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Cops react to LGBTQ+ diversity training with racist comments

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Portland police who were required to take several hours of online LGBTQ+ diversity, equity, and inclusion training responded with comments revealing “racism, ableism, and white supremacy,’’ according to the firm monitoring the Police Bureau’s compliance with a federal settlement agreement.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Equity and Inclusion Office, which works out of the police chief’s office, oversaw the training last year.

According to Dennis Rosenbaum of Rosenbaum & Associates, the firm monitoring the department’s compliance, “These attitudes and perspectives can come to bear on how PPB members treat members of the Portland community as well as their fellow officers.”  

“Some of these comments were pretty extreme,” Rosenbaum told The Oregonian, without providing specific examples.

A PPB spokesperson for Chief Chuck Lovell declined to address the survey remarks, citing the chief’s desire to foster candid feedback.

Chief Lovell did lay out his reasoning behind the DEI training when it was instituted last March.

“It is always our goal to build relationships and PPB is committed to treating people from the LGBTQ+ community respectfully and appropriately,” Lovell said at the time. “This can be a polarizing issue for many in our country, but PPB is doing everything we can to prepare and equip our members to have improved relationships with this community.”

Last year, the PPB required all officers to complete an online training course titled “2022 Vocabulary in the LGBTQIA2S+/Queer Community,” one part of a newly adopted directive called “Interacting with Members of the LGBTQIA2S+/Queer Community.”

The directive prohibits officers from engaging in harassment or discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, or sexual expression.

The directive and videos go on to describe a textbook DEI program of sensitivity training for cops on the beat:

  • Officers shall not ask anyone about their anatomy, medical history, or sexual practices unless it relates directly to a criminal investigation.
  • They should not make assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity and may need to ask someone about their gender identity to complete a police report.
  • To determine someone’s identity, officers shall respectfully ask how the person identifies and by what pronouns; if an officer mistakenly misgenders a person, they should apologize, move on and use correct pronouns going forward.
  • They shall not frisk or search people or view or touch their genitals for gender identification or for any demeaning or harassing purpose.

According to the latest compliance report, staff for Chief Lovell had promised to address the “problematic ideologies” expressed in the surveys, but the consultants had “yet to see a response.”

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