Totality of Circumstances

Sidelwalk chalk names of people killed by police from a protest outside PPB East Precinct in 2018
Hosted by: 
Produced by: 
Subscribe to podcast
A holistic, people-centered conversation about policing in Portland and beyond, with an emphasis on community oversight, social justice activism, and alternatives to current paradigms.


Totality of circumstances is a legal concept with a wide usage, but in this context it is part of the framework used around police interactions with the public, in which the actions of an officer are viewed in terms of the “totality of the circumstances” at the moment of interaction, and specifically at the moment force is used against a civilian. It is a deceptive term—“totality” is viewed entirely from the viewpoint of the officer, and the factors at play in their mind, as opposed to the true “totality of circumstances” at play in the interaction—the place of the police and civilian in an unjust capitalist system; systemic and personal racism and bigotry; societal attitudes towards the mentally ill, economically disadvantaged, and certain subcultures; entrenched interests like business and police unions; structures of power at the city, county, state and federal levels; and the weight of history and the status quo.


Reach us at

KBOO Stream 1
Program status: 

Totality of Circumstances | March 23, 2021

Airs at: Tue, 03/23/2021 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  A Look at an Ongoing Legal Complaint against the City of Portland and Multnomah County for Violating the Constitutional Rights of Protesters   This month's show is dedicated to an interview with Vika Safarian, an associate attorney with Levi Merithew Horst LC. She is pa... Read more

Full Interview | Vika Safarian

Airs at: Tue, 03/23/2021 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  This is the full version of the interview with Vika Safarian from the March 23, 2021 episode of Totality of Circumstances. Safarian is an associate attorney with Levi Merithew Horst LC in Portland, and part of the legal team representing Don't Shoot Portland and other pl... Read more

Totality of Circumstances | February 23, 2021

Airs at: Tue, 02/23/2021 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  On this month's show: The Citizen Review Committee disputes the findings of a police misconduct investigation stemming from the alleged mishandling of a car theft report, and a nightmarish confusion of paperwork. Their decision forces a conference hearing with the Chi... Read more

Full Interview | Dr. Juniper Simonis

Airs at: Tue, 02/23/2021 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  This is the full version of an interview with Dr. Juniper Simonis, an environmental scientist and data researcher with Dapper Stats and the Chemical Weapons Research Consortium, from the February 23, 2021 episode of Totality of Circumstances. Dr. Simonis witnessed the st... Read more

Full Interview | Dan Handelman

Airs at: Tue, 02/23/2021 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  An edited version of this interview appeared on the February 23, 2021 episode of Totality of Circumstances. Dan Handelman has been a Portland activist focusing on police issues with Portland Copwatch since the early 1990s. He talks about his observations of the relations... Read more

IPR Director Ross Caldwell

Airs at: Fri, 07/24/2020 at 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  Portland’s primary police oversight system is overseen by the City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division (IPR). IPR was founded in 2001 after a citizen-led initiative to overhaul the twenty-year old system then in place. Since then, it has both been touted as one ... Read more

Peer-Run Harm Reduction Group Continues Outreach to Houseless Portlanders

Airs at: Wed, 04/01/2020 at 5:45pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
  Portland People's Outreach Project (PPOP) are a peer-run organization that provides a needle exchange and other harm-reduction services for Portland's houseless community. They are volunteers on the front lines of not just the struggle against our inequitable economic sy... Read more

Full Interview with Meredith Mathis of the PCCEP's Subcommittee for People with Mental Illness

Airs at: Tue, 02/25/2020 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
    Today, Federal Judge Michael Simon declined to approve an amendment to the city's Settlement Agreement with the US Department of Justice which would have allowed the Portland Committee for Community Engaged Policing (PCCEP, pronounced "pee-sep") to satisfy the require... Read more

"Building Beyond Policing" Forum with the Care Not Cops Coalition

Airs at: Sat, 02/01/2020 at 11:00am - 1:00pm
Download audio file
    On February 1, 2020, the local activist coalition Care Not Cops held the final event in its "Building Beyond Policing" series of workshops at the PCC Cascade campus. KBOO was there and recorded the first part of the event, a panel discussion focused on alternatives to... Read more

January 28, 2020: Ten Year Anniversary of Aaron Campbell; and Group in Wyoming Calls for Justice and Police Oversight

Airs at: Tue, 01/28/2020 at 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Download audio file
      On this week's show, we hear from the Stop the Violence event held on Saturday, January 25 at Maranatha Church in NE Portland, marking the ten-year anniversary of the police killing of Aaron Campbell. Campbell's death was the latest in a series of police killings t... Read more