Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw has asked for a review of whether officers have been disproportionately arresting people who are homeless.
The request came in response to an analysis by the Oregonian/OregonLive, which found that just over half the people arrested in Portland last year were homeless.
By any count, homeless people compose a tiny percent of the city’s overall population of roughly 600,000 people.
Most were arrested for non-violent misdemeanors like trespassing and drug possession, the newspaper found.
Now, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw has asked a division of the city auditor’s office to review the police bureau’s interactions with people who are homeless.
The Independent Police Review investigation will look into the disparity in arrest rates.
“How much is that the Police Bureau or individual officers acting within their own discretion, and how much is it based from community members requesting the police to be somewhere?” asked Constantin Severe, director of Independent Police Review.
Severe said he hopes to complete the investigation by the end of the year.