Citizen Review Committee
December 15, 2009
Date Approved: January 13, 2010
Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (Chair), Jeffrey Bissonnette, Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Mark Johnson, Hank Miggins, Lewellyn Robison, Rochelle Silver.
City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantin Severe (IPR Assistant Director), Irene Konev (IPR Community Outreach Coordinator); Shannon Callahan (Commissioner Saltzman’s Office)
Police Bureau: Captain Ed Brumfield (IAD), Lieutenant Eric Schober (IAD)
Community/Media: Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch), Regina Hannon (Portland CopWatch), Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters), Ayoob Ramjan (future CRC member), Mireille Wells (KBOO news reporter), Kevin Hershey (Portland State University student) and a fellow PSU student.
I. Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.
II. Introductions and welcome.
III. Approval of November 17, 2009, CRC Minutes. The following amendments were made to the minutes: page 2, Section III: add “Ms. Silver seconded the motion”; page 4, Section VI (Protocol Workgroup update): amended as “Protocol 5.18 was revised by CRC.” Mr. Miggins moved that minutes as amended be approved. Mr. Bissonnette seconded. The motion passed 7-0, with Ms. Robison abstaining.
IV. Presentation: Rut Martinez-Alicea owner of Hybrid Thinking Consulting, who presented diversity training for the IPR staff (covering intercultural competency, racism, oppression, communication skills, etc.
V. Director’s Report (Director Baptista)
Independent Police Review Division (IPR) Work Plan
> IPR’s Involvement in Bureau Initiated Case 2009-B-0047: The referenced case stems from an incident on November 14, 2009, on a Max platform at the 148th Avenue Transit Center. Within a week of the incident, the Bureau initiated an IAD investigation regarding the use of force of two Transit Division officers. Due to the community concern regarding this case, and that the case involved a member of the community, Director Baptista requested to be present during the interviews of the Bureau members involved in this case. The Bureau agreed, and she has been included in several of these interviews to date. However, the City Code makes it clear that IPR's jurisdiction extends only to complaints made by citizens. It is not the case that simply because a case involves a citizen, it is a citizen complaint. [See 3.21.020(D) and (G) as well as PSF 5.02(1). Ms. Baptista wrote a letter to the defense attorney representing the juvenile involved in this case, advising him of the distinction between a Bureau and Citizen Initiated case. The attorney contacted Ms. Baptista and they had further conversation regarding his client’s (or her guardian’s) right to file a complaint. He appreciated that IPR contacted him as he was not aware of the difference.
> Develop CRC New Member Orientation: IPR is developing a multi-session orientation for new members. Due to the recent resignation of Myra Simon and the nomination of new CRC member Lindsey Detweiler, IPR has not finalized the schedule for the CRC orientation. IPR hopes to have the schedule worked out by the end of the month.
> IPR Staff Diversity Training: IPR staff has completed twelve hours of intercultural competency training covering oppression theory, racism, and intercultural competence. Staff engaged in this training through small and large group discussions, interactive group work, and role plays. Staff members are excited about the new skills gained and are implementing them into their daily work.
IPR Community Outreach:
Changes in CRC Membership: Unfortunately, newly appointed CRC member Myra Simon had to resign from CRC due to an unexpected move out of Oregon for employment purposes. Fortunately, there was such a strong pool of applicants in the last recruitment that the interview panel and the Auditor were able to quickly and unanimously agree on nominee Lindsey Detweiler to fill the vacancy. Ms. Detweiler currently works for the Office of Public Defense Services in the Legal Services Division. She has begun the background check process. In the meantime, Ms. Detweiler has agreed to attend the new member orientation, and she will attend the January CRC meeting as a member of the public.
IPR Outreach Coordinator Activities: Irene Konev attended Say Hey Northwest and IRCO’s all staff meeting, presented to Morrison Child and Family Services, Listos Para Aprender, and attended a presentation of the State of Black Oregon Report by the Urban League to Multnomah County Commissioners. She participated in the planning for the intergroup dialogue through the Human Rights Commission and coordinated the intercultural training series for IPR staff. She continues to work to expand awareness of IPR through the outreach coordinator’s meetings and other community networks.
IPR and IAD Caseloads:
Caseload data were presented in table form. [See Director’s Report.]
Status of Pending Appeals: PR #2008-C-0150 / Appeal # 2009-X-0004: CRC requested additional investigation at the October 20 appeal hearing. That investigation was completed and forwarded to the commander for his review. The commander’s memo regarding his review of that information will be made available for CRC review. The hearing has been rescheduled for the January 13, 2010, CRC meeting. The additional investigation materials should be available for CRC review December 21, 2009.
IPR #2006-C-0475 / Appeal #2009-C-0005: CRC requested that IAD conduct additional investigation in this case at the November 17, 2009, Investigative Case Review Hearing. IAD submitted a memo to IPR on Friday, December 11, 2009, detailing their efforts. The memo has been distributed to CRC for review on Tuesday, December 15, 2009. IPR and IAD request that CRC determine whether the appeal in this case can be heard at the CRC meeting, Wednesday, January 13, 2010.
Important note regarding newly appointed CRC members and continuation of appeal hearings from 2009: In January, only five of the seven members who initially heard and voted in the hearings listed above will be on CRC. Director Baptista has conferred with the City Attorney’s Office regarding any provision or prohibition on the new members’ participation in subsequent hearings. The City Attorney advised that in order for new members to participate and vote on the above pending cases, they must review the entire record, including listening to the prior hearing tapes if they were not present at the hearing. The new members should state on the record prior to any subsequent hearing that they have reviewed the entire record for the case. If the new members do not wish to participate, they should state their reasons on the record at the outset of the hearing, and per IPR Protocol 5.23 II.D, the Chair should excuse them from the vote, i.e., allow them to abstain. If the new members are not going to vote and have not reviewed the record, it is recommended that they not participate in the hearing at all (no questions or discussion) and, if there is room, they may want to sit separate from the hearings body during the hearing.
New Appeals Received:
PR #2007-C-0335 / Appeal #2009-X-0006: The IPR and IAD case files will be available for CRC review on January 4, 2010. The investigative case review will be held on February 10, 2010, and depending on the outcome of that hearing, the appeal will be heard at the March 10, 2010, meeting.
IPR #2009-C-0125 / Appeal #2009-X-0007: The date of this appeal has yet to be determined. This case will be scheduled once the pending appeals have been scheduled / resolved.
Director Baptista introduced the new IAD Captain, Captain Ed Brumfield.
Director Baptista thanked JoAnn Jackson and Mark Johnson for their work and dedication as CRC members.
Following the Director’s Report, Mr. Eriksson posed the possibility that there could be a quorum of CRC members at the CRC training, and if so, if the public would be allowed to attend the training. Director Baptista replied that there would be no problem with the public attending the portion of the training that is held in City Hall and said that she will look into this with regard to the portion of the training that is held at the Police Bureau.
Mr. Eriksson requested that CRC be provided with the PPB Tips and Techniques on Processing and Handling of Service Complaints if there is a recent version addressing any changes since 2003, including the change of the name of Service Complaint to Service Improvement Opportunity.
Mr. Eriksson asked if the IPR/IAD Appeal Hearing Notebooks could be made available for CRC members when they go to IAD to review the case file. Director Baptista said she will look into this.
VI. Chair Bigham initiated discussion on IAD Investigator Renna’s memo describing his attempts to locate and interview witnesses for the case that was reviewed in last month’s CRC meeting.
After discussion, Mr. Miggins made a motion to postpone the hearing until CRC’s remaining questions have been answered. Ms. Silver seconded the motion. Mr. Bissonnette suggested that CRC should proceed with the hearing if the court transcripts of the witness statements are obtained prior to the hearing. During public testimony, Mr. Handelman proposed that the CRC should request the transcripts and proceed with the hearing.
The motion to postpone the hearing failed to pass by a vote of 3 to 5.
Yes: Silver, Robison, Miggins
No: Johnson, Bissonnette, Jackson, Bigham, Eriksson
Mr. Bissonnette made a motion that CRC ask IPR to allocate $255.00 to purchase the court transcript of the witness statements and that the transcript be made available to CRC members so that they may hear the appeal next month. Mr. Johnson seconded the motion.
After additional discussion, Mr. Bissonnette withdrew his motion and made a new motion that CRC request that IPR or the Bureau make efforts to acquire the transcript of the witness statements in the civil trial. Mr. Johnson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
VII. Discussion regarding CRC holding public hearings.
Mr. Miggins opened the discussion by stating that CRC received a letter from the League of Women Voters asking CRC to consider holding a public hearing on the James Chasse investigation. The same request was received from Portland CopWatch.
Ms. Debbie Aiona stated that the rationale of the League of Women Voters’ proposal for a public meeting was for the CRC to gather community concerns about the Chasse case so that they may accurately reflect these concerns to the expert who will be reviewing the Bureau’s investigation of this case. Dan Handelman expressed Portland Copwatch’s support of this proposal.
After discussion, Mr. Miggins made a motion that CRC hold a public forum on the James Chasse in-custody death. Mr. Eriksson seconded the motion. After further discussion, and additional public comment from Kevin (Portland State University student), Mr. Handelman, and Ms. Aiona, the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Miggins introduced the second part of the discussion, a proposal presented by Mr. Bissonnette to the Outreach Workgroup to hold a public forum on police-community relations, separate from the public forum on the James Chasse case. The target date of this forum would be the week of February 15, 2010. CRC members supported the concept of a police-community forum separate from the Chasse forum, but agreed that the Chasse forum should be held first and that the more general forum should not be held in close proximity to the Chasse forum. Chair Bigham asked the Outreach Workgroup to construct a timetable for accomplishing this.
VIII. Workgroup Updates
Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): Last meeting was on 12/9/09. The workgroup discussed community forums, public service announcements, and op-eds. Michael Bigham discussed a draft op-ed that he prepared and asked if he should send it to The Oregonian. Discussion on this was deferred until the next meeting.
> Next meeting: 12/29/09, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Audit Services Library. Agenda: Work on community forums and complete outreach work plan
Bias-based Policing Workgroup (Mr. Johnson and Mr. Miggins): Workgroup did not meet last month. They are still working on the draft report.
Case Handling Workgroup: Continues on hiatus.
IPR Structure Review Workgroup (Ms. Jackson): Last meeting was on 11/3/09. The workgroup is in continuing to draft its report.
> Next meeting: 1/5/09, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., location to be announced.
PARC Report Review Workgroup (Mr. Bigham): Workgroup did not meet last month. Mr. Bigham and Mr. Eriksson are going to meet on Friday to work on putting together the workgroup report.
Protocol Workgroup (Ms. Robison): Workgroup did not meet in November or December. Next meeting is not yet scheduled.
IX. Old Business
Director Baptista reminded CRC members that work-related emails are public record and Carol Kershner should be copied on all such emails.
Director Baptista reminded CRC that beginning with the January 2010 meeting, CRC meetings will be scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month.
Chair Bigham asked for a volunteer to maintain the Tracking List. Ms. Robison volunteered.
X. New Business:
Mr. Miggins proposed that a new appeals workgroup be formed. Mr. Eriksson and Ms. Silver volunteered to join Mr. Miggins on this workgroup. Mr. Bigham announced that the National Lawyers Guild has proposed that they provide a volunteer pro bono advocate for CRC appeals. Mr. Bigham handed over this proposal to the Appeal Workgroup to explore.
Mr. Bissonnette asked a question about an issue that was raised in the CopWatch comments on the November CRC meeting regarding public comment on policy recommendations. Mr. Bigham and Mr. Johnson answered his question to his satisfaction.
Chair Bigham said that next month he is going to begin appointing members to a continuing auditing workgroup. At the next meeting he would also like to bring up for discussion the formation of a workgroup on Tasers and less lethal force issues.
XI. Public Comment
Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters) thanked CRC for moving forward on the Chasse forum and a general forum on police/community relations. Ms. Aiona also thanked Director Baptista for including an explanation of the latest high-profile case in her Director’s Report.
Kevin Hershey (PSU student) commented on the IAD’s inability to locate five witnesses in last month’s appeal case.
Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch) said that Portland CopWatch, the League of Women Voters, and the ACLU are in support of the National Lawyer Guild proposal. Mr. Handelman advised CRC not to attempt to contain persons who want to talk about specific cases at public forums. He suggested that when members of the community speak at public forums, CRC should thank them for their comments. Mr. Handelman suggested that CRC might consider doing a joint public forum with the Community Police Relations Committee. Mr. Handelman said he does not believe that the City Ordinance restricts third party complainants from filing a complaint. The People’s Police Report should be out next week.
XII. Wrap-up Comments:
Auditor Griffin-Valade once again thanked CRC for their work and members of the public for their service.
XIII. Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:18 p.m.