INDEPENDENT POLICE REVIEW DIVISION
CITIZEN REVIEW COMMITTEE
MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 1, 2002 (Approved on October 15, 2002)
CRC members present: López (Chair), Miggins, Alexander, Ueland, Browning
IPR staff present: Blackmer (City Auditor), Rosenthal (Director), Hess, DeAngelis, Stewart, Taylor
- Chair López called the meeting to order at 5:40 p.m. without a quorum.
- IPR Director Rosenthal introduced the guest speakers, Merrick Bobb and Oren Root, of the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC), who have been contracted by IPR to conduct a review of Portland Police Bureau shootings and deaths in custody.
[TJ Browning arrived at this point (5:43 p.m.), thus establishing a quorum.]
- Presentation by Merrick Bobb, PARC Executive Director, and Oren Root, PARC Associate Director
Mr. Bobb is a graduate of the University of California at Berkley Law School. In 1991 he became involved with law enforcement issues when he served as Deputy General Counsel for the Christopher Commission in Los Angeles, in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident. One of the outcomes of this commission was a recommendation for tracking risk characteristics of individual officers that could predispose them to excessive use of force. In 1992 Mr. Bobb was involved in the Kolts investigation of officer shootings in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He was subsequently hired as special counsel to Los Angeles County for matters relating to the sheriff’s department. He serves in an ongoing capacity as an expert/consultant for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Root is a graduate of Columbia University, where he was editor of the student newspaper at the time of the “police riots” on campus in 1968. After law school, Mr. Root served as a public defender in New York City and later as a criminal defense lawyer in private practice. He is currently based in New York City.
Mr. Bobb explained that PARC’s contract with IPR is specifically to review the 27 Portland Police Bureau shootings that occurred between January 1, 1997, and July 31, 2000. Although they will have full access to all PPB files with respect to shootings, they will not report on open cases that are still in litigation. Their charge is not to re-investigate past shootings, but to identify patterns and trends and to make recommendations that will help to decrease the number of future shootings. They will also examine the adequacy of investigations conducted following the shootings. An important part of their work will be to meet with community advocacy groups in Portland to hear their concerns. A public report will be issued in six months and will be presented to the Portland City Council.
After explaining the nature of their work in Portland, Mr. Bobb and Mr. Root entertained questions and comments from the CRC and the public. Dan Handelman and Diane Lane (Portland Copwatch) and Robin Dale (Independent Media Collective) provided public comment.
- TJ Browning left the meeting at this point, resulting in a quorum no longer being present. The remaining members therefore decided to postpone discussion of the public forums until a future meeting.
- Meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:30 p.m.