CRC Members Present: Ric Alexander, Hank Miggins, Robert Ueland, Loren Eriksson, Sid Lezak, Lewellyn Robison, Tracy Smith, Donna Oden-Orr, Irma Valdez
City Staff Present: Gary Blackmer (City Auditor), Richard Rosenthal (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR Deputy Director), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Judy Taylor (IPR), Pete Sandrock (IPR), Linly Rees (City Attorney Office), Captain Darrel Schenck (IAD), Lieutenant George Babnick (IAD)
Facilitators: Donna Silverberg and Chris Sheesley
Meeting began at
II. Approval of 12/16/03 CRC Minutes
Motion by Hank Miggins to approve. Seconded by Ric Alexander. Minutes were unanimously approved.
III. Introduction of Pete Sandrock, newly hired (temporary part-time) to assist the IPR Director with review and decision-making on complaint handling. Mr. Sandrock is the former elected District Attorney of Benton County and will be preparing written criteria for the referral and declination of citizen complaints.
IV. Public comment by appellant for CRC no. 2003-X-0014.
V. Director’s Report
Ride-alongs: CRC members should plan to go on at least two police ride-alongs per year. Judy Taylor will assist in coordinating the ride-alongs. Mr. Rosenthal is planning to do a ride-along in each precinct.
Parking reimbursements: CRC members who would like to be reimbursed by IPR for parking should keep their parking receipts and provide them to Carol Kershner on a quarterly basis.
Final profanity report has been mailed to all members. (There were no questions or comments by CRC members relating to this report).
IPR received an appeal request from a police officer relating to a Police Bureau-initiated complaint. After consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, it was determined IPR/CRC have no jurisdiction to hold appeals with respect to Bureau initiated complaints. For this reason, the Director declined the appeal.
The Director explained his decision to decline an appeal request CRC no. 2003-X-0015 based on IPR review. The appellant had written letters to various CRC members requesting further review. The case involved an IAD declination over which City Ordinance does not give jurisdiction to the CRC or the City Council to order IAD or IPR to conduct an investigation. The Director agreed with the IAD Captain’s decision to decline the complaint after a preliminary review.
The Director presented a “Complaint and Appeals Pyramid,” depicting the number of complaints received in 2003 as compared to the number of investigations completed, and the number of CRC and City Council hearings conducted during that year. The handout also included a list of CRC projects and responsibilities (above and beyond the processing of appeals) that need to be addressed.
VI. Deputy City Attorney Linly Rees advised the CRC of the restriction on discussing medical records in public meetings and the standard of review to be used in deciding appeals cases. The standard of review is an appellate standard – the CRC is not to substitute its judgment for that of police managers, but rather determine whether the decision was a reasonable one given all the circumstances.
VII. Pre-hearing on CRC no. 2003-X-0014. Officers responded to a noise compliant at the appellant’s apartment. Appellant alleges the officers violated his rights and humiliated him in front of his family and guests.
After discussion, Hank Miggins made a motion to decline the appeal. Donna Oden-Orr seconded the motion. A friendly amendment of Bob Ueland to add a debriefing to one of the findings was discussed but not adopted. The original motion to decline the appeal passed unanimously.
VIII. Pre-hearing on CRC no. 2003-X-0011. Appellant was accused of assaulting a fellow passenger on a TriMet bus. When he stepped off the bus, an officer took him to the ground and arrested him. The appellant alleges the officer used excessive force.
After discussion, Hank Miggins made a motion to hold a full hearing on this appeal. Ric Alexander seconded the motion. The motion was defeated by a vote of 8-1.
Bob Ueland then made a motion to decline the appeal. Lewellyn Robison seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
IX. Pre-hearing on CRC no. 2003-X-0018. The appellant was driving around in the early morning hours in a high drug and prostitute area with a baseball bat, looking for a person who had assaulted him. He was stopped by an officer for questioning and was ordered to leave the area.
After discussion, Bob Ueland made a motion to decline the appeal. Hank Miggins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
X. Pre-hearing on CRC no. 2003-X-0019. Officers used less lethal weapons to arrest the appellant following a shooting at a club in Southeast Portland. The appellant alleges that one of the officers used excessive force after arresting him.
After some discussion of this appeal, a decision was made to set over further discussion and a decision until the next CRC meeting because of the need for additional information from IAD regarding the investigation.
Donna Oden-Orr made a motion to set over the completion of the pre-hearing on this case until the next CRC meeting. Loren Eriksson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
XI. Discussion of the Pre-hearing Protocol. The protocol was amended to allow appellants, involved officers or their representatives to make a 3-minute presentation to the CRC at the beginning of their pre-hearing if they desire to do so.
XII: Items set aside for further discussion (“Bin Items”):
Discussion of choice of words & definitions of findings (e.g. “unsubstantiated,” “unfounded,” etc.)
Reliance on information from DA’s Office in IPR-CRC worksheet reports.
Possible policy review regarding the Police Bureau’s policy on self-identification of officers to citizens.
Possible training of officers relating to when the use of an exclusion can be threatened by an officer.
XIII: Public Input: Diane Lane (Portland Rights Watch); Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch); Freedom Child