PORTLAND, Ore. — Following another night of excessive force by police against protesters and journalists, the ACLU of Oregon is calling on Governor Kate Brown to appoint a special, independent prosecutor to investigate and prosecute police abuses in Portland.

Kelly Simon, interim legal director of the ACLU of Oregon, had the following comment:

“We condemn white supremacy, and acknowledge the pain, fear, and psychological and physical harm that events like Proud Boys rallies bring to people in our communities, especially for Black, Brown, Indigenous and other people of color. Oregon officials must examine why groups like this continue to target Portland, including how police behavior supports such harm.

“On Saturday, Oregonians who came together to continue to declare that Black lives matter, to reject white supremacy, to repeat calls to defund the police, and to rally against police violence and bias were once again met with disgraceful police uses of force. Among many abuses, police violently shoved and dispersed journalists, forcefully threw people to the ground, and threatened to destroy the critical supplies of protest medics. We have yet to see most of our government officials reject this form of violence that has long been wreaking havoc in our communities and undermining protected expression.

“We call on Governor Brown to use her authority under ORS 131.805 to appoint a special, independent prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the rampant police abuses that have occurred in Portland over the last several months. We also call on all law enforcement agencies who have engaged in policing at these protests to make publicly available all inter-agency agreements, cross-deputation documents, and technologies being used in their law enforcement activities. The public has a right to know who is policing their streets and to what agency policies, if any, they are accountable.

“Police abuse of protesters, journalists, legal observers, medics, and bystanders must be stopped. This is not a new issue and our government leaders must take action.

“We will continue to seek justice in the courts. We have had to file multiple lawsuits over the last several years to hold law enforcement accountable in Portland, and currently have six active cases against local and federal police for violating the rights of Oregonians at protests. But we also need government officials in this state to take responsibility for their roles in the community’s efforts to create justice for all.”

This press release is online at https://aclu-or.org/en/press-releases/aclu-oregon-calls-independent-prosecutor-investigate-brutal-police-response.

Stay Informed