Police Internal Investigations
Auditing Committee (PIIAC)
FEBRUARY 13, 1997
CITIZEN ADVISORS MEETING
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Marina Anttila, David
Burney, Robert Peterson, Emily Simon, Robert Ueland, Marge Wagner, Randy
Weisberg, Robert Wells
Citizen Advisors Absent: Etta Baker, Deborah Haring
City Staff Present: Sgt. Jeff Barker, IAD; Lisa Botsko, PIIAC Staff; Adrianne
Brockman, Deputy City Attorney; Capt. C.W. Jensen, IAD; Officer Leo Painton,
Portland Police Association
Media Present: Dan Handelman, Flying Focus Video
Ford called the meeting to order. He said that the meeting location is
inconvenient and advisors may want to consider an alternate site.
Ueland moved to proceed with the agenda, ?? seconded. The motion carried
Simon requested a couple addendums to the January minutes. Advisors agreed.
Simon moved to accept the January minutes; Weisberg seconded. The motion carried
Appeal #97-01: Ford requested Simon chair, as he was acquainted with the
appellant. He said he would not participate in deliberations or voting.
Ueland summarized. IAD declined this complaint. The appellant was stopped for
a traffic violation. The police report explained that he appeared agitated and
his movements were quick. His driver's license was in a black bag in the rear of
the trunk. Because of his mannerisms, Officer A took him into custody long
enough to identify him, confiscate one of two driver's licenses, and issue a
traffic citation. The appellant did not understand why he was viewed as a threat
and believed the officers' reactions were not based in reality. Although he was
not pleased about the stop, he did everything he was told.
Officer A would not allow him to get out of the car to retrieve his license,
but when he tried to hand his car keys to the officer, Officer A refused them.
Eventually Officer A had the appellant retrieve the bag. The appellant obeyed
Officer A's instructions not to open the bag, and handed the bag over so Officer
A could retrieve the keys himself. At that point, Officer A took him into
custody saying "You're under arrest for your attitude." Part of the complaint
also involved Officer A's communication with a friend of the appellant's who
came by to ask what was going on. The appellant had also stated that officers
searched his vehicle prior to obtaining consent. Part of the officers' concern
about the appellant was that he was dressed in camouflage pants and had a
hunting manual sitting on the seat.
The appellant addressed the committee. He reiterated portions of the
complaint, and emphasized that what he wanted was to have been treated
respectfully during the encounter. Advisors asked for additional clarification
on some points. Officers "searched" his car by peering into the window from
outside. Botsko stated that the term "search" applies more to situations where
officers go into areas not in plain view. Weisberg said that this is a case of
differing perceptions; a witness would be helpful to sort these out. He
established that the appellant's friend did not appear on the scene until after
the appellant was handcuffed in the back of the police car.
Capt. Jensen addressed the committee. He supported declination in this
instance and said that officers had concerns that led to their taking the
appellant into temporary custody. He said that in this day and age, camouflage
pants may convey a different impression than twenty years ago -- that is an
Simon's concern was that as a declination, this incident would not be
recorded on the officer's complaint history and could not count toward possible
Command Review. Burney and Simon voiced concerns about information provided to
advisors about the officer's complaint history.
Ueland asked if the appellant would reconsider mediation? Simon did not think
the advisors had the authority to make that recommendation.
Burney moved to return the case to IAD for investigation; Anttila seconded.
The motion carried [Y-Anttila, Burney, Peterson, Simon, Wells; N-Ueland, Wagner;
Appeal #97-02: Simon summarized. The appellant's wife was apparently planning
to serve him with divorce papers that day. A concerned friend asked police to
check on her, knowing her plans, and concerned when he or she was unable to
reach the wife by telephone. The appellant met officers outside and did not want
them on his property. Ultimately they entered his home against his wishes and
insisted on speaking to the wife privately until they ascertained that she was
The appellant's complaint focused on several main issues. He said that
officers refused to identify themselves at the beginning and he was uncertain as
to their identity. As they were leaving, they provided a business card to the
wife but not to him. The appellant was upset about the officers not having a
search warrant, and he also protested the tone of Capt. Jensen's declination
Capt. Jensen ultimately declined the complaint, although preliminary
investigation was very thorough. Simon recommended supporting the declination,
but said that as a service issue only, PPB might want to consider having a
discussion with the officers about giving cards to both husband and wife. In an
adversarial situation, officers should avoid giving the impression of taking
Capt. Jensen addressed the panel. He said that the community caretaking law
is very specific. In situations where domestic abuse may be occurring, women
often deny that abuse is occurring. It is embarrassing, and also risky to admit
this in the presence of a spouse. He would have requested action be taken
against officers if they had not done as they had. They would have been remiss
if they had not questioned the spouse privately.
Ford and Anttila commented that elements of the case and analysis seemed
insensitive to them. Weisberg said that he saw nothing in Capt. Jensen's letter
that implied any sort of ethnic bias. Burney said that the quarterly monitoring
report is the proper vehicle to comment on sensitivity issues -- not a specific
Simon agreed that officers would have been wrong if they had handled this
case in any other manner. She moved to support IAD's declination; Ueland
seconded. The motion carried [Y-9; N-Anttila].
Appeal #97-03: The appellant was not present. Wells summarized. The appellant
was on his motorcycle on northbound I-5. Traffic was backed up, so the appellant
drove on the shoulder towards an exit. For whatever reason, he did not stop for
the officer. He claims he was unaware of the officer, but the officer report
indicates he had his lights and siren on. The appellant failed to stop and even
appeared to be taking evasive action, so the officer upgraded the call to a
pursuit and conducted the stop in accordance with high-risk stop procedures.
After preliminary review, IAD declined this complaint.
Wells said he supported this decision. No matter what was taking place in the
appellant's mind, the officer's perceptions must prevail in how he handles the
situation. He wished the appellant had agreed to mediate.
Burney was concerned about the letter of declination. Capt. Jensen said the
reason the case was declined was that the appellant had pled guilty to Reckless
Driving. Capt. Jensen explained that the plea in fact supported the officer's
Wells moved to support IAD's declination; Wagner seconded. The motion carried
Monitoring Subcommittee: Ueland summarized the 4th Quarter Monitoring report
draft. The Chief's response to a previous quarterly report was attached. The
only unresolved issue was the advisor's recommendations that officers be
informed of complaint allegations in a uniform manner. The Chief responded that
this is the subject of a formal grievance, and IAD is not the proper body to
decide this policy.
Timeliness of investigations continues to be a problem. The other major
concern in the report is a new issue of IAD declining use of force complaints.
Simon felt this was the most important issue in the report. Declinations do not
count towards possible Command Review. Weisberg said there might be some
complaints that do not require investigation.
Capt. Jensen said he has discussed this issue with the monitoring
subcommittee. He will be working with Botsko and the subcommittee to review all
use of force complaints that come in during the next 60 days. After that time,
the subcommittee will develop recommendations for possible policy and criteria
to be used in assessing these complaints.
Wells said he would like to see an investigative protocol established that
whenever a complainant alleges injuries, IAD obtain a copy of the booking photo.
Capt. Jensen said that his investigators will be obtaining this in every case
where the complainant was arrested.
Botsko said that the report also reflects one sustained case monitored. An
advisor looked at the case and had some concerns that the evidence did not
support the sustained finding. He asked Botsko to look at it also; when she
pulled the file, Chief Moose had independently changed the finding to
Insufficient Evidence following a mitigation hearing. Botsko said that had this
been appealed to PIIAC, she would have recommended challenging the sustained
Burney asked about the IAD year-end statistics. He said they were difficult
to interpret. Simon also requested clarification about the discrepancy between
number of mediations closed and number of mediations completed. Anttila
recommended adding Wagner's name to the report.
Ueland moved to adopt the report as amended; Wagner seconded. The motion
Announcements/New Business: Ford reminded the panel that in a previous
meeting, they had supported Todd Olson's recommendation to form a subcommittee
to review how well the panel was fulfilling the Mayor's 1994 Initiatives. Since
Olson's resignation, the subcommittee went no further. Ford asked for
Weisberg said that this was Todd's idea but he saw no real purpose in it.
Several advisors indicated that they had no additional time to work on this.
Ueland moved to table the recommendation; Anttila seconded. The motion carried
Ford offered to help secure a future meeting location in North Portland.
Public Input: Dan Handelman of People Overseeing Police Study Group (POPSG)
addressed the committee. He said that he was glad to see the issue of
use-of-force declinations addressed in the quarterly report. He commented on the
second appeal and asked if the appellant was aware of his option to appeal to
the full PIIAC. Botsko said that had been discussed in a private telephone
conversation, and that she always sends letters to appellants, even when they
have attended the advisory meetings.
The meeting adjourned.