Portland and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force
Annual JTTF Report Still Lacks Important Details
March 27, 2013 - ACLU of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque testified before Portland City Council urging them to reject the recently released Portland Police Bureau's (PPB) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Report. The report contains few details , "... not enough detail to truly inform the public of the nature of PPB’s participation on the JTTF – certainly not enough to compel anyone to point to Portland as a model of transparency," Fidanque said.
The City Council voted to accept the report in a 3-2 vote despite concerns by many of the commissioners over the lack of information contained in the report.
Final Portland Reports on JTTF Greatly Improved, But…
February 29, 2012 – Significantly modified reports on the City of Portland’s relationship with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) were approved by the City Council after the ACLU’s testified they were greatly improved, but still lacked data that would permit the public to independently confirm that Oregon law and the Constitution are being honored by the City.
Last week, the ACLU had issued a detailed analysis that strongly criticized the original draft reports issued February 13 by Police Chief Mike Reese and Mayor Sam Adams. In prepared testimony today, ACLU of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque detailed the specific improvements in the final reports, which will be made annually to the City Council in the future.
ACLU Critical of Draft Portland JTTF Report
February 23, 2012 – The ACLU of Oregon today released its detailed analysis of the City of Portland’s relationship with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) ten months after the City Council approved a resolution authorizing the Police Bureau to cooperate with the JTTF on individual terrorism investigations.
The ACLU’s analysis strongly criticized the draft reports issued last week by Police Chief Mike Reese and Mayor Sam Adams saying the reports indicate the City has been violating the Council’s resolution which was approved only last April. The ACLU had supported the resolution at that time, but now says the City should suspend its cooperation with the FBI because important safeguards in the resolution have apparently been ignored.
Portland City Council Passes JTTF Substitute Resolution; ACLU Supports with Reservations
April 28, 2011 - After a four-hour public hearing, the Portland City Council unanimously approved the resolution put forward by Mayor Sam Adams regarding the City's relationship with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. The ACLU of Oregon testified in support of the resolution at the public hearing but raised concerns about the current and past practices of the FBI and the need to ensure that City personnel comply with Oregon laws.
The Mayor’s proposal represents a thoughtful framework that should meet the City’s and the FBI’s needs to keep our community safe while also ensuring that Portland police stay within the confines of the Oregon Constitution and Oregon law.
ACLU Testifies Before Portland City Council
March 8, 2011 - ACLU representatives and representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice were part of a Portland City Council work session on the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) on February 15. The ACLU of Oregon testified in opposition to the city rejoining the JTTF and included testimony from Legislative Director/Counsel Andrea Meyer. Mike German, Policy Counsel for the ACLU’s Washington National Legislative Office, was part of this panel as well as ACLU of Oregon’s Executive Director David Fidanque. On February 19, at the request of Council, the ACLU of Oregon provided a Draft Agreement between the City and the FBI providing the necessary safeguards for any collaboration between Portland and the FBI.
In 2005, after a five year effort lead by the ACLU of Oregon and our coalition partners, the Portland City Council passed a resolution and withdrew Portland from formally participating in the FBI JTTF. Portland police officers cannot comply with Oregon law (ORS 181.575) and at the same time operate as deputized FBI JTTF agents. Indeed, based on the most recent FBI 2008 Guidelines as well as documented abuses uncovered by the ACLU across the country, the FBI monitoring of individuals and organizations engaged in lawful First Amendment activity has only increased since 2005.