Portland, Oregon’s city auditor and city commissioner Randy Leonard, faced with growing community demands for accountability after controversial police shootings and a death i police custody that’s taken three years to investigate, want to give the city’s police oversight division the muscle they say it needs to be effective, The Oregonian reports.
A proposed change would give the director of the Independent Police Review Divison the power to subpoena witnesses for independent inquiries and recommend discipline in police misconduct cases. These would be the first changes to the city’s police oversight system created nine years ago. The proposal gives the director of the division oversight of all internal affairs investigations and would make police review board findings on misconduct or use of force cases public, without naming the officers involved. Leonard made strengthening police oversight a priority after the nearly three-year-long internal investigation into the in-custody death of James P. Chasse Jr., the police beanbag shooting of a 12-year-old girl, and his dismay about approving large payments to settle legal claims against police for use of force without corresponding discipline for officers.