Today, we join community advocates in calling on the Portland City Council to withdraw from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Nearly three years ago, Portland rejoined the JTTF. Portlanders have long expressed concerns with the JTTF as it entangles local officers in surveillance and police practices that violate the state laws that protect Oregonians from being targeted based on our political, religious, or social views, or based on our real or perceived immigration status.
Now, under a president who has made it clear he will target people based on their religion (Muslims), national origin (immigrants), and political beliefs (protesters/Black Lives Matter), it is more important than ever to stop participating in the federal government's dragnet surveillance and spy program.
The FBI and ICE, the biggest players in the Joint Terrorism Task Force, regularly engage in profiling and surveillance that is prohibited under Oregon law. Portland Police officers simply cannot comply with Oregon law while also operating as deputized JTTF agents. Furthermore, these officers operate without local oversight, as neither their supervisors, the city attorney, nor the mayor have the security clearance needed to monitor their work.