Portland police will no longer be pulling people over for minor traffic stops in an effort to address racial inequality.
Portland Police are making some new changes to the way they go about handling traffic stops. According to Associated Press, Portland has put a halt on low-level traffic stops in an attempt to address racial disparities. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made the announcement on Tuesday, revealing that police will also need a filmed consent to search any vehicles and inform citizens that they have the right to refuse.
Nathan Howard/Getty Images
The changes arrive after data proved that there's a disparity in traffic stops between white and Black drivers. The new implements of the policy are to "make our safety safer and more equitable," according to Wheeler.
The police chief of Portland Chuck Lovell said that his officers have been directed to stop pulling over low-level traffic violations. However, officers have been asked to use their judgment if the violation seems like a threat, such as driving without lights on at night.
These policies have also been put in place due to the staffing shortage. The department is apparently short 150 officers of "authorized strength." This is not only due to budget cuts but the increasing turnover rate among officers, many of whom left the force after the 2020 protests across America. Just last week, 50 officers who served as part of the city's crowd-control unit who responded to the local demonstrations called it quits from the squad.