Citizen Review Committee
November 17, 2009
Date Approved: December 15, 2009
Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (Chair), Jeffrey Bissonnette, Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Hank Miggins, Rochelle Silver, Myra Simon
CRC Members Absent: Mark Johnson (excused), Lewellyn Robison (excused)
City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantin Severe (IPR Assistant Director), Michael Hess (IPR Deputy Director)
Police Bureau: Captain David Famous (IAD), Barry Renna (IAD Investigator), William Accornero (IAD Investigator)
Community/Media: Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch), Regina Hannon (Portland CopWatch), Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters), Kelly Krohn, Dana Torrey (PSU Professor) and class (Role of the Individual in Society)
I. Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.
II. Introductions and welcome.
III. Case review of IPR/IAD Case #2006-C-0475
Director Baptista presented a summary of the IPR intake investigation.
Investigator Renna presented a summary of the IAD investigation.
Ms. Silver inquired about IAD’s attempts to locate witnesses.
Ms. Silver asked if IAD had obtained the Fire Bureau report on this incident. Investigator Renna said that this report was recently obtained, in anticipation of this question from CRC. Ms. Silver asked if the Fire Bureau responders were interviewed, and Investigator Renna said they were not, but the available information covered the allegation relating to the police officers’ interaction with Fire Bureau personnel. Director Baptista said that the Fire Bureau report will be made available for CRC members to review, and the commander will also be provided with this report prior to the hearing so that he may address whether it would have affected his finding if this information had been available to him previously.
Mr. Bigham asked why the various types of use of force had been consolidated into one allegation. He said that CRC will probably need to consider each use of force separately at the time of the appeal hearing.
Mr. Miggins asked about the complainant’s girlfriend, who accompanied the complainant during his interview with IPR Investigator Taylor. Mr. Miggins agreed to review the interview notes and if he still has questions, to submit them in writing so that his questions and the answers to his questions may be shared with the other CRC members.
Mr. Eriksson noted that the IPR Cover Letter did not address IPR’s dismissal of allegation number 7. Director Baptista said she would follow up on this.
Mr. Eriksson noted that the officer who allegedly used a knee strike did not write a Use of Force report, although he did mention the knee strike in his police report. Captain Famous said he would review this to determine if a Use of Force Report was required in this instance.
Mr. Miggins made a motion to recommend that IAD make additional efforts to locate civilian witnesses by contacting the owner of the property where the incident took place and the appellant’s attorney. Ms. Silver seconded the motion. Dan Handelman provided public comment prior to the vote. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Bissonnette and Mr. Eriksson volunteered to present the hearing report for this case.
IV. Approval of 10/20/09 CRC minutes: Mr. Eriksson moved that the minutes be approved. Ms. Silver seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
V. Director’s Report (Director Baptista)
Independent Police Review Division (IPR) Work Plan
> Develop CRC New Member Orientation: IPR Outreach Coordinator Irene Konev IPR is developing a multi-session orientation for new members
> IPR Annual Staff Retreat: IPR staff will hold a staff retreat on 11/19/09. The retreat will focus on team-building, goals for IPR in the coming year, and the roles of staff in achieving those goals.
> IPR Staff Diversity Training: IPR staff is half-way through a twelve hour intercultural competency training covering oppression theory, racism, intercultural competency, personal leadership and best practices. This training is designed for staff to gain, strengthen, and practice skills to actively engage themselves and others in ending oppression in the context of daily work at IPR, and to enhance communication with the public.
IPR Community Outreach: In the last month, Irene Konev focused on developing an orientation program for new CRC members and planning the intercultural competency training for IPR staff. October yielded some unique opportunities for IPR outreach, including attending the Annual NW Public Employee Diversity Conference and the Domestic Violence Summit at Pioneer Square. Ms. Konev also made a presentation at a National Conference on Men and Masculinity at PSU and canvassed and distributed IPR information in SE neighborhoods in collaboration with the Urban League and Organizing People Activating Leaders (OPAL). She continued relationship-building with many state and local community agencies, including networking with the Department of Human Services, Department of Justice, and the Violence against Women Act Advisory Committee. Through the League of Women Voters, she made a presentation on police oversight to delegates from Russia.
IPR and IAD Caseloads: The number and age of outstanding cases continue to decrease.
Appeals: The appeal of IPR/IAD case number 2008-C-0150 was heard at the October CRC meeting, and CRC members voted to return the case to IAD for additional investigation. IPR has received a timely appeal request for IPR/IAD case number 2009-C-0125. The IPR and IAD case files will available for CRC review the week of November 30.
VI. Workgroup Updates
Bias-based Policing Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): Workgroup met with Chief Sizer on 11/3/09 at her request to discuss the Police Bureau’s plans on diversity. It is hoped that the workgroup’s draft final report will be completed before the next CRC meeting.
Case Handling Workgroup: Continues on hiatus.
IPR Structure Review Workgroup (Ms. Jackson): Last meeting was on 11/3/09. The workgroup is in the process of preparing a draft report. Workgroup members have been assigned to write different sections of the draft.
Next meeting: 12/21/09, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., location to be announced.
Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): Last meeting was on 11/10/09. The workgroup has begun to develop an action plan based on the work plan that was provided at the October CRC meeting.
For the past three months the Outreach Workgroup has been testing the idea of having two CRC members act as hosts at CRC meetings. Several CRC members spoke in favor of this concept, and there was consensus to institutionalize this procedure and add it to the CRC Guidelines.
Next meeting: 12/9/09, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Audit Services Library
PARC Report Review Workgroup (Mr. Bigham): Did not meet last month. Derek Reinke, IPR Senior Management Analyst, has provided appendices for the final report and Mr. Bigham is working on draft text for the final report.
No meeting scheduled.
Protocol Workgroup (Mr. Miggins) Last meeting was on 10/26/09. The workgroup continued work on revisions to Protocols 5.05 and 5.07. Mr. Miggins noted that Protocol 5.18 was revised by CRC at the last meeting, but the protocol was subsequently amended by the City Auditor. Mr. Miggins asked if CRC is authorized to approve protocols. Auditor Griffin-Valade responded that the City Auditor has the final approval authority for protocols. Director Baptista clarified that protocols approved by CRC are presented as recommendations to the City Auditor.
Next meeting: 12/8/09 at 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Audit Services Library. Agenda: Continue to work on Protocols 5.05 and 5.07.
VII. Ms. Silver spoke of her participation in last month’s National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) Conference in Austin, Texas. She distributed copies of the NACOLE Conference program and offered to provide additional information about topics on the agenda for anyone who might be interested. Director Baptista also offered to provide additional information if desired. Next year’s NACOLE Conference is scheduled to take place in Seattle.
[Ms. Jackson left the meeting at this point.]
VIII. Old Business
Director Baptista announced that the CRC business cards have been distributed.
Director Baptista proposed that the CRC meetings be moved to the second Wednesday of each month, due to a request from a new CRC member. Arrangements have already been made to reserve the meeting room for these dates. Mr. Bissonnette moved that as of January 2010 the CRC meetings be moved to the second Wednesday of each month. Mr. Miggins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Miggins thanked Director Baptista for arranging for assistance in setting up the meeting room for hearings.
Ms. Silver said that she and Mr. Bissonnette attended an event at the Multnomah Arts Center celebrating police officers in Southwest Portland.
IX. New Business:
Mr. Miggins asked to place on the next month’s agenda a discussion of an emailed letter received from Debbie Aiona of the League of Women Voters pertaining to holding a public hearing on the Chasse case. Mr. Bissonnette suggested that discussion of Dan Handelman’s general comments should also be on the agenda.
Mr. Miggins said that he has not received any feedback from CRC members about the Tracking List, so the work of the Tracking List Workgroup is now officially ended.
Mr. Miggins suggested forming a new appeal workgroup to consider changes to the appeal process. Chair Bigham agreed to place this on next month’s agenda.
X. Public Comment
Amber Stoeklin, Portland State University student, asked if there are formal guidelines on locating witnesses in investigations. Captain Famous responded that IAD has Standard Operating Procedures that cover this.
Joe Bazeghi, Portland State University student, thanked CRC members for their continued diligence. He mentioned that his peers had difficulty finding information about CRC on the internet, and he suggested for purposes of outreach that the IPR website be improved. Auditor Griffin-Valade agreed and stated that one of her priorities is to improve all of the Auditor websites.
Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters) thanked Mr. Miggins for taking notice of the email that she sent, and she supported having this included on the full CRC agenda. Ms. Aiona asked about plans for the next review of shootings and deaths in custody by an outside expert. Ms. Aiona thanked IAD and IPR for the systematic and organized presentation they made for tonight’s case review. Ms. Aiona suggested “in the interest of understanding and good will” that if the Auditor decides to make changes in a proposed protocol that she discuss her concerns with the workgroup before the final adoption by the full CRC.
Auditor Griffin-Valade responded that she did attend a Protocol Workgroup meeting, at which time she asked questions about the protocol in question. She said that she had hoped to hear comments from other CRC members at the full CRC meeting before making any changes to the protocol.
Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch) said that the case presentation at tonight’s hearing was good but not thorough, because it was not clear to him who the appellant was and what the findings were. Mr. Handelman suggested that the complainants and officers should be invited to the case review meeting. Mr. Handelman said he did not understand why the investigation of the current case did not include an interview of EMT personnel. Mr. Handelman suggested that the training for new CRC members include genderism training. Mr. Handelman said that it was “shocking” to him to see that a protocol had been changed by the Auditor after CRC voted on it, because he believed there were opportunities for changing it beforehand when it was still in draft form.
XI. Wrap-up Comments: Auditor Griffin-Valade again thanked CRC for their work and members of the public for coming to the meetings
XII. Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:20 p.m.