URGENT! Comment TODAY on State BLM Votes!
BREAKING NEWS! Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, has reconvened the Oregon State Legislature, for an emergency session, beginning TODAY, THURSDAY 6/25/20, at 10 am!
This is the most important way you can potentially make an immediate difference, right now, throughout the entire state. Please, get your comments in by TOMORROW at 9 am! This is to ensure they are entered into the public record.
Photo: An umbrella shields a peaceful protester from the tear gas deployed by Portland Police at a memorial for George Floyd/Black Lives Matter demonstration. If HB 4208 passes, its statewide ban will shield against both tear gas and sonic weapons. Photo by and shared with enthusiastic consent by Scully Media.
Provide your public comments here.
Look up who your State Senator and State Representative are and how to contact them.
Watch the livestream TODAY, THURSDAY, 6/25/20.
The State Legislature’s protocol for public testimony is here.
Bill Agenda for June 25, 2020 session in Salem includes the following:
HB 4201: Requires deaths and certain injuries caused by police to be reported to the Attorney General.
HB 4203 Disallows police to use force that limits a person’s ability to breathe, including, but not limited to chokeholds.
HB 4205 Requires a police officer to intervene when they see another cop engaging in “an act that is unethical or that violates law, rules or policy.”
HB 4207 Establishes a state-wide database of police disciplinary records. Makes that database public.
HB 4208 Prohibits use of teargas and sonic weapons.
COVID/ Social Support Related:
HB 4204 Establishes temporary limitations on lenders being able to enforce default remedies on obligations secured by mortgages, trust deeds, land sale contracts or other instruments. (Can’t evict homeowners).
HB 4213 Prohibits residential and commercial evictions under specified conditions during emergency period.
Read the exact text of each measure here.
HB 4201 represents tacit acknowledgement that it does not suffice to entrust Internal Affairs, nor even municipal auditors, as sole arbiters when violence by police rises to this magnitude.
HB 4203 is crucial, and can be expanded beyond chokeholds given the diction to anything that restricts breathing. However, it does not have language about restricting blood flow (“carotid restraint”).
HB 4205 constitutes a subtle demonstration that the crafters of the bill are cognizant that many of the most egregious violations are technically legal. It is a savvy way to try to get around use of “qualified immunity”. Even if technically something is legal, if a cop knows it is unethical, they will become required to report it. This will also help legally protect whistle-blowers.
HB 4207 goes beyond what some other states are doing in terms of initiating databases of police disciplinary records, by making ours public. This will be an improvement in Oregon’s overall transparency, which is not nearly as ideal overall as one might have expected by comparing how much more data is publicly available on our COVID-19 cases than is in other states. Read about how Oregon is ranked and rated in transparency by Ballotpedia here:
HB 4208 is significant in that it bans both tear gas and sonic weapons — two of the main demands of those who have been advocating that we “demilitarize” policing. It will be worth examining the full policy to see whether anything additional will be covered (e.g., pepper spray, rubber bullets), at least with regard to deployment upon peaceful protesters.
HB 4204 is necessary so that homeowners are not evicted during the pandemic.
HB 4213 is necessary so that renters of homes and of small businesses are not evicted during the pandemic.
Thank you for your civil engagement.
Stay tuned to Boop Troop News Blog for updates. — #5, Assistant Editor.
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