INDEPENDENT POLICE REVIEW DIVISION
CITIZEN REVIEW COMMITTEE
MINUTES FOR April 15, 2003 (approved June 17, 2003)
CRC members present: Lopez (Chair), Stone (Vice Chair), Alexander, Browning, Butzbaugh, Miggins, Ueland, Jaffe
IPR staff present: Blackmer (City Auditor), Rosenthal (IPR Director), Hess (IPR Deputy Director), Rees (Deputy City Attorney), Stewart (IPR Community Relations Coordinator), DeAngelis (IPR Management Analyst)
IAD and Police Bureau staff present: Captain Schenck, Assistant Chief Foxworth
1. Chair Héctor López called meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.
2. Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the 4/1/03 CRC Meeting were unanimously approved.
3. IPR Director’s Report:
- CRC Appeal No. 2003-X-0001: The Police Bureau has accepted CRC’s recommendation to change the finding on allegation no. 1 to sustained and to change the finding on the second allegation to Insufficient Evidence. Case is now closed.
- The 2003 CRC selection process timeline was handed out.
- The IPR/CRC 2002 annual report will be presented to City Council in an informal work session on May 6, 2003, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The final draft of the report will be provided to all CRC members this week and comments will be needed by noon on Monday April 21.
- An updated IPR/CRC contact list was provided including e-mail addresses of IPR staff.
4. Chair López discussed the assignment of new CRC members to review appeal no. 2002-X-0021 (Mejía Poot case). Director Rosenthal pointed out that this would be in violation of the current CRC protocols. Ric Alexander made a motion to suspend the protocol to allow the Chair to assign two new members to this case. Denise Stone seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Chair López then appointed Denise Stone and Mia Butzbaugh to this case.
5. CRC Work Group Reports
- Internal Process Work Group (IPWG) -- Hank Miggins: A special meeting of the IPWG was held on 4/8/03 to review CRC duties and responsibilities under the IPR ordinance. The minutes for this meeting will be posted on the IPR website. There were questions raised at the meeting about the process of initiating and adopting protocols. It was suggested that each CRC member select a protocol to review.
- Policy Work Group (Denise Stone): No update at this time. A Policy Work Group meeting is scheduled for Friday, 4/18/03.
- Community Outreach Work Group: Nothing to report.
6. Conference Committee on 2002-X-0017.
The appellant was present. Assistant Chief Foxworth was present to represent the Police Bureau’s decision on this case.
Director Rosenthal stated that the purpose of the Conference Committee was to provide an opportunity for the decision makers in the Police Bureau to explain to CRC why the Bureau does not want to accept the CRC’s recommendation.
Director Rosenthal stated that on 3/4/03 the CRC made recommendations on nine allegations related to this case. The CRC affirmed 2 findings. The Police Bureau agreed to accept the CRC’s recommendation to change the finding on 5 allegations from Exonerated to Insufficient Evidence. However, the Bureau was not willing accept the CRC recommendation to change the findings from Exonerated to Sustained on Allegation 1 (that the arresting officers unreasonably took the appellant into custody instead of his brother) and on Allegation 8 (that the arresting officers failed to include in their report statements from witnesses regarding the appellant’s arrest). The Bureau proposed changing the findings on Allegations 1 and 8 to Insufficient Evidence with Debriefing. Director Rosenthal instructed the CRC that if they accepted the Bureau’s amended findings on this appeal, the case would be closed. If they did not accept the new findings, the case would be sent to City Council for final resolution.
Assistant Chief Foxworth, who was the Northeast Precinct Commander at the time of the incident, presented the rationale for the Bureau’s decision. Regarding allegation no. 1, he stated that the officers went to the location with probable cause to arrest the appellant’s brother for a domestic violence crime. The officers initially believed that the appellant was the wanted suspect (the appellant’s half brother), but the arrest turned into a "resist arrest" when the appellant did not cooperate. Regarding allegation no. 8, Assistant Chief Foxworth stated that the police reports met the Bureau’s reporting requirements and provided an accurate description of what occurred. He said there is no expectation of officers to canvass the neighborhood and take statements from neighbors every time an arrest is made.
The appellant was then given the opportunity to present. He stated that the officers had a full description of the suspect they were looking for and should not have mistaken him for his half brother. He accused the officers of lying about him resisting arrest in their police reports.
After the initial discussion, Hank Miggins recommended that the CRC accept the Police Bureau’s proposal to change the findings on Allegations 1 and 8 from Exonerated to Insufficient Evidence with Debriefing. Bob Ueland seconded the motion. The motion was defeated by a vote of 3 to 5.
Yes: Jaffe, Miggins, Ueland
No: Alexander, Butzbaugh, Stone, López, Browning
Mia Butzbaugh then made a motion, seconded by TJ Browning to disagree with the Bureau’s proposed changes on allegations 1 and 8 and to send the appeal to City Council. After further discussion, this motion carried by a unanimous vote (8 to 0).
7.Pre-hearing CRC No. 2003-X-0007 (IPR/IAD No. 2002-C-0424).
This complaint involved multiple calls to the police by the appellant regarding a disturbance between her and her neighbors. The appellant’s allegation that she was falsely arrested was declined by IPR since this was a judicial matter. The remainder of the appellant’s allegations, involving excessively tight handcuffing, discourtesy, and failure of a sergeant to return her phone calls, were declined by IAD due to lack of merit.
Bob Ueland and Héctor López presented this case. Bob Ueland stated that, after reviewing the file, he saw no clear evidence of police misconduct, and that it appeared that it was the appellant who was verbally abusive, not the police officers. Héctor López stated that he was concerned about the appellant’s allegation that the officers laughed at her. He saw this and the alleged failure to return phone calls as examples of a possible lack of respect for the appellant.
Héctor López made a motion to send this case back for further investigation with a full hearing to follow. Ric Alexander seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously (8 to 0).
After the vote, Captain Schenck recommended that allegation no. 4 (that the officers laughed at the appellant), if found to be true, be handled as a service complaint, since this would be classified as a minor rule violation.
8. Pre-hearing CRC No. 2003-X-0009 (IPR/IAD No. 2002-C-0235).
This complaint involved an incident in which the appellant alleged he was taken to the detox center without cause and later inappropriately cited for resisting arrest. IAD investigated this complaint and returned unsustained findings on all allegations.
Ric Alexander and Hank Miggins presented this case.
Ric Alexander made a motion to recommend a full hearing on this case. Hank Miggins seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously (8 to 0).
9. Director Rosenthal handed out a new IPR protocol on IPR declinations of untimely appeals. He asked the CRC’s approval of promulgation this protocol, which is based on the IPR ordinance. Bob Ueland made a motion to this effect, seconded by TJ Browning. The motion carried by a vote of 5 to 3.
Yes: Browning, Ueland, López, Miggins, Jaffe
No: Stone, Butzbaugh, Alexander.
(Denise Stone thought that there should be more flexibility in the number of days for which an appeal could be declined for lack of timeliness. Mia Butzbaugh stated that she would have preferred that the CRC be granted a greater role in evaluating whether or not an appeal should be declined.)
10. Denise Stone introduced a proposal that two additional CRC members be assigned to cases that are sent on for a full hearing. She suggested that the hearings protocol be amended to reflect this change.
Toni Jaffe made a motion to table Denise’s proposal and schedule a discussion at the next full CRC meeting. TJ Browning seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-2.
Yes: Browning, Ueland, Miggins, Jaffe Butzbaugh, Alexander
No: Stone, López
(Director Rosenthal had to leave the meeting at this point.)
11. New Business
- Chair López announced that a hearing on the Mejía Poot case would be held on May 20.
- The CRC members agreed to hold a business meeting on May 6. Mr. Blackmer advised the CRC that there would be limited IPR staff support for this meeting due to an unusually heavy workload of complaints at this time.
- Hank Miggins agreed to assign protocols to individual CRC members for review.
12. Public Comment: Diane Lane and Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch)
13. Meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.