Community weighs in on Portland's '48-hour rule' on police shootings

Portland city commissioners take testimony Thursday on proposed changes to officer accountability agreements. (Photo from City Council video)

The Portland City Council met Thursday night to discuss proposed changes to officer accountability agreements with the community and police.

That included debating the so-called "48-hour rule," which refers to how soon after a shooting that officers should give a public statement.

Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill said every use of deadly force case against an officer goes to a grand jury. But he's concerned about what could happen if an officer was indicted for murder.

"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.

"I can tell you what you're being asked to support is a smack in the face to community members who want accountability, who want justice," said Jo Ann Hardesty, president of Portland NAACP.

"The politically brave thing to do would be to require compelling testimony right away, and let a legal challenge play out -- not write a draft policy and let the court weigh in," said Dan Handelman, director of Portland Copwatch.

Several community leaders spoke in support of the 48-hour rule. Some even suggested it be shortened to 24 hours.

Commissioners are still accepting community input via email on the police accountability ordinances.

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