Portland City Council votes unanimously to do away with '48-hour rule'

Portland Police car, KATU News file photo

The Portland City Council Thursday voted anonymously to get rid of the so-called "48-hour rule."

Officers will now be required to immediately give a statement to internal affairs investigators after a deadly use of force incident. The 48-hour rule had blocked police officers who used deadly force from being interviewed for two days.

"It's an important first step, a great first step," said Promise King, executive director of the League of Minority Voters. "I am excited and elated that we have good leadership coming out of City Hall because our community said enough is enough."

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said a Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing will review policies and make recommendations on police reform.

But the change puts commissioners at odds with Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill who is concerned that an immediate testimony could complicate potential criminal proceedings. Underhill thinks an indictment may be jeopardized by an officer's testimony following a shooting.

"The indictment is at substantial risk of being challenged and quite possibly dismissed if involved officers are compelled to give statements on the administrative side hearing matter," Underhill said in City Council Chambers on Aug. 3.

On Thursday, Wheeler called the ordinance a critical police reform.

"To those who testified, I want you to know I heard you," Wheeler wrote in a tweet.

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