Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s signature legislative priority, HB 2355, passed out of the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation would provide new levels of transparency in policing in Oregon. The law would result in the creation of a statewide system for the collection by law enforcement of pedestrian and traffic stop data. It would improve accountability by requiring this data to be analyzed and made available by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.
The legislation would also expand officer training in preventing unlawful police profiling and overcoming biases that can affect fairness in police work. It would also reduce drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor for those individuals in possession of small amounts of drugs who do not have substantial criminal histories. Oregon-based data provided to the task force demonstrated disparities that result in more minorities convicted and sentenced to drug-related felonies solely because of their racial or ethnic status. The bill will also protect lawful immigrants from facing mandatory deportation for low level, non-violent offenses.
The Task Force on the Prevention of Law Enforcement Profiling was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2015 and chaired by Attorney General Rosenblum.
“This legislation, intended to implement the 2015 law prohibiting police profiling, is the culmination of a nearly two year process,” said Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum. “Our Task Force travelled throughout the state listening to Oregonians sharing their experiences with profiling. The stories we heard were profoundly important and deeply impactful. Our law enforcement partners deserve special recognition for their willingness to come to the table on this crucial issue. I am particularly proud of the consensus of our broad-based group on all the critical issues that resulted in our bill.”
The bill now moves to the Senate.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002