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Democrats Scramble to Repair Public Safety Perception
“How is it that the remedy for racial bias is more racial bias?”

Reeling from months of urban rioting in Portland and nationwide, walking back "defund the police" movements in large cities, and facing backlash over Governor Brown releasing large number of inmates back to communities, Democrats are eager to repair the self-inflicted damage they have done to their party and their brand, as crime and murder rates skyrocket.

The Oregon Senate -- led by Democrats -- has approved SB 1510 on a vote of 16 to 11. This legislation reduces traffic stops, makes changes to law enforcement best practices and will distribute funding to culturally-specific organizations and service providers. Oregon Senate Democrats announced the passage in the Senate of SB 1510 with a press release entitled “Senate Democrats Advance Measure to Improve Public Safety.”

The bill passed, despite questions about the constitutionality of certain provisions. This is the second time in two days, Democrats have ignored legal advice to pass legislation that is constitutionally suspect. The bill would prohibit law enforcement from enforcing laws about properly functioning headlights and taillights on Oregon’s roads.

SB 1510 is a critical step forward to improve public safety and help undo systemic racism in our justice system. Black Oregonians are 2% of the overall population and 10% of the prison population. As a former corrections officer, I saw the impact of these racial disparities daily,” said Senator James Manning (D-Eugene), who co-carried SB 1510 on the Senate floor. “The important investments in this bill will reach the programs that will help people re-enter society after leaving prison and help Oregonians who are in need of a variety of services stay out of contact with the criminal justice system in the first place.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

“This bill will make our community and roads more dangerous at a time when crime is on the rise,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “Soft-on-crime policies like these are what is causing Oregonians to feel unsafe in their homes, now they will feel unsafe on the roads.” One former legislator who declined to be named said, "How is it that the remedy for racial bias is more racial bias?"

“Communities need police to be able to focus on preventing and solving crimes, especially violent crimes,” said Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation, who co-carried SB 1510 on the Senate floor. “We should reduce traffic stops for equipment violations like broken taillights that aren’t dangerous, so police can focus on stopping real crime. We need to reestablish trust between communities and law enforcement. SB 1510 will help create a safer Oregon by helping law enforcement focus on doing their jobs effectively.”

SB 1510 directs the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to establish a program to award grants to public and private entities for restorative justice programs, improves law enforcement best practices and directs Justice Reinvestment Equity Program funds to be distributed to culturally specific and response service providers.

SB 1510 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-03-02 06:17:04Last Update: 2022-03-01 12:01:33



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