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Portland Mayor Details ‘Systematic Racism’ In Police Chief Search Announcement

Portland Mayor Details ‘Systematic Racism’ In Police Chief Search Announcement

Photo Courtesy:  The Oregonian, Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association.


No candidates have been identified in the mayor’s national search for a Portland police chief. No interviews have been conducted or finalists selected.

But already Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the head of the Portland police union are trading barbs, and it’s over the wording of the job description for the top cop’s job.

After the job description was posted on a city website Monday, Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, issued a lengthy statement Tuesday night, decrying the mayor’s reference to the state’s and the city’s history of “systemic racism.”

The job description prominently points out that Portland has a history of “legally sanctioned systemic racism with legally enforced exclusionary practices.” It said that the successful candidate must have the “capacity and commitment” to improve relationships with members of minority communities, “ensuring that equity is a bedrock of policing.”

Turner wrote that the description left the rank-and-file “angry and confused, as the clear implication from the posting is that the Police Bureau and its members have supported a racist culture in the City.”

He criticized the mayor for not mentioning the positive work of the bureau’s Behavioral Health Unit that pairs officers with mental health workers, officers’ challenges working amid a significant staffing shortage and the decline in gang-related violence this year.

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  • JS

    Completely useless wording. Bumper sticker material. Not something useful to fix the problem.

    Who is being racist? What policy is racist? What action is racist? Let’s stamp out that racism together! I’m with you. I’m in a family of minorities and have experienced racism first-hand. I HATE it…HATE HATE HATE it. I can’t capitalize that enough.

    But simply shouting “systemic racism” or “institutional racism” or “whateverrace privilege” doesn’t fix SQUAT. You shout that in outrage but cause more damage that you know. You work up the mobs towards some imaginary boogeyman and get them all to wear forever a victim card against a unidentifiable suspect. Using those “cloak and dagger” phrases of undefinable terms is completely worthless and doesn’t help anyone.

    I’m on your side. I want to stamp out racism forever. But using terms like that doesn’t help you communicate the problem, doesn’t help me identify examine and agree and therefore help you with that problem, and everyone else in the bleachers is now feeling like they are victimized and oppressed, but has no clue about specifically how or why or who.

    So stop damaging your cause. Stop wasting your breath. Stop wasting my time. I want to help. But you saying “someone somewhere is doing something racist” (i.e.”systemic racism/institutional racism/privilege of unknown means) is useless and takes you backwards instead of forwards.

    So again, I ask: Who is being racist? What policy is racist? What action is racist? How do we fix that person/action/policy? If you can’t answer that, move on because the problem doesn’t exist. Most likely, you have been fooled by someone else indignantly outraged yelling the exact same useless catchy phrases.

  • BUBBA

    “Has a history…”. That means it is in the past!

  • Garett B.

    Well, he’s in charge…..why is there systematic racism still present? Sounds like the Mayor needs to be recalled.

    • Katrina

      It sounds like he may be the source of the racism.

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