Portland selects Minnesota firm to conduct probe of Police Department

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Portland has hired a Minneapolis-based consulting firm to conduct a third-party investigation into the way the Police Department handled Black Lives Matter protests last June.

The city said Clifton Larson Allen will conduct the investigation and is expected to report back in three months. The company has offices around the country, including the Boston area.

People protesting the death of George Floyd and other black citizens confront a Portland Police Department cruiser June 1, 2020, on Franklin Street. (Portland Phoenix/Jenny Ibsen)

Although police have maintained they acted appropriately during the demonstrations, there were several clashes between officers and protesters on June 1 and 2. City Councilor Pious Ali called for the independent investigation into the police response to the protests, which followed the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was in the custody of Minneapolis police.

According to a press release from the city, the goal of the investigation is to “ensure the integrity of the department was maintained throughout its response to the protest.”

The city has set aside $40,000 for the investigation. A request for proposals issued last October elicited two responses, including the one from Clifton Larson Allen.

The company’s forensic investigation practice is led by Frank Rudewicz, a principal in the firm the city described as having produced expert and independent findings of fact in other examinations of police practices.

In a statement, Rudewicz said his firm specializes in identifying and assessing all relevant information to provide unbiased and independent reviews of incidents.

“It is imperative to assess not only the information presented at the time,” he said, “but to seek out other relevant information that may not have come to light.”