Citizen Review Committee
October 20, 2009
Date Approved: November 17, 2009
Meeting Location: Lovejoy room, Portland City Hall
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (Chair), Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Mark Johnson, Hank Miggins, Lewellyn Robison, Rochelle Silver
Prospective CRC Members: Jeff Bissonnette, Myra Simon, Jamie Troy
City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantin Severe (IPR), Michael Hess (IPR), Linly Rees (Deputy City Attorney)
Police Bureau: Captain David Famous (IAD), Lieutenant Eric Schober, Lynn Courtney (IAD), Cordes Towle (IAD), Commander Michael Crebs (East Precinct)
I. Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.
II. Introductions and welcome.
III. Appeal Hearing for CRC Appeal No. 2009-X-0004 (IPR/IAD No. 2008-C-0150)
The appellant alleged that a PPB officer used force against his son by striking him several times in the face with his fist and a flashlight, causing injury. He also alleged the officer did not follow procedure, because he failed to document use of force in his report.
Ms. Rees reviewed the rules for hearings and the standard of proof. Chair Bigham outlined the hearing process. Ms. Jackson presented a summary.
The appellant provided testimony. The involved officer was not present for the hearing. Commander Crebs explained the rationale for the findings. There were then follow-up questions and discussion by CRC and public testimony from Dan Handelman and Richard Koenig.
After additional discussion, Ms. Silver made a motion to return the case to IAD for further investigation. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1.
Yes: Bigham, Eriksson, Jackson, Johnson, Miggins, Silver
IPR Director Baptista asked CRC for clarification on what they wanted re- investigated. Ms. Silver amended the motion as follows: To return the case to IPR/IAD for further investigation regarding the position of the officer’s flashlight and hands and to establish whether the officer was in uniform and driving a marked police car. The amended motion passed by a vote of 6-1.
Yes: Bigham, Eriksson, Jackson, Johnson, Miggins, Silver
Mr. Johnson made a motion to return the entire case to IPR/IAD for further investigation (including both allegations). The motion passed unanimously.
IV. Following a break, CRC discussed quality of investigation issues relating to the appeal case.
V. Approval of 9/15/09 minutes: Mr. Eriksson moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Miggins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
VI. Director’s Report (Director Baptista)
> Confirmation of new CRC members by City Council on October 22 at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers.
> Support the CRC workgroups: assist the IPR Structure Review Workgroup in producing a final product by the end of the year.
> Attend the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) conference: Auditor Griffin-Valade, IPR Director Baptista, IPR Assistant Director Severe, and CRC member Rochelle Silver will attend the NACOLE conference in Austin, Texas from October 31 – November 3, 2009.
IPR Accomplishments / Outreach
Chasse Investigation Review and Evaluation: On October 1, Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade announced plans to hire a nationally recognized expert to evaluate the how the Portland Police Bureau handled the internal investigation regarding of the 2006 in-custody death of James Chasse, The outside expert has yet to be selected, but the report will review the quality of the internal investigation as well as the adequacy of the police policies that affected the actions of the officers. The request for proposals will be released in the coming weeks, and proposals (tentatively) will be due mid November. CRC members Rochelle Silver and JoAnn Jackson will assist Auditor Griffin-Valade, IPR Director Baptista, and IPR Assistant Director Severe in reviewing and ranking the proposals. IPR will release the final report to the public, elected officials, and the Chief of Police.
VII. Community Outreach:
Irene Konev arranged for the IPR Director and CRC Chair to appear on Portland Community Media’s program – Face to Face: Community Matters. Chair Michael Bigham and the IPR Director used this opportunity to explain to the community that civilian oversight exists in Portland and explain the roles and responsibilities of both IPR and CRC. IPR Director Baptista encourages CRC members to use this media source prior to the next CRC recruitment as a way to educate and engage the community in the work that CRC does.
Specific outreach took place to African American agencies such as Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, Africa House and Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs, as well as with individual community members. Russian Oregon Social Services sexual assault survivor support group had a presentation and a Ukrainian Church Festival was attended. Awareness was also brought to North Neighborhood Association, and the Chief’s Racial Profiling Report to City Council was attended. Networking has begun with the Community Relations Services from Department of Justice based out of Seattle. New procedures were set up for providing six hours of intercultural training to incoming CRC members through local trainers. Myra Simon and Jeff Bissonnette have attended this training. The new CRC orientation plan is being carried out.
Most recently Irene Konev has been working with the Office of Human Relations (OHR) and has completed the six days of Intergroup Dialogues sponsored by the Human Rights Commission Truth and Reconciliation Training. Working with OHR, she is poised to help begin peace dialogues with the community and police.
IPR and IAD Caseload: tables provided.
Appeals: IPR has received a timely appeal request for IPR/IAD case number 2006-C-0475. The IPR and IAD case files are available for CRC review. At the November 17, 2009, CRC meeting, thirty minutes will be set aside on the agenda for a case review discussion. The appeal will take place at the December 15, 2009, meeting.
VIII. Workgroup Updates
Bias-based Policing Workgroup (Mr. Johnson): Has not met in the past month. Chief Sizer has scheduled another meeting with the workgroup on 11/3/09.
Case Handling Workgroup (Mr. Johnson): Workgroup continues to be in hiatus due to lack of sufficient members.
IPR Structure Review Workgroup (Ms. Jackson). The last meeting was 10/8/09. The workgroup completed its discussion of margin comments.
> Next meeting: 11/3/09, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 1st Floor Auditor’s Conference Room. Agenda: Begin to work on the design of the draft report and make assignments for writing the draft.
Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): Last meeting was 10/13/09. A work plan was completed. Mr. Miggins asked the full CRC to approve the work plan. Ms. Robison advised the group that the work plan entails a time and labor commitment of all CRC members, and approval of the work plan implies acceptance of this commitment. Mr. Miggins said that it is expected that the Outreach Workgroup will be an ongoing workgroup with rotating membership of CRC members.
Ms. Silver made a motion to approve the work plan of the Outreach Workgroup. Ms. Robison seconded.The motion passed by a vote of 6-1. (Ms. Jackson voted no because she said she had not yet reviewed the work plan.)
> Next meeting: 11/10/09, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Audit Services Library.
Agenda: Begin to develop an action plan based on the work plan.
PARC Report Review Workgroup (Mr. Eriksson). Last meeting: 9/21/09. Michael Bigham and Derek Reinke are working on the text of the workgroup report.
> Next meeting: Not yet scheduled.
Protocol Workgroup (Ms. Robison): Last meeting: 10/5/09.
Mr. Miggins made a motion to approve revisions to Protocol No. 5.18 (Policy Review). Ms. Robison seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
> Next meeting: 10/26/09 at 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Audit Services Library. Agenda: Discuss Protocols 5.05 and 5.07.
Tracking List Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): Last meeting: 10/12/09.
The Tracking List Workgroup has cleaned up the tracking list and categorized the list into four categories: Policy, Procedure, Task, and Questions. Any CRC member may add items to the tracking list with the consent of the full CRC. The CRC member who adds an item to the tracking list is responsible for follow-up on that item. The CRC Chair is responsible for appointing a member to monitor the tracking list.
Mr. Eriksson made a motion to approve the changes to the tracking list. Ms. Silver seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
(The Tracking List Workgroup has completed its work and will not be meeting again.)
IX. Old Business:
Mr. Eriksson asked for an update on CRC business cards. Ms. Baptista said the business card format has been approved by the Outreach Workgroup, and the business cards are “in the mail.”
Ms. Robison asked about the letter to the Assistant Chief that was approved at the last CRC meeting. Mr. Bigham said that the letter has been sent but a response has not yet been received. Mr. Bigham agreed that this item should be added to the Tracking List as a “place holder.”
X. New Business:
Mr. Bigham opened discussion on whether CRC should consider holding a “community listening session” regarding the Chasse case or should review the policies and procedures involved in the Chasse case. Ms. Baptista stated that the role of IPR and CRC in officer-involved shootings or in-custody deaths is exactly what IPR is doing, which is to hire an outside consultant to review the manner in which this was handled and to review and make recommendations regarding the adequacy of policies in place. The consensus was to table this matter.
Ms. Baptista asked CRC to consider the possibility of changing the CRC meeting to a different time beginning in January 2010 because one of the members has a scheduling conflict with the third Tuesday of the month. It was decided to put this matter on the agenda of the November CRC meeting.
Ms. Robison proposed setting up a CRC guidelines folder to supplement the ordinance and protocols folder that is currently provided to new members. The guidelines folder would contain forms and procedures that are not covered in the protocols, such as the Appeal Process Adviser guide, the case handling and appeal process flow charts, the file audit worksheet, the template for appeal summaries, etc. Ms. Robison thanked IPR Carol Kershner for her assistance in putting together the guidelines folder. Ms. Baptista reminded CRC that these documents are current, however as with all things, are subject to change through the normal course of CRC’s work. The CRC members approved this proposal by consensus.
Ms. Jackson suggested that CRC reconsider the role of the Appeal Process Advisor (APA). It was clarified that the APA is permitted to communicate with the appellant during the hearing, but is not permitted to address CRC.
Mr. Eriksson announced that he would be attending a Use of Force Review Board (UFPRB) the following day. He also stated that he and another current member of the CRC, along with two former CRC members and one future CRC member, are still participating in the citizen pool for the UFPRB and hope to have a refresher training day put on by the Portland Police Bureau sometime in January 2010.
Ms. Silver thanked the IPR staff for sending her a condolence card.
Mr. Miggins asked if it would be possible for the City Hall maintenance staff to set up the conference room the way CRC wants it set up. Ms. Baptista said she could ask, but she could not ensure the outcome.
XI. Public Comment:
Regina Hannon (Portland Copwatch): Ms. Hannon said that there need to be changes to the appeal process to provide some type of advocacy for the appellant.
Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters): Ms. Aiona expressed the opinion that IPR needs to be more involved in monitoring bureau initiated cases such as the Chasse case.
Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch): Mr. Handelman suggested that there be further attempts to interview a witness who refused to be interviewed with regard to the appeal case. Mr. Handelman said that the case presentation for the hearing was very good, but he thought that the case summary should be read before any other explanations are given about the case. Mr. Handelman expressed concern about the IPR Director “taking on the role of a prosecutor” during the hearing.
Richard Koenig: Mr. Koenig addressed CRC about constitutional rights.
XII. Wrap-up Comments
Auditor Griffin-Valade thanked the CRC members for their time and commitment. She expressed her appreciation to the new CRC members and members of the public for coming to the CRC meeting.
XIII. Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.