Today, Mayor Wheeler issued a directive to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), directing the PPB to end the use of CS gas for crowd control.
It’s time for everyone to reduce the violence in our community. We all want change. We all have the opportunity and obligation to create change. We all want to focus on the fundamental issue at hand – justice for Black people and all people of color.
That’s why, as Police Commissioner, effective immediately and until further notice, I am directing the Portland Police to end the use of CS gas for crowd control.
I commend the work that the Oregon State Legislature and Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform have done to date to convene experts to evaluate the use of gas and what safer alternatives may exist that prevent the need for greater force. I commit the City of Portland to full participation in these reforms and encourage the Legislature to take up this issue as soon as possible.
During the last hundred days Portland, Multnomah County and State Police have all relied on CS gas where there is a threat to life safety. We need something different. We need it now.
Arson, vandalism, and violence are not going to drive change in this community. I expect the police to arrest people who engage in criminal acts. I expect the District Attorney to prosecute those who commit criminal acts. And I expect the rest of the criminal justice system to hold those individuals accountable. We must stand together as a community against violence and for progress.
I call on everyone to step up and tamp down the violence. I’m acting. It’s time for others to join me.