DA Schmidt Orders Disclosure of Brent Taylor's Discipline Record

DA Schmidt Orders Disclosure of Brent Taylor's Discipline Record

I previously wrote about my appeal of City of Portland's refusal to disclose Officer Brent Taylor's discipline files.

For anyone uninitiated, Brent Taylor is a extraordinarily violent and cruel individual, who has gained notoriety for his abuse of protestors beginning in the Summer of 2020.

Today Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt issued an order requiring the Portland Police Bureau to release the "record responsive to [my] request." A singular record.

The City hasn't yet released the document, but Schmidt describes it in his opinion as follows:

PPB has provided this office with the single memorandum that it withheld in response to this request. At a very high level, with sufficient detail only to inform our resolution of this petition, the record reveals the following: 1) there is a single incident; 2) Ofc Taylor was not disciplined as a result; 3) the incident has nothing to do with use of force; and 4) the incident pre- dated this summer’s demonstrations by about three years.

Schmidt writes in his order that the "otherwise trivial record should nonetheless be released, not because of what it contains, but because of what its production conveys about what does not exist."

This aligns with my primary argument for disclosure (from my 2/25/2021 email to DDA Adam Gibbs):

A federal judge found that on June 30, 2020, Officer Taylor violated the PPB use of force directives. Any possible embarrassment or harm to the reputation of Brent Taylor has already occurred. The fact that Taylor violated the PPB directive is the law of the land and publicly known. Why, then, has Taylor not faced any discipline? I know he hasn’t because the City only asserted ORS 181A.830(3). The mechanisms by which Brent Taylor escaped any accountability for his malicious, unlawful attacks on demonstrators need to be brought into the sunlight.

The Portland Police Bureau operates with disregard for our laws and its own directives. An officer who has earned his Officer Knifey McStabstab has not been the subject of any complaint or investigation — you can't reform this.

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About Alan Lloyd Kessler

Attorney in Portland, Oregon focused on public records and civil litigation. Passionate about government transparency, abundant housing, and active transportation.

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