Thanks in large part to efforts by NLG advocates, the Portland Police Bureau agreed to reopen the investigation of a police misconduct complaint. The reopened investigation will include an examination of potential racial profiling in the case of Lisa Haynes, a 4′ 10″ African American woman stopped in the search for a Hispanic man, 5-feet-4 to 5-feet-6, with a thin build.
The reopened investigation is the product of Ms. Haynes’ courage in facing down the police and city bureaucracy, and the work of NLG volunteers Briana Swift and Kristin Chambers, who wrote a letter on behalf of the NLG to the City of Portland’s Office of Independent Police Review (IPR) regarding this case. Ms. Swift also served as Ms. Haynes’ advocate in her appeal of her police misconduct complaint to the Citizen Review Committee. At the appeal hearing, which was covered in the Oregonian, the Citizen Review Committee questioned why IPR and the Portland Police Bureau did not investigate the racial profiling aspects of Ms. Haynes’ case.
The NLG is working with the Oregon Justice Resource Center to expand its IPR advocacy program to serve more individuals who seek to file police misconduct complaints. While the NLG recognizes the many flaws with the IPR complaint system, it believes that assisting individuals who seek to bring complaints will aid in its continued efforts at reform.