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Check out the background information about this news release UPDATED! May 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 25, 2016
PORTLAND POLICE BOYCOTT OF OVERSIGHT MEETINGS ROOTED IN DISPUTE OVER VIDEOGRAPHEROn April 20, the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) had to postpone hearing an appeal of misconduct because the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) refused to send any employees to attend. While the decision was presumed to be a result of a community member tossing a cup of water at a CRC member on March 30, public records received by Flying Focus Video Collective (FFVC) reveal that the Bureau was seeking a way out of the meetings for months.
A dispute fostered mostly by CRC member Angelo Turner, who resigned sometime prior to the March 30 meeting, centered around where FFVC videographer Dan Handelman was standing with his video camera to tape the meetings. (Handelman also attends the meetings on behalf of Portland Copwatch [PCW], a civilian group promoting police accountability, and makes comments on behalf of PCW during public comment periods.) The discussion sometimes broadened out to discuss media in general, but mostly was focused as a personal or political rebuke to FFVC. Flying Focus is a media organization that has produced programs about civilian oversight since 1992 (see <http://www.flyingfocus.org/ffvc22.html>). The records reveal this discussion began as early as November 2015.
The emails show that Mr. Turner-- no direct relation to Daryl Turner, the head of the Portland Police Association (PPA)-- had talked to the Chair and Vice Chair of CRC about making Mr. Handelman move his camera from a location behind the table where police sit to the back of the room with the general public. In a December 2 email, CRC member Turner wrote: "Imagine yourself sitting at the PPB desk with that camera and these comments behind you the entire meeting. Its [sic] very uncomfortable and