June 29, 2021

Portland Ends Traffic Stops for Minor Infractions

  • Flyover Country

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 

The City of Portland is reducing its policing measures again. Officers have been directed to not pull motorists over who commit low-level infractions. In addition, police officers will not be allowed to search a subject’s vehicle until they gain consent from the driver on audio. The policy change is driven by “anti-racism” and staffing concerns.

The Background: 

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced last Tuesday that the city would no longer be pulling drivers over for minor offenses nor would officers be allowed to conduct vehicle searches without recorded consent from the driver.

Officers have been ordered to only make traffic stops when they witness a driver speeding, driving drunk, or endangering other vehicles.

According to city leadership, the policy stems from data that shows that black residents are pulled over more often in Portland than whites. The other reason is that police are leaving in droves and there is not enough manpower to enforce current law.

A number of officers have quit the force recently, including 50 more who left their voluntary posts on the riot squad unit after one officer was charged for doing his job last summer.

Mayor Wheeler said that all the change came to “continue operationalizing our city core values of anti-racism, communication, collaboration, equity, transparency, and fiscal responsibility.”

Notable Quotes: 

'This is a time where officers are, I think most of them know, we're in a time of change. Reform is upon us, and we're really looking at ways that we can meld what the community is asking for with public safety at the same time." - Chuck Lovell, Portland Police Bureau Chief

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