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April 20, 2004

 
Minutes
Citizen Review Committee
April 20, 2004
(Approved May 18, 2004)
 
CRC Members Present: Ric Alexander, Loren Eriksson, Hank Miggins, Donna Oden-Orr, Lewellyn Robison, Tracy Smith, Robert Ueland, Irma Valdez.
 
CRC Members Absent:  None
 
City Staff Present: Gary Blackmer (City Auditor), Richard Rosenthal (IPR Director), Pete Sandrock (IPR), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Linly Rees (City Attorney’s Office), Assistant Chief Stan Grubbs (Chief’s Office), Lieutenant George Babnick (IAD), Lieutenant William Haunsperger (Central Precinct)  
 
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Hank Miggins at 5:30 p.m.
 
I.  Introductions 
 
II.  Unanimous approval of 3/16/04 CRC Minutes with two minor amendments. 
 
III. Director’s Report
 
  • Mr. Lezak has resigned from the CRC for personal reasons.  Mr. Rosenthal read his letter of resignation.  Since Mr. Lezak was the mayor’s CRC nominee, Mayor Katz will be given the opportunity to nominate an alternate.
  • The proposed contract for the 2004 PARC review of officer shootings and deaths in custody will be on the City Council agenda this week.
  • All but one CRC member have completed Police Bureau ride-alongs. 
  • Lewellyn Robison has volunteered to travel at her own expense to the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) annual conference in Chicago in October 2004.  She will participate in the IPR/PPB panel discussion on bridging the gap between civilian oversight, police departments and police unions.
  • The amended protocols for appeals and pre-hearings have been provided to all CRC members and should be added to each member’s “Ordinance and Protocol” notebook.
  • The CRC photographs for the 2003 Year-end Report have been taken.  Most CRC mini-biographies have been received.  Press release mini-biographies will be used for the members who did not provide a new biography.
 
IV.  Chair Miggins led a discussion about procedural matters.  The consensus of the CRC members was that during pre-hearings discussions of the motion should take place prior to the vote, not during the vote.  Mr. Alexander suggested that a “New Business” item be included in future agendas, as was done in the past.   Ms. Oden-Orr suggested that a procedure for addressing bin items be adopted.   Mr. Alexander volunteered to maintain the bin items list on a flip chart.  Ms. Oden-Orr suggested that the standard of review used by the CRC for its decisions be posted on the wall during CRC meetings.
 
V.  Pre-hearing on CRC 2004-X-0004.  Appellant alleged that an officer inappropriately used a taser on her teen-aged son.   The appellant was not present.
 
After review and discussion of the appeal, Ms. Oden-Orr made a motion to accept the appeal for a full hearing, seconded by Mr. Alexander.  The motion passed by a vote of 5-3.
 
Yes: Alexander, Miggins, Oden-Orr, Smith, Valdez .
No:  Eriksson, Robison, Ueland.
 
Policy issues identified in this case were the following: 
 
  • Police responses to victims’ calls resulting in confrontation with or arrest of the victim.
  • The need for officers to properly announce themselves before entering a residence, to decrease the likelihood of someone getting injured.
 
VI.  Subcommittee Reports
 
Outreach Subcommittee:  The members of the Outreach Committee are Mr. Miggins, Mr. Ueland, and Ms. Valdez.  On 3/31/04 Mr. Miggins and Mr. Ueland met with Ms. Stewart, IPR Community Relations Coordinator.  Mr. Ueland offered to review and edit the pamphlet distribution center list.  The outreach plan was accepted with minor editing.  The items on the plan have not yet been prioritized.  A decision was made to postpone scheduling a CRC meeting at a community site until June or July.  Ms. Oden-Orr mentioned that a group of local attorneys is organizing an event to educate the community on what not to do during police contacts.  Ms. Oden-Orr suggested that CRC might have an interest in participating in this event.  Mr. Miggins stated that Ms. Stewart made a presentation to the Portland Optimist Club, and it was very well received. 
 
Audit Subcommittee:  The members of the Audit Subcommittee are Mr. Alexander, Mr. Eriksson, and Ms. Robison.  Mr. Alexander presented a report of the findings of the members after completing an audit of a random sample of IPR declinations.  Mr. Sandrock, IPR Assistant Director, designed and coordinated the audit.  (See audit subcommittee report.)
 
VII.  Hearing on CRC 2004-X-0002.  A Portland Police Bureau officer appealed a sustained courtesy finding regarding use of profanity.  The appellant-officer was present with a union representative, Officer Scott Westerman.  The complainant was not present.   Assistant Chief Grubbs was present to explain the Police Bureau’s finding.
 
After listening to a statement by the appellant and her union representative and a statement by Assistant Chief Grubbs, the CRC discussed the case.  Public comments by Diane Lane (Portland Rights Watch), Richard Koenig, Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch and Flying Focus Video), Mike Dee, David Dally, and David Barrios were received.  Rebuttals by Officer Westerman and Lieutenant Haunsperger were presented.
 
Ms. Valdez made a motion to challenge the Police Bureau’s finding and recommend a change from Sustained to Exonerated with a Debriefing.  Mr. Alexander seconded the motion.  After further discussion, the motion passed by a vote of 6-2.
 
Yes: Alexander, Eriksson, Robison, Smith, Ueland, Valdez.
No:  Miggins, Oden-Orr
 
Policy issue identified in this case:  Police Bureau training regarding the courtesy directive as it applies to use of profanity.
 
VIII.   Continuation of the discussion regarding the Audit Subcommittee’s work.  Mr. Sandrock proposed a serial approach to future audits, i.e., auditing IAD declinations, full IAD investigations, and service complaints in successive quarters.  The CRC members agreed to take this approach at this time.
  
IX.  Discussion of CRC Protocol 5.07 (Responding to Public Comment).  Ms. Oden-Orr opened a discussion of whether CRC should address public comments and letters received from members of the public outside of the normal appeal process.  It was agreed that the protocol as it is now written adequately addresses this by leaving it to the discretion of the CRC Chair when a question should be responded to by the CRC.  Mr. Rosenthal offered to discuss letters from the public addressed to individual CRC members on a case-by-case basis.
 
X.  Chair Miggins suggested that all CRC members read the recent report of the Community Police Organizational Review Team (CPORT).
 
X.  Public Input:  Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch); Richard Koenig; David Dally: Diane Lane (Portland Rights Watch); Freedom Child.
 
Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.