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Portland police chief steps down, citing need for change amid protests

NewPortland  Police Chief Chuck Lovell listens during a news conference announcing his appointment Monday, June 8, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Portland's police chief has resigned, just six months into her job, amid criticism of her department's handling of protests in Oregon's largest city. The shakeup comes as police have been sharply criticized for using what some people called inappropriate force against some protesters. Lovell said at a press conference that his appointment was completely unexpected and he's going to care about the community. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)
NewPortland Police Chief Chuck Lovell listens during a news conference announcing his appointment Monday, June 8, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Portland's police chief has resigned, just six months into her job, amid criticism of her department's handling of protests in Oregon's largest city. The shakeup comes as police have been sharply criticized for using what some people called inappropriate force against some protesters. Lovell said at a press conference that his appointment was completely unexpected and he's going to care about the community. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

Portland, Oregon Police Chief Jami Resch announced Monday that she is stepping down, and she elevated Lt. Chuck Lovell to police chief.

"I'm a public servant. I'm going to show up every day with a servant's heart," said Chief Lovell during a brief speech at Monday's news conference. "All I can do is be me."

Former chief Resch said she personally asked Lovell, who is black, to lead the bureau.

"I believe change needs to start with change. I'm asking the members of the Portland Police Bureau to please trust me. This is the right thing to do,” said Resch, who noted that she will remain with the bureau in an unspecified role.

Several prominent black community leaders said Lovell is exactly what the city needs right now.

“I like the idea of having a black man with a history of engaging with and aiding all people within the community. However, I’m going to hold off celebrating until I see his actions in his new role," Devin Boss of Rose City Justice said.

At the very least, protesters said the change shows their voices are being heard. But they say further reform, including defunding the police, is necessary.