On Tuesday, June 22, Portland officials announced that they will cutting back on pursuing minor traffic offenses. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner said that low-level traffic violations, are now at the bottom of the list of infractions for the police department.
The mayor stated that the disparity in Black motorists getting pulled over prompted the decision. Statistics showed that Black drivers accounted for 18 percent of traffic stops in the city, while Black people only make up six percent of the city’s population.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has instructed Portland police officers to not pull citizens over for “less serious, non-moving violations.” Instead, the focus will be on drivers who are driving reckless or driving under the influence.
“I don’t want to over promise the results on the disparities because I’m not sure what those will be,” Lovell said. “What I think what’s important here is that we’re willing to try this. We’re willing to ask officers to do it and look at the data and see if it’s having an impact on safety, if it’s having an impact on disparities and then making appropriate judgements from there.”
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