Black Lives Matter protesters go home, but keep pressure on Mayo - KPTV - FOX 12

Black Lives Matter protesters go home, but keep pressure on Mayor Hales

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Protesters, many of whom spent the night camping outside of City Hall, filled the council chambers Wednesday as the city council discussed a proposed new contract with the Portland Police Association. (KPTV) Protesters, many of whom spent the night camping outside of City Hall, filled the council chambers Wednesday as the city council discussed a proposed new contract with the Portland Police Association. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

After a 24-hour protest, demonstrators with Don’t Shoot PDX and Black Lives Matter have left Portland City Hall, but they still have demands for Mayor Charlie Hales.

During a public hearing on Wednesday, protesters called on Hales to delay voting on a new contract with Portland police officers until Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler takes over in January.

Hales and the Portland Police Association, which represents officers in the city, just agreed to begin ratifying the contract.Union president Daryl Turner said a record number of officers voted in favor of accepting the new contract.

“95 percent voted yes and five percent voted no,” Turner told to council members. “That’s another record. Our members are very engaged and they want to be able to police Portland the way Portland wants to be policed.”

The contract raises police salaries and tackles staffing issues while also eliminating a two-day advanced notice for officers before they can be interviewed about the use of force, a change Hales is proud of and said was needed in today's environment.

“Then we have the 48-hour rule, which is a relic of an earlier time and a problem for the police bureau,” Hales said. “We believe it was time to get rid of the 48-hour rule.”

But protesters are not satisfied, saying they haven’t had enough time to read through the contract and understand it. They’re also calling Hales a “lame duck” whose vote would be deciding the new mayor’s agenda.

“For somebody who’s not even going to be here for the duration of this contract, to sign off on it for the next guy is just irresponsible,” Portlander Cameron Stark said.

Don’t Shoot PDX leader Gregory McKelvey addressed the council standing up, asking why the vote could not be delayed until Wheeler is in office.

“What would we lose by putting it off?” he asked. “The contract doesn’t lapse until 2017. What are you trying to pull here?”

FOX 12 reached out to Mayor-elect Wheeler’s office for a comment but has not received a reply as of Wednesday evening. The city council could vote on the new police contract as early as next Wednesday.

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