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Portland cop cleared over friendly texts with far-right group leader

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Ted Wheeler have announced that the bureau's former crowd control liaison was largely doing his job when he exchanged friendly texts with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson to gather protest information.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland's Independent Police Review didn't find sufficient evidence to prove allegations against Lt. Jeff Niiya after reviewing over 11,000 of his cellphone text messages between May 2017 and February 2019.

Investigators considered allegations that Niiya engaged in unprofessional behavior during his communications with Gibson, didn't maintain objectivity while communicating with Gibson and inappropriately disclosed information to Gibson to allow individuals to avoid arrest.

Chief Danielle Outlaw found all allegations "unfounded."

However, the chief also announced changes to the bureau's crowd control liaison program, including new training, uniforms and operating procedures.

The investigation found that officers who worked as liaisons had not received any formal training and there were no written standards for how they did their job.


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