Contact: Rose King, 503-863-¬1363, Rose@brinkcomm.com
House Bill 4003 builds on Oregon’s commitment to prevent profiling by law enforcement, making neighborhoods safer and communities stronger
(Salem, Ore.)—The House Judiciary Committee today passed House Bill 4003 by a unanimous vote. The proposed 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 to continue crafting a system to identify, record, and correct profiling by Oregon law enforcement agencies. It is now headed to the House floor.
“Our goal is to strengthen public trust in law enforcement,” Speaker Kotek said. “I’m proud that the legislature is on its way to pass this bill and take the next steps to stop the harmful practice of profiling.”
In 2015, Oregon joined more than 40 states in defining and banning the harmful practice of police profiling. That 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 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.
“Oregon made strong progress last session by passing a law that bans profiling in Oregon, however, our work remains unfinished,” said Attorney General Rosenblum today. “Better data and increased transparency are needed to ensure that everyone is treated fairly by law enforcement.”
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 bill 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. “Even after passing HB 2002 last year, we don’t have a coordinated law enforcement system to address it. There’s much more to do to make sure all our communities are safe and free from profiling.”
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: