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February 10, 2010

Minutes

Citizen Review Committee

February 10, 2010

 

Date Approved: March 10, 2010

 

Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall

 

CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (Chair), Jeffrey Bissonnette, Loren Eriksson, Ayoob Ramjan, Lewellyn Robison, Rochelle Silver, Jamie Troy (arrived after break)

 

CRC Member Absent:  Hank Miggins (excused)

 

City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantin Severe (IPR Assistant Director), Judy Taylor (IPR Investigator); Shannon Callahan (Commissioner Saltzman’s Office)

 

Police Bureau:  Commander John Tellis (Training Division), Captain Ed Brumfield (IAD), Lieutenant Eric Schober (IAD), Investigator William Accornero (IAD), Sergeant Roger Axthelm (East Precinct)   

 

Community/Media:  Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch), Regina Hannon (Portland CopWatch), Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters), Kelly Krohn, JoAnn Jackson (former CRC member), Lindsey Detweiler (nominated CRC member)

 

              I.       Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.

 

             II.       Introductions and welcome.

 

            III.      Approval of Minutes of 1/13/10 CRC Meeting.  Mr. Eriksson made a motion to approve the minutes.  Ms. Robison proposed amending section V of the minutes to substitute “investigative case review” for “hearing.”  Mr. Eriksson amended his motion to capture this correction.  Ms. Robison seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

             IV.      Investigative Case File Review of #2009-X-0006 (IPR #2007-C-0335)

 

Director Baptista presented a summary of the IPR intake investigation.  

 

Investigator Accornero presented a summary of the IAD investigation.

 

Mr. Bissonnette asked Investigator Accornero for clarification on whether an interview with a field lieutenant covered any issues about injuries.  

 

There was consensus by CRC that the case file was complete and no additional investigation was needed.  The full hearing was scheduled for 3/10/10.

 

                V.      Director’s Report (Director Baptista) 

 

IPR Work Plan: 

 

IPR Outreach Coordinator Irene Konev developed a multi-session orientation for new CRC members. Two sessions regarding the powers and duties of the Auditor’s Office / IPR and the CRC were held in the last month.  The final session will include a field trip to the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) and is open to new CRC members only. 

 

On 10/1/09 Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade announced plans to hire the Office of Independent Review (OIR), a nationally recognized expert, to review and evaluate how the Portland Police Bureau handled the internal investigation of the in-custody death of James Chasse, Jr.  OIR representatives and IPR staff are in the process of scheduling meetings with stakeholders in Portland in late February or early March.

 

Director Baptista and Assistant Director Severe participated in a training session for Bureau and community members of the Performance and Force Review Boards. 

 

Community Outreach:

 

Portland Police Bureau 2010 Awards Ceremony was held on 1/26/10 at David Douglas High school to honor citizens and officers for their achievements and service.  Awards were given for exceptional accomplishments and courage. 

 

Assistant Director Severe spoke to the African American Chamber of Commerce at its monthly meeting.   He described IPR's purpose and its ongoing outreach efforts.

  

Assistant Director Severe and CRC member Eriksson presented to nine international delegates on IPR and CRC powers and duties. 

IPR Outreach Coordinator Activities:  Community Outreach Coordinator Irene Konev presented to the board members of Africa House, met with President Calvin Henry of Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs to discuss powers and duties of IPR, and attended an MLK Jr. Celebration.  She also met with the Community of Color Coordinator, networked at Portland Business Alliance Green Hour Networking Event and at the Cesar Chavez Street Name unveiling.  A meeting on expanding community outreach connections took place with Dora Perry of Commissioner Fritz’s office.  IPR hosted meet-and-greet sessions for Information and Referral specialists of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.  Ms. Konev continues to attend and present to the Community and Police Relations Committee and works on the Intergroup Dialogues being launched through the Human Rights Commission.  Assistant Director Severe and Ms. Konev made a presentation to over 100 staff members working with the developmental disability community.  Deputy Director Hess and Ms. Carolina Hess accompanied Ms. Konev in a presentation in Spanish on the commendation and complaint process at Morrison Family services.

 

Status of Pending Appeals:

 

IPR #2006-C-0475 / Appeal #2009-X-0005.  CRC requested that IAD conduct additional investigation on this case.  IAD submitted a memo to IPR on 12/11/09 detailing their efforts.  IPR obtained transcripts of the testimony of the civilian witnesses during the federal court trial, which were made available to CRC members for review. The appeal is scheduled for 2/17/10 at a special session of CRC. 

 

IPR #2007-C-0335 / Appeal #2009-X-0006. The IPR and IAD case files are available for CRC review.  The investigative case file review was held at tonight’s meeting, and the appeal will be heard at the 3/10/10 meeting.

 

IPR #2009-C-0125 / Appeal #2009-X-0007.  A timely appeal has been filed for this case. The date of the appeal hearing has yet to be determined and will be scheduled once the pending appeals have been resolved.  The appellant has been notified of the reason for the delay.

 

IPR #2009-C-0033 / Appeal #2009-X-0008.  A timely appeal has been filed for this case. The date of the appeal has yet to be determined and will be scheduled once the pending appeals have been resolved.  The appellant has been notified of the reason for the delay.

 

[Mr. Troy arrived at the meeting at this point.  He apologized for being late due to a trial in Clackamas County that ran over.  He promised to listen to the recording of tonight’s investigative case review so that he can vote at the appeal hearing.]

 

             VI.      CRC Chair’s Report  (Chair Bigham)

 

Last week Mr. Bigham and Mr. Eriksson met with Assistant Chief Martinek in response to a letter from CRC that he had responded to.  Assistant Chief Martinek agreed to meet with the full CRC at a future meeting.   

 

Chair Bigham addressed the need for additional Police Bureau training for CRC members since the Citizens Academy has been discontinued.  Ms. Silver expressed a desire for training about use of force.  Mr. Troy would like more information about control techniques.  Ms. Silver would like to have an explanation regarding police officers’ perspective on the definition of resisting arrest, non-compliance, etc.  Director Baptista said that going on ride-alongs would be a good way to gain a better perspective of these kinds of issues.  Mr. Bissonnette said that there has been some discussion about allowing CRC members to monitor some of the police academy classes on certain topics.  Captain Brumfield expressed a willingness to accommodate CRC members on whatever they perceive as their training needs.  He agreed to talk with Training Division and Defensive Tactics instructors about whether they would be willing to present at a community meeting or if they would rather provide this training in a different venue.

 

             VII.      Workgroup Updates

 

Appeals Workgroup (Mr. Troy):  Mr. Troy was elected Chair at the first meeting of the workgroup.  Last meeting: 1/14/10.  Next meeting: Friday, 2/12/10 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 1st Floor Auditor’s Conference Room.  Agenda: to discuss the mission statement and begin discussion on amending relevant protocols.  There will also be discussion of an offer from Mark Kramer on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild to make pro bono attorneys available to appellants if they choose to use them.

 

Bias-based Policing Workgroup (Director Baptista for Mr. Miggins):  Derek has finished the workgroup report.  Director Baptista will review the report and provide it to Mr. Miggins and the workgroup.  It is hoped that the report will be provided to the full CRC prior to their March meeting so that they can make a decision on it.  

 

IPR Structure Review Workgroup (Mr. Bigham):  Ms. JoAnn Jackson has continued to serve as chair of this workgroup.  The workgroup is close to completing its draft report.  Last meeting: 1/25/10.  Next meeting: 2/16/10, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

 

Case Handling Workgroup (Ms. Robison):  Did not meet.  First meeting with new members has not yet been scheduled.

 

Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Eriksson for Mr. Miggins):  There have been three meetings since last month’s CRC meeting.  Mr. Bissonnette said that the main topic of discussion has been the upcoming public forum, which is scheduled for Sunday, 3/14/10 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., at Portland State University’s Hoffman Hall.  Mr. Eriksson said that Ms. Silver has written a Public Service Announcement (PSA) regarding the forum.  Ms. Robison made some suggested changes to the PSA and emailed it to the CRC members.  Last meeting: 1/15/10.  Next meeting: 2/16/10, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the 1st Floor Auditor’s Conference Room.   

 

Mr. Bigham read into the record a portion of an email from Mr. Miggins, expressing his concerns about the focus of the public forum.  Ms. Silver stated that Mr. Miggins had sent a similar email to the Outreach Workgroup, and the workgroup discussed his concerns and decided to broaden the forum to include the Chasse case and other police accountability issues.  

 

Mr. Eriksson asked CRC if it would be necessary to re-vote on broadening the scope of the public forum since the original vote was to have a public hearing specifically about the Chasse case.  Mr. Ramjan said that in his opinion the forum should be about soliciting feedback from the public on what CRC can do to influence Police Bureau policy.  There ensued an extended discussion of the scope and focus of the public forum.  There will be further discussion and a decision about this at the 2/17/10 CRC meeting after Mr. Eriksson and Mr. Miggins have had a chance to speak with the Office of Independent Review.

 

PARC Report Review Workgroup (Mr. Bigham):  The last meeting of this workgroup was on 1/20/10.  Derek Reinke is working on the draft report.  Sergeant Scott Westerman, President of the Portland Police Association, will attend the next workgroup meeting.  Next meeting: 2/24/10, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the 1st Floor Auditor’s Conference Room. 

 

Protocol Workgroup:  Next meeting has not yet been scheduled.

 

Recurring Audit Workgroup (Mr. Ramjan):  First meeting was held on 2/4/10.  The workgroup elected Mr. Ramjan as Chair and developed a mission statement.  Monthly meetings will be scheduled.  Next meeting:  3/2/10, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the 1st Floor Auditor’s Conference Room. 

 

Taser/Less Lethal Workgroup (Mr. Bigham):  A meeting has not yet been scheduled.

 

             VIII.      Old Business

 

Elections:  Scheduled for April meeting.

 

Tracking List (Ms. Robison):  Ms. Robison proposed removing member comments when items are moved to the closed Tracking List and leaving comments on the current Tracking List. CRC agreed to this.  

 

There was discussion about whether the CRC hearing summaries need to be in writing. 

 

Mr. Eriksson asked again if there has been an updated Tips and Techniques on Service Improvement Opportunities, since the last one on Service Complaints was in 2003.  Captain Brumfield said that the Training Division could not find an updated version.

 

Ms. Silver asked if there was an answer on whether CRC members could sit in on a police debriefing.  Captain Brumfield said that this would be problematic, as the  sergeant and the officer would have to be willing to allow this.  Captain Brumfield offered to provide CRC members with samples of debriefing memos.  

 

              IX.      New Business

 

Ms. Silver attended Human Relations Commission’s Police and Community Relations Committee meeting with Ms. Konev last month, and this committee expressed interest in having a CRC member attend regularly.  The meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month. 

 

Mr. Troy asked if IPR and IAD could look into making appeal review materials available on a secure on-line server or some other way so that CRC members can review the materials on their own time.  Auditor Griffin-Valade, Director Baptista, and Captain Brumfield expressed willingness to explore ways to better accommodate CRC members. 

 

Ms. Silver said she met with Commissioner Fritz, who is interested in CRC being an active part of looking at proposed changes to IPR and she encouraged CRC to have a public forum on this topic.

 

Mr. Eriksson said that the Bureau informed the participants in Use of Force Review Board training that they were not going to extend the pool of members at this time. 

 

             X.      Public Comment

 

Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters) suggested that in lieu of having a second public forum on proposed changes to IPR, members of the public could be encouraged to testify when the IPR Structure Review report is presented to City Council.  Regarding the upcoming public forum, Ms. Aiona said that it seems to her that CRC has a role in discussing policy issues related to shootings and deaths in custody.  Ms. Aiona suggested that presenters at community outreach functions share a sampling of the community questions and comments with CRC and the public. 

 

Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch) said that he stressed to the Outreach Workgroup his frustration at the bouncing back and forth on the public forum on the James Chasse Jr. case.  He understood that the agreement reached by CRC was that the forum would be about “the James Chasse Jr. case and other things,” but he is distressed that the language in the draft press release seems to have reversed the order, saying it is about “other things and James Chasse Jr.’s case.”  Mr. Handelman said that the contract with the expert reviewer states that the review will cover issues including use of force and other police policies that led to Mr. Chasse’s death, not just how the case was investigated.  Mr. Handelman said that there are several monthly publications that have deadlines on the 15th of each month, so if some notification of the public forum is not put out prior to March 15, a lot of opportunity to get the word out will be missed.  Mr. Handelman said that it is confusing to the public to have the case review called different things.  He would prefer for CRC to prepare the case summary for the case review, as it feels to him that it is not a CRC review.  He said it was unclear to him if any CRC members had read the file yet.  Mr. Handelman said that it should be up to CRC to decide when hearings are going to be held.  Mr. Handelman encouraged CRC to have training on police  techniques during their meetings. He thanked CRC for arranging for Assistant Chief Martinek to address CRC about the letter that CRC sent to him.  Mr. Handelman noted that there is only one member of the Bias-based Policing Workgroup still remaining on CRC, and he hopes that former workgroup members will also be contacted for review of the final report.

 

              XI.      Wrap-up Comments:

 

Director Baptista thanked CRC members for all the work they have done to prepare for the hearings.

 

Auditor Griffin-Valade thanked CRC, community members, Police Bureau members, and IPR staff for their service. 

 

              XII.      Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:35 p.m.