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Passed by the Senate today, HB 4003 helps make neighborhoods safer and communities stronger
(Salem, Ore.)—The Oregon Senate today passed House Bill 4003, by a vote of 27 to 0. The legislation—co-sponsored by Speaker Tina Kotek of Portland, Representative Jennifer Williamson of Portland and Representative Joe Gallegos of Hillsboro—extends the “Work Group on the Prevention of Profiling by Law Enforcement,” which was established by the legislature in 2015 to help build a system to identify, record, and correct profiling by Oregon law enforcement agencies. HB 4003 now heads to Governor Kate Brown, who is expected to sign the bill.
“I’m proud that the legislature passed this bill, taking the next steps to stop the harmful practice of profiling,” 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 joined more than 40 states in defining and banning the harmful practice of police profiling. The 2015 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 Ellen Rosenblum and work group members held several listening sessions around 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, the work group released a report outlining recommendations to prevent and respond appropriately to profiling by law enforcement. Attorney General Rosenblum and Kayse Jama, Executive Director of CIO and Fair Shot For All coalition member, presented key findings to the Oregon House Judiciary Committee last month during a hearing on the bill.
“I thank the Oregon Legislature for their commitment to this issue and look forward to continuing the work to ensure that everyone is treated fairly by law enforcement. I’m hopeful that together, we can restore partnership and trust in our community, heal families and individuals, and make Oregon a leader in giving all members of our community equity and justice,” said Jama. “This bill gets us further down the path to fair policing.”
HB 4003 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.
The legislation 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—prioritized for the February 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.