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February 19, 2008

 

Minutes

Citizen Review Committee

February 19, 2008

Approved March 18, 2008

 

Meeting Location:  Rose Room, Portland City Hall

 

CRC Members Present:  Michael Bigham, Josephine Cooper, Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Mark Johnson, Hank Miggins, Lewellyn Robison

 

CRC Members Absent:  Sherrelle Owens (excused), Robert Milesnick (excused)

 

City Staff Present:  Gary Blackmer (City Auditor) Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Shane Abma (Deputy City Attorney)

 

Police Bureau Members Present:  Commander Michael Crebs (East Precinct), Captain John Tellis (IAD), Lieutenant David Famous (IAD), Sergeant Roger Axthelm (IAD)

 

Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m.

I. Introductions and welcome

II. Appeal Hearing: CRC No. 2007-X-0008 (IPR/IAD No. 2006-C-0502). The appellant alleged that a Portland Police Bureau officer inappropriately pointed a handgun at her and failed to identify himself as being a police officer.

The appellant was present, and Officer A was not.  The appellant and the appellant's witness provided testimony on their own behalf.  There were then follow-up questions and discussion by CRC; rebuttal statements from the appellant; and public testimony from Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch). 

 

Chair Bigham called for a motion regarding the allegation that Officer A inappropriately pointed a handgun at the appellant.

Mr. Johnson made a motion that CRC recommend further investigation by IAD of whether Officer A violated PPB Policy #316.00 for alcoholic use or violated PPB Policy #311.30 in particular by not considering the factors that he was supposed to consider before reporting for duty and secondly whether he had a reasonable reason for not deferring to local law enforcement and not calling 911.  There was no second to this motion.

Ms. Robison made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau's finding of Exonerated with a Debriefing.  Ms. Cooper seconded the motion.

The motion failed by a vote of 2-4, with one recusal.  

Yes:  Cooper, Robison

No:   Bigham, Jackson, Johnson, Miggins

Recuse:  Eriksson

Mr. Johnson made a motion to challenge the Police Bureau's finding and to recommend changing the finding to Sustain.  Ms. Robison seconded the motion.  The motion carried by a vote of 4-2, with one recusal.  

Yes:  Bigham, Jackson, Johnson, Miggins

No:   Cooper, Robison

Recuse:  Eriksson

Chair Bigham called for a motion regarding the allegation that Officer A failed to identify himself as being a police officer.

Mr. Johnson made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau's finding of Unproven.  Mr. Miggins seconded the motion.

This motion was withdrawn. 

 

Mr. Miggins made a motion to add a debriefing to the allegation that Officer A failed to identify himself as being a police officer.  Ms. Cooper seconded the motion. 

 

The motion carried by a vote of 6-0, with one recusal

Yes:  Cooper, Bigham, Jackson, Johnson, Miggins, Robison

Recuse:  Eriksson

Chair Bigham thanked the hearing participants.

III. Policy Issues:

 

Ms. Robison asked that the following be added to CRC's to-do list: Explore what CRC can do to prevent incidents that lead to complaints.

IV. Approval of the Minutes of the 1/15/08 CRC Meeting: Mr. Eriksson moved to approve the minutes as written. Ms. Cooper seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

V. Director's Report (Director Stevens)

Director Stevens announced that she has accepted a position as the Director of the Portland Police Bureau's Office of Professional Standards.  This will be her last CRC meeting as IPR Director.

 

Director Stevens stated that her plan was to hire a consultant to design an outreach strategy and then an outreach coordinator to implement the plan.  However, because Director Stevens is leaving, it would be more appropriate to hold off on hiring an outreach person until a new IPR Director is hired.   

 

Two new Police Bureau directives have been included in the CRC packets.

Appeals Update: There have been no case closures by IPR since the last CRC meeting.  For calendar year 2008 two cases have been closed and no new appeals have been received.

 

A letter from the CRC Chair to Commander Jarmer of the TriMet Division has been included in the CRC packets.  Commander Jarmer would like to come to talk to CRC at a future CRC meeting. 

 

Director Stevens explained the process for formulating allegations within the framework of a "complaint-driven" system.  IPR operates within a system that is not driven by directives but by allegations and description.  The challenge for IPR investigators is to formulate allegations that encapsulate the conduct that a citizen is unhappy with.   

VI. Workgroup Updates

 

Protocol Workgroup (Chair: Lewellyn Robison).  At the last CRC meeting it was decided to test assigning CRC members to present the hearing report at appeal hearings.  The Protocol Workgroup has developed a working draft of the procedures to be followed, which was handed out to the CRC members to review and discuss at the next CRC meeting.   Ms. Robison asked the CRC members to let the workgroup know if there are any protocols that should be looked at and addressed.  The workgroup cannot go any further with the appeal protocol until it is seen how current test procedures work out. The next meeting of the Protocol Workgroup has been scheduled for 3/12/09 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The Protocol Workgroup first looked at protocols that were specific to CRC.  The plan is to look at IPR protocols as well and to suggest changes when appropriate.

Bias Based Policing Workgroup (Chair: Sherrelle Owens).  The workgroup members held an after-hours case review session.   The deadline for completing case reviews has been pushed back to end of April.  The presentation to the Mayor's Racial Profiling Committee has been rescheduled for Thursday 3/20/08.  

 

PARC Report Review Workgroup (Chair: Michael Bigham). The next meeting is scheduled for 2/25/08 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.  Captain Tellis of IAD has been invited to the next meeting. 

Outreach Workgroup (Chair: Hank Miggins).  This workgroup has no plans to meet again at this time.  Mr. Miggins asked that the minutes of the workgroup be provided to the new IPR Director when hired. 

 

Mr. Bigham proposed setting up a new policy-oriented workgroup.  Director Stevens agreed to provide CRC members with the minutes of the last CRC retreat, in which the policy prioritization list was updated. 

 

Mr. Bigham said that a discussion of the consultant's report will be included on the March agenda. 

VII. Tracking List: Ms. Robison said that she has added to CRC's to-do list to evaluate the time sequence of the PPB Performance Review Board relative to appeals. She will also add the policy suggestions made following tonight's appeal hearing.

VIII. Old Business

Ms. Robison asked when CRC members should be giving their input to the quarterly report.  Director Stevens said that CRC members can submit items for the quarterly report at any time.  

IX. New Business

 

Mr. Eriksson asked about the 2005-2006 IPR/CRC Annual Report.  Director Stevens said the report is currently being published at Printing and Distribution.  

 

Chair Bigham is putting together a CRC fact sheet that can be used for community presentations.  He asked CRC members to give him any comments they have about the fact sheet.

 

CRC and IPR have been asked to participate in a panel discussion of police oversight at the League of Women Voters meeting in the Multnomah County Building on Wednesday 3/12/08.

X. Public Comments

 

Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters) commended CRC for their thoughtful discussions at tonight's meeting.  Ms. Aiona pointed out that there are some ideas for outreach in the consultant's report. 

 

Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch) said that pointing a gun at somebody should be viewed as deadly physical force.  Mr. Handelman suggested that the Protocol Workgroup look at the policy protocol.   Mr. Handelman said he hoped the Director would allow CRC to review the content of the post-hearing memo before it is sent to the Police Bureau.  Mr. Handelman said that there should be a written policy about adding new allegations.  

XI. Wrap-up Comments: None

Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:47 p.m.