Portland PD Chief Steps Down So Black Officer Could Fill Job

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Published 6 hours ago

Portland, Oregon police chief Jami Resch announced on Monday (June 8) that she was stepping down amid protests against police brutality, ending her tenure after less than six months on the job.

According to the Oregonian, Chuck Lovell, the former captain of the Police Bureau’s Community Services Division, has been named chief, becoming the city’s fourth African American to hold the position.

Resch, who is white, said she asked Lovell to take her place and described him as “the exact right person at the exact right moment.” Lovell has been a member of the Police Bureau since 2002, according to the newspaper.

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“She felt like now was the right time for her to step back and for me to step forward,” Lovell said at a news conference. “It was a shock for me, I’ll be honest. But when your boss comes to you and she says, ‘The community needs you. The police bureau needs you.’ To me, I felt like it’s not the time to shrink and back down.”

She continued: “Leadership’s necessary right now. There’s a lot of hurt people. There’s a lot of healing that we need to start moving towards. I felt like if I in some small way can be the start of the community starting to feel some of that healing, it was my duty to do that.”  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon released a statement on Sunday calling the Police Bureau’s response to protesters “excessively violent and dangerous.” 

“The role of police is to facilitate, not disperse, peaceful protest,” the organization wrote.

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