Portland police investigate image in training document making light of violence against protesters

“I am disgusted that such offensive content has been added to a training offering for our police officers,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement released Friday.

The image, which appeared at the end of a 110-page PowerPoint presentation, shows an image of a person wearing tactical gear attacking what appears to be an unarmed protester. The accompanying message, written as fictitious Bible verses, states, “They can baptize your heads with walnuts, and anoint your face with pepper spray.” It goes on to refer to people who are “bound and stuffed,” as well as “stitched and embeded.”

“The message on the training presentation slide goes against the values ​​of the PPB and what we are trying to achieve as an organization,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement. “As soon as I became aware of its existence, I ordered an internal affairs investigation. This investigation is still open and therefore the details cannot be discussed.”

Although the full training document asserts that protesters can come from any part of the political spectrum, the image refers exclusively to stereotypes associated with left-wing activists, with mentions of patchouli, Marx, and dreadlocks.

Wheeler, who is also a police commissioner, said the investigation has been underway since September when a city worker noticed the photo during a legal review and has now been released because the city expects to include it in court files.

The mayor’s office said it does not know when the PowerPoint presentation was created, or if it was actually used in training.


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