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October 17, 2006

 
Minutes
Citizen Review Committee
October 17, 2006
 
Approved ___________
 
CRC Members Present:  Hank Miggins (Chair), Michael Bigham, Loren Eriksson, Irene Ogouma, Lewellyn Robison, Robert Ueland
 
CRC Members Absent:  Marcella Red Thunder 
 
City Staff Present:  Gary Blackmer (City Auditor) Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Linly Rees (City Attorney’s Office)
 
Portland Police Bureau Members Present:  Sergeant Cheryl Robinson (IAD), Sergeant Judy Brumfield (IAD), Sergeant Robert King (Portland Police Association)
 
Chair Miggins called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m.
 
I.      Introductions of CRC members and meeting attendees 
 
II.     Approval of Minutes of 8/15/06CRC Meeting:  Mr. Eriksson made a motion to approve the minutes.  Mr. Ueland seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 
 
III.    Approval of Minutes of 9/19/06CRC Meeting:  Mr. Ueland made a motion to approve the minutes.  Ms. Robison seconded the motion.  Chair Miggins added to the minutes that the Community Advisory Council Workgroup’s work was completed and thank you to the workgroup.  The amended minutes were accepted by a vote of 4-0 with abstention by Mr. Bigham and Mr. Eriksson, who were not present for the 9/19/06 meeting.
 
IV.    Hearing: CRC No. 2006-X-0003 (IPR/IAD No. 2004-C-0390).  The appellant alleged that Portland Police Bureau TriMet Division officers illegally searched his wallet and used excessive force in arresting him.  The appellant was present for the hearing.  The involved officers were not present.  Former CRC member TJ Browning was present in the role of Appeal Process Advisor to the appellant. 
 
The appellant provided testimony on his own behalf.  Sergeant King of the PPA provided testimony on behalf of the officers.  After follow-up questions and discussion by CRC,  rebuttal statements from the appellant and Sergeant King, public testimony was provided by Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch), Teresa Teater, and Alejandro Queral (Northwest Constitutional Rights Center).
 
Chair Miggins called for a motion.  Mr. Bigham made a motion to refer this case back to IAD for additional investigation.  Mr. Erickson seconded the motion.  The motion failed by a vote of 3-3.   
 
Yes:  Bigham, Erickson, Ogouma
No:   Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
Allegation #1.  Officer A failed to tell the appellant what he was being arrested for.
 
Mr. Ueland made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of Unfounded.  Mr. Erickson seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a vote of 4-2. 
 
Yes:  Eriksson, Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
No:   Bigham, Ogouma
 
Allegation #2.  Officer A used excessive force by twisting and bending the appellant’s right wrist and taking him to the ground even though the appellant said his wrist had a prior injury. 
 
Mr. Ueland made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of Exonerated.  Mr. Erickson seconded the motion.  The motion failed by a vote of 2-4. 
 
Yes:  Robison, Ueland
 
No:   Bigham, Eriksson, Miggins, Ogouma
 
Mr. Eriksson made a motion to recommend that the Police Bureau change the finding to Insufficient Evidence.  Mr. Bigham seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a vote of 5-1.
 
Yes:  Bigham, Eriksson, Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
No:   Ogouma
 
Allegation #3.  Officers A, B, and C used excessive force by stomping and kicking the appellant when he was on the ground.
 
Ms. Robison made a motion to recommend that the Police Bureau change the finding to Insufficient Evidence.  Mr. Eriksson seconded the motion.  The motion failed 1-5.
 
Yes:  Robison
 
No:   Bigham, Eriksson, Miggins, Ogouma, Ueland
 
Mr. Ueland made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of Unfounded.  There was no second.
 
Loren Eriksson made a motion to recommend that the Police Bureau add “with debriefing” to the finding.  Ms. Ogouma seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 
 
Director Stevens asked the CRC for clarification of what they wanted the debriefing to include.  Mr. Eriksson replied that what he was alluding to was that there can be a perception of excessive force whether excessive force is a reality or not, and that the debriefing would be to let the officer understand that sometimes this is the perception.  Chair Miggins added that he does not know what the supervisor should tell the officers, but he just believes there should be more to this finding than simply unfounded, and that is where the debriefing issue comes to play.   
 
Allegation #4.  Officer A used excessive force by putting his foot on the appellant’s neck to pin him down.
 
Mr. Ueland made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of Unfounded.  Ms. Robison seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a vote of 5-1. 
 
Yes:  Bigham, Eriksson, Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
No:   Ogouma
 
Allegation #7.  Officer A grabbed and illegally searched the appellant’s wallet.
 
Mr. Bigham made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of Exonerated.  Mr. Ueland seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 
 
Allegation #8.  Officer A inappropriately implied to the appellant that Portland Police are brutal and have a reputation.
 
Mr. Eriksson made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of Insufficient Evidence.  Mr. Ueland seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 
 
Chair Miggins asked the Sergeant Robinson about the amount of time it took for IAD to process this complaint.  Sergeant Robison explained the causes for delay, including shortage of investigators in IAD and the assignment to her of an EEO case that took priority. 
 
Policy Issues:
 
·        Ms. Robison thought the CRC should look at the policy of not having to tell people why they are being arrested at the time they are taken into custody.  She thought that somehow the communication at initial contact needs to be improved.
 
·        Ms. Ogouma thought that the officers designated to work with TriMet need to have awareness training so that average citizens are not confused on what their role is. 
 
·        Mr. Ueland thought that the Police Bureau needs to look at the training of officers who are assigned to TriMet fare missions.  He said there might be a better way to conduct fare missions without causing fear and confusion in the minds of the people and to make people understand why they are getting to the point of being arrested.
 
·        Ms. Robison thought that training should address the fact that some persons with honored citizen passes may not able to comprehend the rules, and there needs to be some sensitivity to this.
 
·        Mr. Miggins stated that in addition to exploring the issue of what you are arrested for, he would like to explore the point at which you are arrested.  He noted that when he read the file for tonight’s hearing, there were three separate increments within this process that dealt with whether or not the man was under arrest, and that also relates to whether or not his wallet could be searched.   
 
·        Chair Miggins noted that the wording in the hearing report on what actions the CRC may take were different than the wording in the Appeal Protocol.  Mr. Eriksson noted that the wording in the printable version of a protocol he was looking at was different from the on-screen version.  Mr. Eriksson suggested that the Protocol Workgroup should look at these discrepancies.  Director Stevens stated that she suspects that the problem noted by Mr. Eriksson is a technical glitch, and she will look into getting this remedied.   
 
·        Auditor Blackmer brought up the accountability concerns with respect to officers from other jurisdictions who work with the Portland Police TriMet Division. 
 
·        Ms. Ogouma suggested that CRC might take some steps to bring TriMet into the discussion at some point for the purpose of improving the process.     
 
Chair Miggins thanked the appellant and TJ Browning for their participation in the hearing.  Director Stevens explained to the appellant what the next steps in the appeal process will be.  
 
V.      Director’s Report
  • Director Stevens stated that Auditor Blackmer has agreed to provide funds to hire a consultant to do policy analysis and trend analysis on use of force reports generated by the Police Bureau over the past couple of years.  Director Stevens will chair a task force whose charge will be to examine the data provided by the consultant to determine if there are patterns that should be addressed through policy changes, training, supervision, or other corrective action.  Chief Sizer has agreed to assign an Assistant Chief and someone from the Training Division to sit on this task force.  Director Stevens has also asked the police union to participate.  Assistant Director Sandrock, Mr. Bigham, and Mr. Eriksson will also serve on the task force.   Director Stevens stated that her goal is to release a public report by the end of February that will address the methodology used, the recommendations of the task force, and what the Police Bureau did in response to the recommendations.
  • Director Stevens is also working with community members and Chair Miggins on biased based policing complaints that IPR receives.  The Police Bureau is working with the community to look at the big picture, and she wants to ensure that the way IPR processes these cases is consistent with what the community and the Police Bureau are doing.  Director Stevens hopes to come back to the CRC in a future meeting and let them know what IPR is doing about this kind of complaints. 
  • IPR staff changes:  Scott Warner, IPR Management Analyst, has resigned.  He will be with IPR only through November.  Director Stevens is trying very hard to get out an annual report and still has hope that this can be accomplished.
  • Director Stevens attended the conference of National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement in Boise .  Director Stevens and Mr. Blackmer also attended the Vancouver conference of the Canadian Association, which is trying to form an international association. 
  • Appeals Update:  To date for calendar year 2006 there have been 28 cases that have been eligible for appeal.  The appeal deadline has not yet been reached for two cases.  There have been three appeals so far this year including tonight’s appeal.
  • New CRC Members:  Director Stevens introduced Ms. Josie Cooper, who was the only new CRC member present at the meeting.  Background checks are being completed and it is hoped that the new members will soon be sworn in.
  • Training:  The planned CRC training was cancelled at the last minute due to an injury of the trainer.  Ms. Stewart is working with the Training Division to reschedule the training.  Possible dates are November 18, December 9, and December 16.   
  • Chief's Forum Update (Lauri Stewart):  On 10/2/06 there was a BOEC presentation.  The dispatchers follow very strict SOPs and triage guides on dispatching police officers, Fire Bureau, and EMS.  On 10/16/06 there was a TriMet presentation about the bus mall relocation and security issues connected with that.  The Assistant Chief announced that on October 19 at 3:00 p.m. the Police Bureau along with Oregon Action and NorthwestConstitutionalRightsCenter would be making a presentation to the City Council on the racial profiling community listening sessions that took place last spring and the recommendations that came out of these sessions.  Alejandro Queral will address this when he speaks to CRC at their November 21 meeting at the AlbinaYouthOpportunitySchool at 3710 North Mississippi Street.
  • Community Outreach (Lauri Stewart):  Ms. Stewart did outreach with Gail Castillo of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Portland Tribune, Northeast Portland Crime Prevention, and the GRIT Office of Juvenile Justice.  She attended a meeting of the State Crimes Coalition at which Chief Sizer was the guest speaker, addressing the rise in hate crimes.  Ms. Stewart consulted with the Mesa, Arizona Police Department and the Sacramento Police Department regarding mediation. The Quarterly Report will be out soon.  On October 18 City Council will consider a resolution on the inclusion of immigrants and refugees in civic and public life. 
 
VI.     Chair Miggins said that Dr. Calvin Henry, President of the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs, has asked for the CRC minutes and agendas and information about the procedure for filing a complaint.  As an outreach effort, Chair Miggins suggested to him that IPR could send these to Dr. Henry’s e-mail so that he can then post them on his organization’s list-serve.  Director Stevens said that IPR can add Dr. Henry to the IPR public e-mail list, so he will receive the announcements and agendas for CRC meetings, but the CRC minutes are posted on the IPR website and not e-mailed.  Ms. Stewart offered to provide Dr. Henry with information about the complaint process. 
 
VII.    Workgroup Updates
  • Community Advisory Council (CAC) Workgroup (Hank Miggins, Chair). Chair Miggins removed this item from the agenda since the workgroup has completed its work and no longer exists.
  • Appeal Workgroup (Robert Ueland, Chair).  The Appeal Workgroup met this month.   The next meeting of the Appeal Workgroup is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8, at 10:00 a.m., in the IPR Conference Room.  TJ Browning will be asked to debrief the workgroup on her experience as APA.  The workgroup will continue to work on the APA guidelines.  As a way to improve the appeal process, the workgroup is considering the possibility having a meeting to address any questions or problems seen with the investigation prior to the actual hearing.  Director Stevens suggested that this could be accomplished by immediately e-mailing the CRC members as soon as a timely appeal is received so that they will have had time to review the file before the next CRC meeting. Mr. Eriksson stated that he finds it helpful to get the IPR summary before he comes in and reviews the case file.
  • Tow Policy Workgroup (Michael Bigham, Chair).  The workgroup has submitted rough recommendations to Director Stevens.  She will review the recommendations and get back with the workgroup on this.  Director Stevens has suggested to the workgroup that calls be made to other jurisdictions to find out what their tow policies are.  The next meeting of the Tow Policy Workgroup is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, at 10:00 a.m.
  • Protocol Workgroup (Lewellyn Robison, Chair).  A status report was handed out showing what has been done so far.  Ms. Robison asked the CRC members to review the proposed changes and provide feedback so that the changes may be formally adopted at the next meeting.  The changes have also been provided to Ms. Rees and Ms. Stevens to ensure that they are conformity with City Code.  Regarding the appeal protocol, it is being considered whether to change how the presentation is done at the hearing, whether a CRC member or two or three members should be responsible for making the presentation or to continue with IPR making the presentation.  They are also considering whether or not to include a critique of the case file itself and the quality of the investigation at the time of the hearing or earlier in the appeal process as Mr. Ueland previously mentioned.  The next meeting of the Protocol Workgroup is scheduled for Monday, November 13 at 10:00 a.m.
There was discussion at this point of the lack of timeliness with some IAD investigations.  Director Stevens assured CRC members that she and Captain Tellis share their concerns about timeliness and continue trying to find ways to address this.  It was pointed out that for the first time since IPR began, the IPR Director was invited to attend an IAD staff meeting to work with them on this issue.   
 
Chair Miggins stated that he would like there to be some follow-up on trying to get CRC candidates who were interviewed but not selected to serve on workgroups that are  currently understaffed.  
 
CRC Retreat (Lewellyn Robison).  Ms. Robison said that Saturday, January 13, is being looked at as a possible target date for the retreat.  Mike Hess has checked on the availability of the Water Pollution Laboratory as a location for the retreat.  Ms. Robison has put together a list of possible agenda items.  She has not had much feed-back from other CRC members on specific items they would like to included.  Mr. Eriksson stated that it would be helpful in reviewing cases if all the forms used by officers for their reports, were made available for CRC members. He suggested that this could possibly be done at the retreat.
 
VIII.  New Business
  • Mr. Eriksson reported that the Early Intervention System committee, which he and Ms. Robison are members of, has not met for several months because of scheduling problems.  The next scheduled meeting is November 1.
  • Chair Miggins stated that he and other CRC members have met with all of the City Commissioners concerning the function of CRC .  The commissioners were asked the following questions:  What do you think we are doing?  What would you like to have us do?  And when are you going to come visit us?  The commissioners were pleased with CRC .  The commissioners recommended that CRC make periodic reports to Council. 
 
IX.    Public Comment
 
·        Sean Cruz
·        Alan Osborn (League of Women Voters)
·        Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch)
 
Chair Miggins adjourned the meeting at 9:04 p.m.