resolution including the one mentioned here, if you agree that
is an issue.

dan handelman
peace and justice works / portland copwatch


Deal on Portland's Withdrawal from the Joint Terrorism Task Force Gives
Police Some Leeway to Work With Feds
    Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty have reached a
    deal on policies related to the JTTF.
    By Rachel Monahan |   Published 10:29 AM   Updated 10:52 AM

    In February, Portland City Council voted to withdraw the city's police
    force from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership run by the FBI
    to coordinate various law-enforcement agencies' efforts to fight
    terrorism and extremists.

    The vote at City Hall was 3-2--a narrow decision.

    Related: Portland Leaves the Joint Terrorism Task Force Again, Becoming
    Second U.S. City to Cut Ties

    Now Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who championed the withdrawal as a
    campaign issue, and Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as police
    commissioner, are returning to City Council with the details of what
    the city's stance toward the JTTF will look like going forward.

    In some ways, Portland's involvement with the Task Force will indeed

    When Portland was in the JTTF, the security-clearance requirements
    created a dynamic where the police working with the JTTF did not have
    to answer to the chief for their work with the FBI. Now the chief or
    her deputy will be the required liaison to the JTTF.

    Also when Portland was officially in the JTTF, two Portland police
    officers were assigned to work with the JTTF and could do that work at
    any time without specific approval from the chief. Now approval is

    But a key advocate for police reform says the new JTTF policy
    resolution, which has been filed (and is available here to read it in
    full), may expand the kind of work the JTTF can undertake in Portland.

    The resolution states the police chief can "temporarily 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 suspicion of criminal

    Because it includes "threats to life" and "hate crimes," Dan Handelman
    of the watchdog group Portland Copwatch says the resolution "appears to
    broaden the mission" of the JTTF from how it was understood when
    Portland pulled out. That gives police more leeway to temporarily
    partner with the feds, he warns.

    "The community wanted it to be much narrower," he says.

    Hardesty says in a statement she's pleased with the deal.

    "When communities tell us their fears of being targeted because of
    their race or immigration status, we have to act," says Hardesty in a
    statement. "After weeks of negotiation I'm proud to say we've reached a
    resolution that addresses many of the concerns that prompted the call
    for withdraw from the task force in the first place."

    The final policy ended up being a compromise between the mayor's office
    and Hardesty's office, in part because Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who
    voted to withdraw, has insisted on a consensus.

    In an April 2 email obtained by WW, she "replied all" on an email
    from Hardesty's policy director Derek Bradley, including Hardesty
    herself as well as staff in the mayor's and other council offices,
    insisting on a resolution that the mayor would support.

    "It's important to me that the Mayor supports the Resolution," Fritz
    emailed. "Please keep us informed as to the response from the Mayor's

    Since Fritz's vote was decisive on removing Portland from the JTTF, her
    support would presumably be required again on this second part of the
    JTTF resolution.

    Her chief of staff, Tim Crail, went public with his concerns over the
    need to attempt consensus at City Hall, in the midst of these
    negotiations, in a Portland Mercury story last week.

    "That's not how City Hall works best. You need to hear all the
    commissioners' voices and do everything you can to accommodate concerns
    that others raise," Crail told The Mercury. "Sometimes you can't, and
    you pass policies with three or four votes. But you certainly try to
    get to five."

    Hardesty didn't comment for that story, but a staffer tweeted afterward
    that they'd continue to look for three votes, if not five.

      We'll keep counting to 3 if that's what needs to be done for the
      people of Portland. That's where our loyalty is.
      -- Matt McNally (@mattmcnallypdx) April 24, 2019

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