Citizen Review Committee
November 9, 2011
Date Approved: December 14, 2011
Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, 2nd Floor, Portland City Hall
Chair Troy called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.
Mayor Sam Adams and Chief Mike Reese were present to discuss and listen to CRC’s thoughts and concerns about recommended City Code revisions. Chair Troy stated that CRC has put forth a list of nine priorities, and the number one priority has to do with changing the standard of review used at CRC appeal hearings from the Reasonable Person standard to the Preponderance of the Evidence standard. Chair Troy asked the Mayor and Chief to comment on this.
Mayor Adams responded that he wants the Police Bureau and the Police Commissioner to be held accountable for their internal reviews, and he believes that the alternative proposal muddles that accountability and would have other potential unintended consequences. Linda Meng, City Attorney, explained potential consequences of the proposed change to the standard of review.
City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade and IPR Director Baptista addressed the City Auditor’s response to the proposed code revisions.
Public comment was given by Mr. Handelman, Portland Copwatch.
Introductions and Welcome
Citizen Review Committee (CRC) Members Present: Jamie Troy (Chair); Michael Bigham (Vice-chair), Jeff Bissonnette (Recorder), Loren Eriksson, Hank Miggins, Andre Pruitt, Ayoob Ramjan, Steve Yarosh
Dr. Rochelle Silver was excused from tonight’s meeting.
City staff: City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade, Mary-Beth Baptista, Director, Independent Police Review (IPR); Constantin Severe, IPR Assistant Director; Linley Rees, Deputy City Attorney
Portland Police Bureau: Captain Dave Famous, Professional Standards Division; Lieutenant Chris Davis, Internal Affairs (IA); Sergeant Craig Morgan
Community/Media: Dan Handelman, Portland Copwatch and Flying Focus Video;
Regina Hannon, Portland Copwatch; Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters); Eric Terrell (Appeal Process Advisor); David Deneke
Approval of Minutes of the 10/12/11 CRC Meeting
A motion was made by Mr. Miggins and seconded by Mr. Eriksson to approve the minutes of the 10/12/11 CRC meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Case File Review of Case #2008-C-0336
Chair Troy introduced the Case File Review and noted that various CRC members had submitted questions after reviewing the IPR and IAD case files, which were addressed by IPR Director Baptista and Captain Famous and Sergeant Morgan. With the exception of Hank Miggins, all CRC members present confirmed that they reviewed the case files. Hank Miggins did not participate in the discussion.
Director Baptista presented a case summary, including allegations and findings. She explained that this complaint was initially dismissed by an IPR investigator due to a filing delay of more than 60 days. She stated that since January 2009, IPR investigators are no longer authorized to dismiss cases due to lack of timeliness. When a complaint is not timely, the IPR investigator opens an investigation, including the complainant’s reason for the filing delay, and the IPR Director or Assistant Director then makes a determination.
Director Baptista and Captain Famous addressed questions from CRC members.
Sergeant Morgan summarized the IA investigation and answered questions from CRC members.
Chair Troy made a motion to request that the Police Bureau attempt to obtain from the appellant’s attorney photos that were taken of the appellant after the incident. The motion was seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Nothing further was requested.
Mr. Bissonnette made a motion to schedule the appeal hearing on this case for the December CRC meeting with the condition that the requested further investigation shall have been completed. After public comments were heard, the motion passed.
Yes: Bigham, Bissonnette, Eriksson, Yarosh, Troy, Pruitt, and Ramjan
IPR Work Plan / Accomplishments
Ordinance / Proposed Code Change: On 11/7/11 Director Baptista sent an email to the full CRC with responses to code change recommendations from various reports and the Auditor’s and IPR Director’s proposed changes to the Ordinance and Portland City Code. IPR also sent out a public announcement that these documents were posted on the IPR website and that there would be a public discussion of the proposed code changes at tonight’s CRC meeting. The City Council hearing on the proposed changes to the Ordinance and City Code is scheduled for 11/16/11 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
Assistant Director’s Retirement: On 1/4/12 Assistant Director Pete Sandrock will officially retire after 10 years of service at IPR.
Special Thanks to Mr. Ayoob Ramjan: Mr. Ramjan was recognized and thanked for his service on CRC since October 2009. Due to other commitments, Mr. Ramjan will not be serving a second term as a CRC member, but he will continue to serve on CRC workgroups.
New CRC Members: The CRC Selection Committee has chosen two returning CRC members and three new candidates to recommend to City Council for appointment to CRC. It is anticipated that the confirmation by City Council will take place on 2/8/12 at 3:00 p.m. The five nominees are (in alphabetical order): Jeff Bissonnette, David R. Deneke, K.A. Lalsingh, Rodney Paris, and Jamie Troy.
CRC Orientation: A comprehensive, informative orientation program for new and returning CRC members has been planned to take place prior to CRC appointment at City Council so that members will trained and prepared on their first day of service.
Diversity Training: Mr. André Pruitt was recognized for participating in the diversity training this month. CRC members were reminded of the requirement that they take six hours of diversity training.
On 11/3/11 Director Baptista attended a Continuing Legal Education course titled "Expanding Civil Rights Advocacy."
IPR Community Outreach
Diversity Conference: Ms. Konev and IPR Office Manager Carol Kershner attended the 18th Annual Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference.
CRC Member Dr. Rochelle Silver and Ms. Konev attended the Police Awards Ceremony at Multnomah Arts Center. Dr. Silver and Ms. Konev also attended and gave updates on IPR and CRC activities to the Community and Police Relations Committee.
Assistant Director Constantin Severe attended and networked at Coffee and Issues at Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs. Mr. Severe discussed IPR’s increased role in police oversight.
Ms. Konev attended and networked at Gang Task Force Meeting, United Nations Day Celebration and Reception, and Race Talks at Kennedy School. She also met with the president of Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs and apprised him of IPR changes.
Community Feedback to IPR: See Director’s Report.
IPR and IA Caseloads: See Director’s Report.
Status of Officer-involved Shootings and In-custody Death Investigations: See Director’s Report.
CRC Chair’s Report (Chair Troy)
Separate meetings were held with Director Baptista and Mr. Handelman to discuss proposed code changes.
Chair Troy presented the Revised Appeal Process Advisor (APA) Guidelines. Written comments were submitted by Mr. Bissonnette. Mr. Bissonnette suggested adding language to the guidelines specifying what the APA may do during Case File Review and Appeal Hearing and further emphasizing the importance of debriefing with the person after the Case File Review and Appeal Hearing or as part of the written evaluation required by the APA protocol. Chair Troy said that he was in favor of the stated amendments. After public comments by Ms. Aiona and Mr. Handelman and further discussion, Chair Troy made a motion to approve the APA Guide with the amendments suggested by Mr. Bissonnette. [?] seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
A decision was made to schedule CRC meetings on the first Wednesday of the month beginning in March 2012. Different meeting venues are being investigated to enhance the ability to hear what people say at meetings.
Appeals Workgroup (Chair Troy): The workgroup did not meet the past month. The workgroup will next get together via email to look at the APA evaluation form. After Council enacts new code language on appeals that go before Council, the workgroup will work on the protocol dealing with this. Chair Troy hopes to complete the work of the Appeals Workgroup by the time the new members are confirmed.
Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): The workgroup met today (11/9/11) to continue working on the next public forum, which is scheduled for 1/26/02 at the East Portland Community Center from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Three proposals for facilitator were received, and evaluations of the proposals should be submitted to Ms. Konev by the end of this week. The workgroup is scheduled to meet on 12/14/11, 1/4/12, and 1/18/02.
Protocol Workgroup (Mr. Miggins): Workgroup remains in hiatus. Changes to the room set-up for appeals are being discussed.
Recurring Audit Workgroup (Mr. Ramjan): The workgroup is working on review of IPR dismissals.
Recruitment, Retention, and Promotion Workgroup (Mr. Yarosh): The workgroup will meet on the second Friday of each month, beginning in February 2012.
Taser/Less-lethal Force Workgroup (Mr. Bigham): The workgroup last met on 11/1/11. Workgroup recommendations are being prepared. The next meeting is scheduled for 11/29/11 at 1:30 p.m.
Regina Hannon: objected to a comment that was made by Chair Troy about Copwatch not participating in some of the latter Appeal Workgroup meetings; expressed concern at the gender imbalance of CRC.
(Director Baptista commented that IPR made significant efforts to recruit and select more women for CRC, and one of the women selected chose to withdraw.)
Ms. Aiona: Addressed the standard of review issue and supported allowing IPR to provide police reports to complainants; questioned the need for conference committee meetings when findings are contested by CRC; supported allowing CRC to object to allegations.
National Lawyers Guild member and law student made a public comment. (Inaudible on recording.)
Mr. Handelman: Addressed code changes recommended by the Stakeholder Committee; agreed with Ms. Aiona that the conference committee meeting is an unnecessary extra step in the appeal process; lamented the small number of appeals recently.
Chair Troy assigned Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Eriksson to prepare the case summary for the upcoming appeal hearing.
Mr. Miggins made a final call for comments regarding the date of the next public forum before the date is finalized. Comments should be submitted to Mr. Miggins by the first of the following week.
Chair Troy stated that he supports the conference committee concept.
Chair Troy adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.