The US Department of Justice will announce this morning that it's found the Portland Police Bureau has engaged in a practice and pattern of using excessive force against people who have mental illness, and that the bureau has committed constitutional rights violations.
At a Thursday morning press conference, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said the investigation found the Portland police use higher levels of force than is necessary when dealing with people that have mental illness, and that police have used Tasers on the mentally ill excessively.
“The findings are very blunt,” Mayor Sam Adams says, “in their
assessment that we get a failing grade in dealing with the number
growing of Portlanders facing mental health issues." Adams promised to show meaningful improvement within 30 days.
The DOJ and the bureau will work toward a settlement agreement to allow the feds to monitor the bureau's efforts to respond to the findings, which come after a 14-month investigation. The DOJ says it's reached a preliminary agreement that allows the oversight to go forward.