Portland PD opens investigation into training presentation that included a right-wing meme
The Portland Police Bureau is at the center of controversy over a recent training presentation that included an offensive right-wing meme that celebrated violence against protesters.
According to KOIN, the inappropriate meme was reportedly part of a PowerPoint presentation for the Portland Police Bureau and may have appeared during one of the law enforcement agency's training sessions.
On Friday, January 14, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's (D) office released a statement confirming that the meme was discovered when the full presentation was reviewed as part of a lawsuit stemming from the 2020 protests after the death of George Floyd.
"The picture on it depicts someone wearing body armor and a helmet, who appears to be a police officer, physically confronting a protester. The text on the slide contains profanity and refers to the protester as a 'dirty hippy' while making reference to using bats and pepper spray to injure them."
Image via City of Portland
In the statement, Wheeler reacted to the offensive display as he announced that an investigation will be conducted. “I am disgusted that this offensive content was added to a training presentation for our police officers,” Wheeler said in the statement. “As soon as I was made aware of the incident, I reached out to Chief Lovell, who shared my deep concern and assured me that a thorough and a complete investigation was underway.”
“The Portland Police Bureau must reject the harmful and divisive attitude expressed in that slide,” he said.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, who was appointed in 2020, also released a statement. “The message on the training presentation slide was contrary to PPB’s values and what we are trying to achieve as an organization,” Chief Lovell said in his statement. “Upon learning of its existence, I ordered an Internal Affairs investigation.
“I want to make it clear that the content of this message is not representative of the Portland Police Bureau and it is disappointing to all of us who work so hard to earn the community’s trust.”
In conclusion, Wheeler went a step further to express his disapproval of the meme and its perspective. “I believe that the hard-working members of the Portland Police Bureau who are seeing this for the first time are also angered," he said, "and disgusted by the image and words on this slide and how it portrays members of our community and law enforcement.”
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