Opposition to SB 1550

Our response to – Bill preventing release of grand jury transcripts in police shootings draws ire, The Oregonian, February 19, 2016

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Mental Health Association of Portland
Date: Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 2:07 PM
Subject: opposition to SB 1550
To: Sen.FloydProzanski @ state.or.us

Please add our organization to the list of those who oppose SB 1550.

This [making grand jury transcripts available] simple act by Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill and his supporting deputies has been a tangible, forthright and helpful move toward transparency, has resolved both questions and concerns, and has built a substantial amount of community trust for the Multnomah County District Attorney and his deputies – from the media, from activists, from peers in the legal community, from municipal leaders, from family members, from survivors and victims.

The Police Executive Research Forum, on Jan. 29, 2016, published a report in its Critical Issues Series entitled Use of Force: 30 Guiding Principles for Taking Policing to a Higher Standard, in which they recommend that transparency and release of “as much information as possible to the public” be treated as a high priority for law enforcement.

But the majority of evidence – and the complexity of evidence – comes as part and product of a thorough investigation, documented and made available to your office, and heard before a grand jury. Posting the investigation documents online costs nothing, injures no one, and benefits both the community and the District Attorney’s Office.