city council

City Council to Declare "State of Emergency" to Allow No-Bid Contracts for Combat Gear from Company owned by Police Officer



Alaina Melville
Philip Kauffman


On Wednesday, May 30th, the Portland City Council will vote on an ordinance that will waive restrictions and allow the Police Bureau and other city agencies to enter into no-bid contracts with Extreme Products, LLC, a company owned by Portland Police officer John A. Myers.

Allowing such purchases "directly and without competition" is so important that the ordinance "declares that an emergency exists" so that the City can immediately buy "urban combat gear" from Extreme Products, despite the fact that purchasing goods and services "from any City employee, or any business with which a City employee is associated," is banned by Section 5.33.070 of the City Code.

Extreme Products specializes in urban combat gear for government agencies, selling weapons and tools designed to hurt people.  This company also boasts that they are a local recruiter for the the National Rifle Association, a group that advocates for pro-gun politics, regardless of the deaths of innocents and the cost to communities.

Item 588 is a part of the consent agenda, meaning there will be no discussion on the decision made behind closed doors.  Further, the agenda items itself states that there was no "public involvement included in the development of this Council item."  None.  And "The [Police] bureau does not anticipate  that any future public involvement  will be necessary."

This ordinance is followed on the agenda by the highly controversial proposal to install spy cameras.

"It is disturbing that City Council would announce this waiver on the same day that they vote to install spy cameras.  Declaring an emergency to allow an officer to profit off the militarization of his own police force, while simultaneously attempting to advance a local surveillance state, is not only unconstitutional but very dangerous for our community" said Alaina Melville, organizer for the Oregon Progressive Party.

The Oregon Progressive Party along with individuals and groups from the community will be meeting outside Portland City Hall 8:30 am Wednesday to protest the installation of spy cameras and the passage of Item 588.

Stop Police Spy Cam Installation in Portland

Join Oregon Progressive Party to STOP Police Spy Camera Installation in Portland

City Council sent out the announcement 2:58pm, the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, stating that the installation of spy cameras in Portland will be on the agenda for the City Council Meeting Wednesday May 30th at 9:30 am.  Nice timing, right!
They hope people won't be there for the vote to put cameras up in Portland.  They are wrong. 
There still is no policy in place that describes the limits on how these cameras can be used.

Portland Police (PPB) could access camera feeds through their phones with little oversight if any. 

We cannot allow this violation of our public and private spaces!!

Images collected would be deleted after 24 hours, ensuring video the PPB wants to keep will be saved but video that citizens would want to access (and any videos showing officers acting unlawfully) could be easily deleted.
Wednesday, May 30th

8:30 am - Rally and Protest - Meet Outside City Hall (west side)
9:30 am - City Council Meeting Begins at the Portland Building

Portland City Hall:  1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon
The Portland Building:  1120 SW 5th Avenue (next to City Hall)
City Council Meeting is in 2nd Floor Auditorium
We do not need to spend city funds in spy cameras for Portland!! 

We need council members committed to providing social services not advocating for Portland joining the surveillance state.
The spy cameras give more power to the police but do not address any core issues relating to crime or substance abuse. 

Profiling tactics have proven dangerous to our community, and the use of these cameras will encourage profiling and threatens the civil liberties of all.

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