Police Internal Investigations
Auditing Committee (PIIAC)
City of Portland
OCTOBER 10, 1996
CITIZEN ADVISORS MEETING
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Marina
Anttila, David Burney, Todd Olson, Emily Simon, Robert Ueland, Marjory Wagner,
Citizen Advisors Absent: Etta Baker, Deborah Haring, Ingrid Slezak
City Staff Present: Lisa Botsko, PIIAC Staff; Adrianne Brockman, Deputy City
Attorney; Capt. C.W. Jensen, IAD
Media Present: Dan Handelman and Hyung Nam, Flying Focus Video and POPSG
Ford called the meeting to order. A couple of changes were made to the
September minutes. Burney moved to approve the minutes as amended; Weisberg
seconded. The motion carried [Y-7].
Ford asked that a Vice-Chair be elected and opened the floor for nominations.
Olson nominated Simon for Vice-Chair; Burney seconded. No other nominations were
forthcoming. The motion carried unanimously [Y-7].
Ford asked about scheduling another outreach advisory meeting; Botsko advised
that she was working with Neighbors West/Northwest to have the November meeting
scheduled in that area. Burney offered the use of the new East Precinct
Simon said that the advisors needed to choose someone to attend Chief's
Forum. Wagner volunteered.
Appeal #96-14: This appeal was continued from last month. The appellant said
he would provide a letter to the committee, written by his neighbor who had been
interviewed as part of the complaint investigation. She had told him that she
had actually been interviewed several times and felt that the questions were
overly leading. Botsko had since obtained and distributed this letter; the
signature was illegible and she had been unsuccessful in contacting the
Wagner made a motion to support PPB's finding of Unfounded; Burney seconded.
The motion carried [Y-8].
Appeal #96-16: At the appellant's request, this appeal hearing will be
postponed until November. Simon announced that she has a conflict in this case
and had asked that materials related to the appeal be withheld from her.
Appeal #96-17: Olson summarized. The appellant was protesting his exclusion
from Tri-Met. Officer A had yelled at him to shut up, although officer and
appellant testimony verified that the appellant kept talking over the officer
and would not be quiet. The appellant also protested officers confiscating his
bus pass and failing to issue a property receipt. During the investigation of
this complaint, PPB and Tri-Met personnel determined that no legal authority
existed to confiscate the bus pass, and were changing this policy. The officers
should have issued a property receipt, but the Tri-Met Division took
responsiblity for that because the officers were doing what they had been
trained to do, and what all officers in that unit had been doing for years.
Olson wanted the Review Level Committee to review this case; he did not agree
with PPB's view that the officers were not individually responsible for the
failure to issue a property receipt.
The appellant addressed the committee. He did not think it fair that he had
not had a chance to read and sign the report the advisors were reading. Advisors
attempted to explain that it was a summary for their use only but the appellant
still protested. He showed the advisors documents relating to past problems he
had with Tri-Met, and the Tri-Met rules. He spoke about Tri-Met policy and
disputed having yelled at the bus driver. The whole incident was unfair because
the bus driver, officers and Tri-Met inspectors were Caucasian and he is not.
Weisberg said he saw three issues in the complaint. He was satisfied that the
first, the merits of the exclusion, had been thoroughly investigated. PPB is
clarifying the policy regarding the confiscation of the pass, and the third
issue was the officers' failure to issue a property receipt.
Burney said he did not think advisors should be judging that. Simon asked if
PPB command staff had reviewed this case; Capt. Jensen said that Assistant Chief
Roberta Webber had.
The appellant interjected that the legislature gave Tri-Met the policies and
the Bureau's response to his complaint was not good enough. Simon said the
appellant had prevailed and did not realize it. She thinks the PPB has done
Weisberg said that he wanted to see an IAD finding with respect to the
officers' failure to issue a property receipt. He moved to refer the case back
to IAD in order for a finding to be made; Olson seconded. Simon added a friendly
amendment to allow IAD to recategorize the complaint (from an Inquiry) so that a
more formal finding could be applied.
Botsko explained that if the complaint were to be reclassified somehow, Capt.
Ratcliff would still make a finding, not IAD. Capt. Jensen explained the purpose
of classifying a complaint as an Inquiry.
Simon said that the question is whether the officers should be held
individually accountable. She thought the complaint should be re-categorized so
that they could be.
The motion carried [Y-8].
Recommendation to Deny Appeal Request: Simon said that an appeal request had
been received from an appellant who had a previous appeal heard by the advisory
committee. [The committee had voted unanimously to uphold the PPB's decision to
decline the complaint; the appellant requested a hearing before the full PIIAC,
who accepted the advisors' recommendation.]
Simon said that as Chair of the Appeals Subcommittee, she recommended denying
this second appeal for several reasons. Historically, the advisory committee has
rejected situations in which they are asked to consider the accuracy of a police
report. Also, the committee is unable to satisfy his request for a copy of the
disputed report. Simon did not believe this appeal brought forth any new issues,
and she did not want to go over the same territory.
Weisberg asked about the appeals subcommittee. Simon said that more appeals
used to be rejected when the advisors had no staff to assist them, and Botsko
had called her about this recent appeal because it appeared to duplicate some of
the same issues that were brought forth in the first appeal. Ford said that
Botsko had also contacted him about the case and he agreed with Simon.
Simon moved to reject the appeal; Olson seconded. The motion carried [Y-8].
Monitoring Report: Ueland reported. He said that the monitoring subcommittee
needs more participants. He asked for feedback on the draft of the 3rd Quarter
1996 Monitoring Report.
Capt. Jensen commented on the recommendation that disposition letters
authored by precinct and division commanders reflect IAD's review and
concurrence. He said that in case #96-17, he had NOT agreed with that letter and
consequently, a questionable policy was reviewed and a second disposition letter
issued. Weisberg said that the IAD review should happen before final disposition
letters are mailed out. Jensen said the advisors may want to make this
recommendation. Olson suggested that the letters could also be signed by IA.
Ueland pointed out the section in the monitoring report on the mediation
program. He wanted that section to reflect advisors' concerns about the project,
and that if improvement is not noted, the advisors would protest. Weisberg said
the Neighborhood Mediation Center's presentation to advisors in August was
appalling. Simon did not feel the wording was strong enough and requested that
it be made more so.
Simon moved to approve the monitoring report as amended; Anttila seconded.
The motion carried unanimously [Y-8].
Olson said he would like to form an ad hoc subcommittee to evaluate the
Mayor's changes to PIIAC -- is the committee on target? He hoped to have a
report ready to present to Council in January or February. Possibly the
committee could take testimony as part of this. Botsko said she had a list of
stakeholders, or people on the mailing list who followed PIIAC's progress, that
she could share for purposes of the review.
Olson so moved. Simon seconded. The motion carried [Y-8]. Several advisors
volunteered for the subcommittee.
Burney announced that even though his term expires in November, the East
Portland District Coalition has been dissolved. He will continue participating
until he is replaced.
Dan Handelmann, POPSG, introduced Hyung Nam who will be assisting him with
Flying Focus Video. He said he was encouraged by this evening's meeting. He
liked the idea of reviewing the Mayor's Initiative.
He recommended a minor change in terminology in the monitoring report.
Advisors were agreeable.
At the November meeting, he will present a report on his own experiences with
the police-citizen mediation project. He will be participating in a mediation
He said he agreed with the finding on #96-17.
Ford asked Capt. Jensen if the appellant could be reimbursed for his bus
pass; Jensen said that he could contact Risk Management about that. Simon
pointed out that the appellant had not attended his own exclusion hearing.
The meeting adjourned.