Police oversight agency probes Portland arrests of homeless

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland’s police oversight agency has launched a probe into how officers interact with homeless people following an analysis by a newspaper.

The Oregonian/OregonLive found that one in two arrests made by Portland police was of a homeless individual while less than 3 percent of city residents are considered homeless.

Constantin Severe, director of the Independent Police Review, says Police Chief Danielle Outlaw directed the police bureau to ask the oversight agency to conduct an investigation based on the newspaper’s reporting.

A police spokesman says the chief requested the review after the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon called on the city to inquire about profiling.

Mayor Ted Wheeler says he wants to know how many of the arrests were in response to complaints as opposed to interactions started by officers.