UPDATE: City Councilors approve Ashland Ordinance 3176 on Identity

UPDATE, 8/6/19 8:10 p.m. — In a 4 to 1 vote, Ashland City Councilors approve Ordinance 3176 Tuesday night, allowing Ashland Police to charge a person with a crime if they didn’t identify themselves in some cases. Violators face a Class C misdemeanor.

Tuesday councilors amended the language one last time, clarifying wording involving ‘probable cause.’ Previous amendments included that the Chief of Police will provide quarterly updates on it’s implementation through the first year. The chapter will also be repealed on August 16, 2020, unless the City Council takes further action.

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ASHLAND, Ore. – After multiple pleas from community members to ‘vote no’ on a controversial ordinance, Ashland City Councilors weren’t able to make a decision. That’s because they ran out of time.

A second reading of Ordinance 3176 was held Tuesday evening. If passed, the legislation would allow Ashland Police to charge a person with a crime if they didn’t identify themselves in some cases.

Dozens of people from diverse backgrounds spoke out against the proposed change to the city’s municipal code. During a public comment period, they approached councilors with their concerns that the ordinance could encourage racial profiling and discrimination. Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara spoke to those concerns, saying he believes the ordinance will only help the public.

Councilor Julie Akins, the lone ‘no’ vote during a first reading, motioned to postpone the ordinance. Other councilors disagreed, defending the ordinance as a way to protect the public and allow police to fulfill their jobs. Amid all the back and forth, the clock struck 10:30 p.m. signalling the end of the meeting.

You can read more about the controversial ordinance here: https://bit.ly/2XStaD6. NBC5 News will keep you updated on what happens at the next city council meeting.

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