PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland city council took up a controversial ordinance Thursday afternoon that would give the police commissioner more power when it comes to quashing potentially violent protests.
If passed Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is the police commissioner, could set time, place and manner restrictions on certain types of protests.
The ordinance has a lot of people talking, those for it say it will be another tool to stop violent protests that have been happening over the last year in the Rose City.
Those against it worry about the impact it would have on constitutional rights.
Portland city commissioners heard hours’ worth of testimony Thursday afternoon for and against the idea.
A revised version of the original ordinance was discussed, the big difference, the police commissioner would have to prove three things before any time, place, manner restrictions.
The three things are the history of the groups, safety concerns and if there is a substantial likelihood of violence, all three would have to be put in writing as justification for the restrictions.
The ACLU of Oregon spoke saying they do not support any iterations of the ordinance but would like to talk further with the city in finding a solution to ending these violent protests on Portland streets
"As an initial matter it is unconstitutional to retaliate against protesters for past protest activity there is a heavy presumption the validity of prior restraint," Kimberly McCullough with ACLU said.
Oregon State Representative Janelle Bynum, the Portland Business Alliance and Travel Portland spoke out in favor of the ordinance saying something needs to be done curb these protests.
"In the last few months alone we have had to prepare meeting planners with messaging around scheduled protest and respond to future delicate safety concerns because of national media coverage painting Portland as a lawless and unsafe city," Steve Faulstick with Travel Portland said.
Portland police say protests since 2016 have been expensive.
They said they've spent $2.9 million dollars in overtime. This year alone the bureau has spent just over $440 thousand dollars.
The city council will take another look at the ordinance sometime next week.
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