Police union president 'angry' and 'disturbed' over controversia - KPTV - FOX 12

Police union president 'angry' and 'disturbed' over controversial email sent by city leader

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The head of the Portland Police Association said a controversial email sent by city transportation director Leah Treat was “divisive” and incited “negative feelings” among officers. (KPTV) The head of the Portland Police Association said a controversial email sent by city transportation director Leah Treat was “divisive” and incited “negative feelings” among officers. (KPTV)

The President of the Portland Police Association is responding to a controversial email sent by the Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation which some people say casts police in a negative light.

PBOT Director Leah Treat sent an email to PBOT employees the day after the police shootings in Dallas, offering her thoughts and feelings in the wake of the violence.

But the majority of the email quotes from a Huffington Post blog entitled “Advice For White Folks In The Wake Of The Police Killing Of A Black Person” in which the author writes about “police executions” and the “illegal killing of black people by the police.”

FOX 12 has not been able to speak with Director Treat, but city leaders said she did not intend to cast the entire police profession in a bad light, and that she appreciates every single Portland Police officer.

Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner disagrees, though, and is responding to it with strong words of his own.

“The actual message that was put out was divisive, separative, it incites things – negative feelings,” Turner told FOX 12 Thursday. “Even though she took the words of somebody else, she obviously owns those words, that’s her beliefs, that’s her feelings, that police officers are executioners and murderers and racists, so obviously we take pause with that.”

Turner sent an email Wednesday evening to PPA members responding to the issue. He said Treat’s words, along with the city’s subsequent support, create an unfair double-standard.

 He said officers were disciplined when they used the city’s equipment, their badges, to support officers in Ferguson, Missouri, on their private Facebook pages from their private homes.

Turner contends that Treat used the city’s equipment, her city email, to tear police down, and she’s being applauded for it. 

“There seems to be a double standard in the city that if your political ideologies fit with some people’s you’re able to use city facilities, city equipment, city time and city money to be able to promote that,” Turner said. “When, on the other hand, if you use your own private devices and time and you’re in the privacy of your own home, you’re not allowed to do that.”

Turner is inviting Treat, along with the Mayor and the Chief of Police, to sit down with him to talk about solutions.

“I’ve gotten emails, text messages, phone calls from dozens, and I do mean dozens up into the numbers of the hundreds, of police officers that feel that this is workplace harassment,” Turner said. “How do we mend the fences, how do we build a stronger relationship in the community when we have our own directors of bureaus basically trashing police officers?”

FOX 12 reached out to PBOT, Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick to get their response to Turner’s reaction, but all three offices declined to provide additional statements beyond what was released Wednesday.

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