Contact: Rose King, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503.863.1363
HB 4003 builds on the work to prevent profiling by law enforcement, next step in fight to change culture of policing
(Salem, Ore.)—The Oregon House today passed House Bill 4003, sending the bill to the Oregon Senate for approval. 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. The bill passed the House unanimously.
“The approach is an example of what works and what we need to encourage. In 2015 we passed HB 2002, which defined profiling in the state and called for the work group to study the issues surrounding profiling and provide recommendations to the chamber by December 1st...I would encourage you to allow this group to continue to work and to come back with some good information for us so that we can in fact do something to make sure all people who live in the state of Oregon are treated fairly,” Representative Lew Frederick said Friday on the House floor.
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.
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.
“As a work group member, I listened to communities share their experiences with profiling,” said Kayse Jama, Executive Director of CIO and Fair Shot For All coalition member. “Profiling inevitably breeds distrust in law enforcement, which in turn undermines the safety of all Oregonians. Change isn’t going to happen overnight. I commend the house supporting the next steps in this incredibly important work.”
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.
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 now awaits further consideration in the Senate.