Portland Police Presentation Celebrates Violence Against Protesters

A slideshow designed to train officers in Portland, Oregon in methods of police protests concluded with a post celebrating the use of violence against protesters, suggesting they would end up “stuffed and bandaged,” according to data released by the city are released on Friday.

The image was added at the end of a 110-slide training session, apparently from 2018, detailing the types of protests officers might encounter, along with analyzes of crowd behavior and police tactics that can be used to maintain order. The closing slide was from a meme that mocked protesters as filthy hippies, celebrating that officers could “dip your head with hickory and anoint your faces with pepper spray.”

It featured an image of what appeared to be a police officer in riot gear hitting a protester.

The office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as Police Commissioner, released the document Friday, saying it had surfaced as part of a lawsuit related to the racial justice protests that seized the city in 2020. Mr Wheeler said he was “horrified” by the slide mocking protesters and that an investigation had begun.

“The Portland Police Department must reject the damaging and divisive attitude expressed in that slide,” he said.

Chuck Lovell, who became Police Chief in 2020, said the message in the presentation was “not representative of the Portland Police Department, and it’s disappointing for all of us who are working so hard to gain the trust of the community.”

The police station documented that it used force more than 6,000 times during the protests, which was reprimanded by federal officials who felt the city was not in compliance with a previous settlement agreement.

Mr Wheeler’s office said that while the document appeared to have been created in 2018, it remained unclear when the slide was added to the training materials and who did it. His office said it wasn’t sure if it was used during training.

The precinct has long had a confrontational relationship with protesters in Portland, and tensions escalated during the racial justice demonstrations that followed the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020.

When some people in the crowd smashed windows or lit fires, police often responded by covering streets with tear gas and beating protesters to the ground. The city has faced a series of lawsuits over the use of tear gas and individual instances of excessive force, including a recent $100,000 settlement with a protester who said officers tried to take his plate before punching him in the face. sprayed and threw him in front of the door. ground.

Teressa Raiford, the executive director of the activist organization Don’t Shoot Portland, said the training material didn’t surprise her, but she was glad it was now available to everyone. She said the attacks described in the meme are the kind of things protesters in Portland have been seeing for years.

“I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’ve lived it,” said Mrs Raiford.

Ms. Raiford said she wanted the Department of Justice to investigate the Portland Police Department for its tactics, bias and links between officers and white nationalist organizations. Federal agents played their part during the protests, violently confronting the protesters in front of the US courthouse downtown; In the months that followed, FBI agents were deployed to keep an eye on the mob.

The Portland slideshow features several strategies and weapons for containing protests, including an “escalating force” model in which officers confront protesters. The presentation also describes a “negotiated management” model, detailing how cops can be friendly, maintain open communication with protest organizers and keep riot teams out of sight. The slideshow notes that the negotiated model “doesn’t work with anarchists or radical groups who refuse to negotiate with the police.”

In 2021, after nearly a year of turmoil in the wake of Mr. Floyd, which included regular demonstrations that led to the smashing of windows at everything from coffee shops to a Boys & Girls Club, the city continued a vigorous performance.

Mr Wheeler said at the time that he wanted to “expose” those protesters who had engaged in repeated vandalism or arson, saying it was time to “hurt them a little”.