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Citing distrust, Portland pulls out of FBI anti-terror task force


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Portland City Council has voted to withdraw the city from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s anti-terrorism task force, citing a deep distrust in the program’s ability to root out terrorism while upholding the civil rights of residents.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Commissioners Amanda Fritz, Chloe Eudaly and Jo Ann Hardesty voted in support and Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Nick Fish opposed.

Membership in the Joint Terrorism Task Force gives select Portland law enforcement officials access to federal agencies’ information about potential terrorist activities.

Wheeler said the in-or-out decision didn’t take into account commissioners’ ability to modify their agreement.

Fritz, Eudaly and Hardesty said they weren’t convinced membership was to Portlanders’ benefit.

Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon Renn Cannon said the FBI will continue to partner formally with other task force members as well as informally with other cities and counties.

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams issued this statement Thursday morning on the city’s decision:

“The decision to withdraw the Portland Police Bureau from the Joint Terrorism Task Force is a mistake that defies logic. It’s disappointing that in spite of the overwhelming evidence presented of JTTF successes in Oregon and across the nation, a majority of the city council chose a politically-expedient broadside against the federal government over the safety and well-being of their constituents. The law enforcement community’s duty and commitment to ensuring public safety and protecting civil rights will not be deterred by the politics of the moment.”

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