Portland police, Justice deal OK'd

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PORTLAND — The Portland City Council has approved a settlement with the Justice Department on police reforms that some of its members think the city may not be able to afford.

Federal investigators found in September that police engaged in a pattern of excessive force against people with mental illness.

The vote on the five-member council was unanimous Wednesday, The Oregonian reported.

It came two and a half weeks after Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon's U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall publicly released the agreement calling for changes to Portland police use of force and stun gun policies, training and oversight.

Several community activists and attorneys have urged the council to slow down and complained that the agreement didn't go far enough.

Civil rights attorney Tom Steenson says there a "disconnect" between the way Police Chief Michael Reese defines an "immediate threat" that can allow officers to use deadly force, and how his police trainers interpret the same words.