Group to City: Nix mounted patrol donation

An officer and a horse in Portland's Mounted Patrol Unit, May 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
An officer and a horse in Portland's Mounted Patrol Unit, May 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A citizen watchdog group opposes the latest plan to keep Portland’s Mounted Patrol Unit.

Portland Copwatch said the unit should be shut down because it leads to both brutality against people and against the horses, citing instances during Occupy Portland.

The Mounted Patrol Unit of the Portland police pushed back Occupy Portland protesters in November 2011 (File, KOIN 6 News)
The Mounted Patrol Unit of the Portland police pushed back Occupy Portland protesters in November 2011 (File, KOIN 6 News)

The unit was going to be eliminated for budgetary reasons, but Friends of the Mounted Patrol announced they would donate $200,000 to keep it.

In a letter sent to Mayor Charlie Hales and the City Council, Portland Copwatch’s Dan Handelman wrote, “(W)e are disturbed that the ‘Friends of the Mounted Patrol’ is chipping in $200,000 of private money to support a function of the police that they like. If we had thousands of dollars, could we pay for a squad of police to wear clown suits? Or more likely, could we pay for IPR to hire enough investigators that Internal Affairs would not be handling any investigations of misconduct involving community members?”

They want the City Council to reject the donation and eliminate the mounted patrol.

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