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Portland lawmaker intros bill to disarm PSU, UO police


Rep. Diego Hernandez (D-Portland) and the Oregon Student Association introduced a bill Thursday that would disarm campus police at the University of Oregon and Portland State University.

The bill, House Bill 3338, comes after several dangerous or deadly encounters for campus community members at the hands of armed campus police forces, Hernandez’s office said in a news release, which continues below.

Last May, University of Oregon Campus Police drew weapons on a student at the University of Oregon’s student union, and last June, Portland State University Police shot and killed Jason Washington , a 45-year old Postal Service employee and Navy veteran.

“This bill is about making students at our university campuses safer,” Rep. Hernandez said. “The fact of the matter is students at both campuses have said time and time again they do not want armed police on their campus. Sound policy has to come from and center the communities impacted, and it’s time we listen to students.”

UO student body President Maria Gallegos and UO student body Vice- President Imani Dorsey released a joint statement of support for the bill:

“No student should have to fear for their own life on campus from an institution that is supposed to protect and serve them. What has happened with armed police at both UO and PSU is what students at both campuses said would happen and why students have been saying for years not to arm our campus police. We believe there needs to be laws in place to protect students from police violence since we can’t depend on the police to protect us.”

” For four years, PSU communities have spoken up saying they want an unarmed campus,” said Portland State University student government member and DisarmPSU member Camilo Abreu Assad.

“Here we have the opportunity to address the injustice of those whose lives have already been lost to police violence on campus. Here we can prevent the further militarization of our campuses at the expense of students. We can undo the mistake of giving university presidents, unelected officials without public accountability, the authority to command armed police departments.”

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