Prominent African American leaders in Portland are seeking to disband the Portland Police Bureau's Gun Violence Reduction Team, saying it disproportionately targets black people.
City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty suggested May 2 that the city could disband the team, formerly the Gang Enforcement Team, in favor of sending 28 officers back to patrol duty.
Her proposal already has some community support.
"I think it's past time for it to happen," Urban League of Portland president Nkenge Harmon Johnson told Oregon Public Broadcasting on May 3. "[The gang enforcement team] was neither making us safer nor was it taking many guns off the street. What it served to do is harass African Americans."
The criticism could make it harder for Mayor Ted Wheeler to pass his budget without debate. The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update, 6:42 pm: Hours after WW noted Hardesty's proposal, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw drew attention on Twitter to the achievements of the Gun Violence Reduction Team. It appeared to be a defense of the team's effectiveness in response to criticism.