INDEPENDENT POLICE REVIEW DIVISION
CITIZEN REVIEW COMMITTEE
MINUTES FOR MAY 6, 2003 (approved June 17, 2003)
CRC members present: Lopez (Chair), Stone (Vice Chair), Alexander, Browning, Butzbaugh, Jaffe, Montgomery, and Ueland.
CRC members not present: Miggins.
IPR staff present: Stewart (Community Outreach).
IAD and Police Bureau staff present: none.
1. The meeting was called to order at 5:40 p.m. by Chair Lopez.
2. CRC work group reports.
-Policy Work Group: Alexander and Ueland hope to have drafts of policy reports available by Friday, May 9. Stone has a good draft of the third pending policy report.Internal Processes Work Group: has not met since the last CRC meeting. Next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, May 14 at 12:15 p.m.
-Community Outreach Work Group: scheduled to meet Thursday, May 8.
3. Update on CRC review of case 02-21.
-City Auditor Gary Blackmer issued a written position to each CRC member stating that he believes the CRC does not have jurisdiction to hear this appeal.
-Captain Schenck, Internal Affairs Division, has notified Stone that the PPB and IAD are taking the same position as the City Auditor’s office and is denying the CRC access to the IAD records relating to the investigation.
-Butzbaugh met with a private attorney who has a background in criminal defense and analysis of jurisdiction. After an initial review of relevant materials, the attorney gave a preliminary opinion that the City’s position was likely reasonable and that an alternative interpretation of the Ordinance might be difficult to establish. Butzbaugh stressed that this was only a preliminary opinion but was based on a thoughtful discussion in which Butzbaugh tried to present the CRC’s stronger arguments. The attorney is willing to provide a more in-depth review and written opinion.
-There was extensive discussion about: what some CRC members perceived as the threatening tone of the City Auditor’s memorandum, about potential liability faced by individual CRC members in hearing this appeal, and about why there is not automatic review for an incident such as this that involved two government entities (the police and Tri-Met). The CRC discussed various interpretations of the protocol that were invoked when this appeal was originally declined. Butzbaugh commented that, regardless of the outcome of our efforts to hear this appeal, the CRC should learn from this experience about the current structure’s limitations and the CRC’s ability to be an independent body. Chair Lopez described the CRC’s hearing of the appeal as a "make-or-break issue," indicative of how important it is for the CRC to draft its own protocols and determine if CRC members are "city agents" or not. Montgomery raised the possibility of using the Ombudsman’s office in conducting the appeal. He will inquire and report back to the CRC.
-Chair Lopez instructed Stone and Butzbaugh, the two CRC reviewers assigned to this case, to proceed, in whatever way is required, in preparing for a hearing. He also asked that, as soon as possible, the reviewers propose a date for the hearing.
-Browning reported on the presentation of the IPR annual report before City Council. At Chair Lopez’s request, Browning had spoken to the Council on behalf of the CRC, though the time allotted to her on the agenda was halved after the IPR presentation ran long. Ueland and Alexander also spoke to the Council and reported on their impressions and comments. Regarding the Ordinance, the City Council said that the CRC may bring individual suggested Ordinance changes before the Council.
4. Appointment of CRC member for Council presentation of case 02-17.
-The Committee noted that the applicable Ordinance provision permits only one CRC member to present the CRC’s view on the case. There was preliminary agreement that one of the reviewers assigned to the case – Butzbaugh or Miggins – might be the appropriate presenter.
-It was noted that Richard Rosenthal, director of the IPR, has been drafting a "protocol" for the CRC’s presentation before City Council. There was discussion about where this authority originates and expressions of concern that he has not involved the CRC in that process. There was also concern that, because the CRC has not been updated about the progress on scheduling a hearing before the Council, the CRC presenter might be notified of a hearing date so late as to have insufficient time to prepare.
-Jaffe made the following motion and Browning seconded: The CRC will request from the IPR director a date on which the protocol will be presented to the CRC and the hearing scheduled before City Council. Passed unanimously.
5. Schedule a full-day protocol review.
-The full-day "retreat" during which the CRC will review its protocols and the Ordinance will occur on either June 7 or June 14. Two dates were proposed in the hope that IPR Director Rosenthal, who was not present at the meeting, would be available for at least one of these.
-There was general agreement that the CRC distribution list should be sent an email requesting feedback about the Ordinance. The Community Outreach group, meeting Thursday, plans to discuss holding a public forum on review of the Ordinance.
6. Identify what case materials the CRC is expected to review in preparation for pre-hearings and hearings.
-There was consensus among the CRC members that it is best for each CRC member to review the whole file prior to a hearing. There was also discussion about the purpose of pre-hearings and how to most effectively fulfill their intended purpose.
-Alexander moved and Ueland seconded the following: The two members assigned to a pre-hearing should go to the IAD office to review the full file and then make a recommendation to the CRC. Passes unanimously.
-Stone moved and Browning seconded the following: When a case moves from a pre-hearing to a hearing, two new members are assigned to review the full IAD file and make recommendations to the CRC. Passes 7 to 1 (Jaffe voting no).
7. Internal Process Work Group mission statement.
-At the request of Miggins, who could not be in attendance, this agenda item was postponed to a later meeting.
8. Report from Lauri Stewart, IPR Community Relations Coordinator.
-The IPR 2002 Annual Report is available. CRC members should turn in draft reports to the IPR office.
-Rosenthal indicated that the CRC should be advised that CRC members who are reapplying for a position on the CRC should inform Mike Hess of their intention prior to the next CRC meeting (Tuesday, May 20).
9. Case review worksheet.
-Alexander will ask Joseph De Angelis in the IPR office to format the draft case review worksheet so that it is easier for CRC members to review and comment upon it.
10. New Business.
-There was discussion about the document (issued by the IPR director at the last CRC meeting) that identifies a timeline for the CRC appointment process. Chair Lopez referred to language in the Ordinance and expressed concern that the current CRC protocol seems to ignore the CRC’s sole power to nominate new CRC members.
-Butzbaugh moved and Browning seconded the following: CRC Protocol 02-06 will be modified and be presented for consideration at the next CRC meeting. Passed 7 to 1 (Ueland voting no). Stone volunteered to draft a revised protocol and distribute it to CRC members prior to the May 20 meeting.
11. Public Comment.
-Richard Jones, El Hispanic News
-Diane Lane, Portland Copwatch
-Merrick Bonneau, citizen
-Dan Handelman, Portland Copwatch
12. The meeting was adjourned by Chair Lopez.