SALEM, Ore. – SALEM, Ore.Portland's police chief resigned on Monday, just six months into her job, amid criticism of her department's handling of protests in Oregon's largest city. An African American lieutenant on the force replaced her.
The shakeup came as police have been sharply criticized for using what has been called inappropriate force against some protesters as huge demonstrations continue in Portland.
“To say this was unexpected would be an understatement,” new Police Chief Chuck Lovell said at a news conference. “I’m humbled. I’m going to listen. I’m going to care about the community, and I’m looking forward to this journey.”
He and community leaders of color credited Jami Resch, a white woman, for stepping down as George Floyd protests roiled the city.
Resch told the news conference that Lovell is "the exact right person at the exact right moment” to head the police department.
Resch had replaced Danielle Outlaw, who was Portland's first African American female police chief and who became Philadelphia police commissioner in February.
Resch said she suggested the shakeup to Mayor Ted Wheeler, who said he supported Lovell to lead the department as it moves through needed reforms.
“We need Chief Lovell's leadership,” Wheeler said at the news conference. “We must re-imagine reform and rebuild what public safety looks like.”