ACLU challenges Portland police over secret list

ACLU challenges Portland police over secret list

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging Portland police over a secret list of petty criminals who have been arrested most often downtown.

During a hearing on Wednesday, ACLU attorneys asked exactly how the list of drug- and property-crime suspects is compiled and why it is secret.

Testimony by Officer Jeff Myers showed the original list of 35 people has grown to almost 400 people, some of whom are prosecuted more harshly.

Defense attorneys argue the list unconstitutionally labels people as chronic offenders based on arrests instead of convictions and that those on the list have no appeal.

But the Portland Police Bureau and prosecutors argue the list is constitutional and has proven effective at reducing repeat offenses.

They say the list has helped police get services for city's most chronic offenders.