Ordinance 31-76 would allow Ashland Police to charge a person with a crime if they don’t identify themselves while officers are issuing a citation.
Both residents and visitors have mixed opinions on the ordinance. Some support the new law, while others worry it could encourage racial profiling and discrimination.
“It’s crazy because honestly, you know, I think that people should be able to walk around freely and if they want to tell you who they are or not is up to them,” Brandon Thomas, visitor, said.
“I think it’s a little bit extreme that nowadays you kind of have to give up all control over to law enforcement,” Noelle Blanco, visitor, said.
Councilors amended the ordinance to get rid of the term ‘probable cause’ to address the concerns of profiling.
Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara says up until a year ago every person had to identify themselves until an Oregon Supreme Court ruling in 2017 said a person accused of a crime may remain silent.
He says he’s a big proponent of teaching implicit bias, and that everyone that works for Ashland Police goes through that training.
The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.
Anna Weeks is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Originally from the Portland area, Anna is excited to explore Southern Oregon. In her free time, she can be found reading, running or watching sports.