Contact: Rose King, 503-863-1363, Rose@brinkcomm.com
House Bill 4003 builds on the work to prevent profiling by law enforcement, making neighborhoods safer and communities stronger
(Salem, Ore.) – Today, legislation was introduced that builds on Oregon’s commitment to end profiling and change the culture of policing in our state.
HB 4003, sponsored by Speaker Tina Kotek (D – N/NE Portland), extends the “Work Group on the Prevention of Profiling by Law Enforcement,” which was also established by the legislature in 2015 in order to craft a system to identify, record, and correct profiling by Oregon law enforcement agencies.
“I’m proud to sponsor HB 4003, continuing the effort to end profiling in Oregon,” said Speaker Kotek. “We made significant progress in 2015, but in order to strengthen public trust in local law enforcement, we need to keep working and get the details right.”
In 2015, Oregon took an important step forward by joining more than 40 states to define and ban the harmful practice of police profiling. The bill, HB 2002, established a system for reporting complaints; created a plan for collecting and sharing data; required local law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies prohibiting profiling; and created the Work Group on the Prevention of Profiling by Law Enforcement, tasked with developing a process for identifying and correcting patterns and practices of profiling.
Following the passage of HB 2002, Attorney General Rosenblum and work group members held listening sessions across the state. Residents came forward to share the emotional, psychological, physical and financial trauma they experienced as a result of profiling happening in their communities. Together, they released a report outlining recommendations to prevent and respond appropriately to profiling by law enforcement.
HB 4003, which will be considered in the legislative session that begins on February 1, directs the Attorney General and the Work Group on the Prevention of Profiling by Law Enforcement to continue meeting, and to issue a report with recommendations for legislation by December 1, 2016.
“I was profiled by police several years ago as I stood just steps away from my own front door, and this experience was both traumatizing and life changing,” said Quinton Blanton, a 25 year old who lives in Portland. “Every time I see a police car, my heart begins to race. My anxiety got so bad, I had to leave school.”
HB 4003 is one of three issues that Fair Shot For All—a coalition of more than 30 community groups, labor unions and racial justice organizations in Oregon—has prioritized for the upcoming session. It’s also a top priority for the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO), which has been leading the fight to end profiling in Oregon.
“Profiling occurs in every part of our state, but we know that people in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are targeted the most, leading to higher arrest and conviction rates for these communities,” said Kayse Jama, Executive Director of CIO and Fair Shot For All coalition member. “Law enforcement is at its best when officers work together with communities to ensure public safety and promote the dignity of all people. We remain committed to lead the fight forward.”
Eighty-five percent of Oregonians believe that law enforcement should not be allowed to profile. Yet every day, people are targeted based on their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, language, housing status, sexual orientation or gender identity. In a national 2014 survey, 73 percent of all LGBT people and people living with HIV reported having face-to-face contact with police during the past five years. African Americans are five times more likely to be pulled over in a vehicle, even though Caucasians are three times more likely to have contraband.
Text of the bill is available online: