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August 11, 2010

Minutes

Citizen Review Committee

August 11, 2010

 

Date Approved: September 14, 2010

 

Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall

 

Vice-Chair Troy called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.

 

Introductions and Welcome

 

CRC Members Present: Jamie Troy (Vice-Chair), Jeff Bissonnette (Recorder), Hank Miggins, Loren Eriksson, Ayoob Ramjan, Lewellyn Robison, Rochelle Silver.  

 

CRC Member Absent:  Michael Bigham (excused); Lindsey Detweiler (excused)

 

City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Irene Konev (IPR), Warren Jimenez (Mayor’s Office)

 

Police Bureau: Lieutenant Erik Schober (IAD)

 

Community/Media: Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch and Flying Focus Video), Regina Hannon (Portland CopWatch), Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters); Japanese Municipal Government Mid-level Managers from Portland State University School of Government Program.  

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Mr. Miggins made a motion to approve the minutes of the 7/14/10 CRC meeting.  Dr. Silver seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Case File Review of #2010-X-0001 (IPR #2009-C-0085)

 

The case file review was canceled because the appellant contacted IPR on 8/10/10 and withdrew the appeal. 

 

Director’s Report

 

Independent Police Review Division (IPR) Work Plan / Accomplishments:

 

Report to City Council Concerning the In-custody Death of James Chasse:  City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade and representatives from the Office of Independent Review (OIR) presented their report to City Council on 7/28/10.  The discussion focused on the Police Bureau’s investigations of the events surrounding the 9/17/06 in-custody death of James Chasse and recommendations for change.

 

Police Review Board:  Director Baptista was part of the selection committee that chose facilitators for the new Police Review Board.  City Auditor Griffin-Valade, along with a selection committee, interviewed community members to serve on the Police Review Board. The nominees will be presented to City Council for confirmation on 8/25/10.

 

IPR Community Outreach

 

Presentations: Self Enhancement Inc., Urban League, Immigrant Refugee Community Organization

 

Community Outreach:  Ms. Konev met with outreach coordinators of the Young Women’s’ Christian Association and Workers Rights Center.  Community presentations were made to St. Andrew’s Legal Clinic, Cascadia-Garlington Center, and the East Precinct Advisory Committee.  Networking took place at Lutheran Community Services, Better People, Partners for Safety and Justice, Loaves and Fishes, Northeast Aging and Disability Services, Central City Concern, and Northwest Impact.  In addition, over a thousand brochures were provided to neighborhood associations and community partners to be distributed at summer events. 

 

IPR and IAD Caseloads:  See caseload tables in Director’s Report.

 

Appeals:  IPR #2009-C-0085/Appeal #2010-X-0001:  An appeal was filed by the officer in this case.  The officer withdrew the appeal on 8/10/10.

 

CRC Chair’s Report (Vice-Chair Troy)

 

On 7/18/10 Chair Bigham and IPR Senior Management Analyst Reinke presented the PARC Review Workgroup Report to City Council.  On 7/18/10 Chair Bigham attended the Stakeholder Committee meeting.  Mr. Troy will attend the 8/12/10 Stakeholder Committee meeting in Chair Bigham’s absence.

 

(Mr. Ramjan arrived at this point - 6:47 p.m.)

 

On 7/29/10 Chair Bigham appeared before City Council to comment on the OIR Report regarding the Chasse incident.  On 8/4/10 Chair Bigham appeared before City Council to comment on the Transit Police Division Intergovernmental Agreements. 

 

There followed a discussion of the status of negotiations with other agencies regarding the above-mentioned intergovernmental agreements.   

 

Workgroup Updates

 

Appeals Workgroup (Mr. Troy):  Last meeting was 7/19/10.  The workgroup is continuing  work on Protocol 5.03.   The next meeting will be on 8/30/10 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Mr. Troy’s office. 

 

Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Miggins):  Last meeting was 8/10/10.  The next public forum is scheduled for 10/28/10.  Announcements for the public forum were provided for distribution in the community.  The workgroup has concluded that, considering the workgroup’s previous accomplishments, the objectives and goals of the action plan will have been met by holding at least two public forums each year and continuing to accompany the IPR Outreach Coordinator at various community meetings.  The next meeting of the Outreach Workgroup has not yet been scheduled. 

 

Protocol Workgroup (Mr. Miggins):  The workgroup has developed two draft protocols that will be discussed later in the meeting.  The next meeting of the Protocol Workgroup will be on 8/26/10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Mr. Troy’s office.  Assistant Director Severe has offered to attend the next meeting of this workgroup. 

 

Recurring Audit Workgroup (Mr. Ramjan):  Last week’s meeting was rescheduled for 8/17/10.    

 

Taser/Less-lethal Force Workgroup (Dr. Silver).  The workgroup is meeting approximately once a month.  Derek Reinke has collected complaints involving Tasers, beanbag shotguns, and pepper spray over the past two years.  Each member of the workgroup is reviewing 14 cases.  Next meeting will be on 8/24/10 at 4:00 p.m. in the Audit Services Library.

 

There followed a discussion of the volunteer advocates from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the Appeal Process Advisors (APAs).  Director Baptista suggested that NLG be provided with the appellant’s contact information early in the appeal process (if the appellant consents) as well as the appellant being given the contact information for the NLG.  Director Baptista said she will begin including language about the availability of an NLG volunteer advocate in the IPR cover letter accompanying the IAD disposition letter.  She proposed that arrangements for an NLG advocate and APA be made prior to the case file review so that they will have the opportunity to attend the case file review. 

 

Old Business

 

Tracking List:  Ms. Robison asked CRC members to review the last several items that have been added to the list within the last year and email her with any changes they might have.  Regarding the issue of “mere conversation,” Mr. Eriksson clarified that his intent in bringing this up was that training be provided to CRC on this topic.

 

Director Baptista stated that Lieutenant Robert King and Assistant Director Severe have been working on training for CRC and for civilian members of the Police Review Board.  She reminded CRC members that they may arrange for ride-alongs through IPR Investigator Taylor.  Dr. Silver and Mr. Bissonnette encouraged CRC members to do “sit-alongs” at the Bureau of Emergency Communications. 

 

Mr. Troy said he would like CRC to take Captain Brumfield up on his offer to provide CRC with some examples of debriefing memos.  Lieutenant Schober offered to try to make these available for CRC by the next CRC meeting.     

 

Discussion of Policy and Training Issues Associated with Appeal Case No. 2009-C-0005/IPR Case No. 2006-C-0475:  Based on her notes, Ms. Robison summarized her policy concerns on this case as follows:  failure to provide medical attention; turning up the police car radio during transport; failure to loosen handcuffs while the appellant was held in the holding cell for several hours; and IPR’s dismissal of an allegation because it was a constitutional rights allegation rather than re-framing the allegation as a failure to follow policy.  Ms. Robison noted that the issue of providing medical attention was  addressed by the Police Bureau in subsequent policy changes.  She suggested that the issue of handcuffing in holding cells be addressed in CRC training.  Director Baptista stated that the issue of how allegations are framed has been addressed under her direction, and allegations are now being tied to specific Police Bureau policies and directives. 

 

Dr. Silver stated that officers need to be better trained to pay attention to the evidence and to change their mindset and when the evidence does not fit.  She used the case under discussion as an example of this.  Dr. Silver also expressed concerns about the use of a Taser for a minor offense, such as jaywalking.  Mr. Bissonnette stated that the Taser/Less-lethal Force Workgroup will probably be considering these kinds of issues.  At Mr. Bissonnette’s suggestion, Dr. Silver agreed to draft a letter to the Police Bureau outlining her concerns for CRC’s consideration at the next CRC meeting.

 

Dr. Silver asked if anyone was interested in representing CRC at the next Community Police Relations meeting.  Mr. Bissonnette said he would try to attend.

 

Vice-Chair Troy asked Director Baptista if the Police Bureau had responded to CRC recommendations following last month’s appeal.  Director Baptista said there should be a response prior to the next CRC meeting.

 

New Business

 

Proposed Protocols

 

PSF-5.11 CRC-IPR CASE FILE REVIEW PROTOCOL

 

Mr. Troy explained that the proposed case file review protocol is meant to replace the former Pre-hearing Protocol, which has been vacated. 

 

It was suggested that the terms “appeal” and “appeal hearing” be clearly defined in this protocol.  It was agreed that the term “appeal hearing” will be used rather than “appeal” when appropriate.  Ms. Robison proposed that the following wording be added as number two after the first paragraph:  “Prior to the case file review, each CRC member will review both the IPR and IAD case files.  Any questions or concerns arising from this review will be promptly brought to the attention of IPR or IAD as appropriate so that a response can be made to the full CRC during the case file review meeting.” 

 

Dr. Silver made a motion to accept the protocol with the proposed changes. Mr. Miggins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

PSF-5.04 CITIZEN REVIEW COMMITTEE – COMMUNICATION GUIDELINES 

 

There was discussion of whether to use the term “permission” or “authorization” and about whose permission or authorization is needed.  During public comment, Mr. Handelman proposed that there should be an exception to the rule of not identifying individuals involved in cases when a person has waived confidentiality.  Mr. Troy was of the opinion that using a person’s name after they have identified themselves would not be a violation of the protocol as written.

 

Ms. Robison made a motion to accept the protocol with proposed amendments.  Mr. Eriksson seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

PSF-5.07 CITIZEN REVIEW COMMITTEE - PUBLIC COMMENT PROTOCOL 

 

It was decided that Mr. Miggins will rewrite this protocol, incorporating proposed amendments, and bring to the next CRC meeting for a vote.

 

Wrap-up Comments  

 

Director Baptista reminded everyone that the next CRC meeting will be held on Tuesday, 9/14/10.  

 

Public Comment

 

Ms. Aiona encouraged CRC to add the training issues discussed earlier in the meeting to the Tracking List so that CRC will be reminded to report back to the public on what they learn in training.  Ms. Aiona recommended having a CRC workgroup to address the issue of officers assigned to the Transit Police Division operating under the policies of their home agencies, which can lead to unfortunate outcomes. Ms. Aiona recommended that CRC should seek its training on mere conversation not only from the Police Bureau but also from civil liberty groups.  Ms. Aiona commended IPR Director Baptista for the work she has done to improve appellants’ access to the National Lawyer Guild and Appeal Process Advisors. 

 

Mr. Handelman noted that it appears that the Police Bureau intends to review the Force Policy again, and he hopes that CRC will be involved in the review process.  Mr. Handelman expressed concern that the PARC Review Workgroup is no longer meeting, when there are still a large number of PARC recommendations that have not been reviewed by CRC.  Mr. Handelman said he hopes that the public will be allowed to attend upcoming CRC trainings.

 

Adjournment

 

Vice-Chair Troy adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.