Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
November 12, 1999
(Approved December 9, 1999)
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Ric Alexander; Gene
Bales; Leora Mahoney; Jose Martinez; Dapo Sobomehin; Denise Stone; Robert Wells;
Citizen Advisors Absent: Les Frank (on leave of absence until January
City Staff Present: Capt. Bret Smith, IAD; Sgt. Jerry Jones, IAD; Sgt.
Jay Drum, IAD; Lynne Borden (IAD); Dr. Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch)
Mr. Ford opened the meeting at approximately 5:30 p.m. The PIIAC Citizen
Advisors and the City Staff introduced themselves. Mr. Ford welcomed two new
PIIAC advisors, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Alexander.
PIIAC #99-21 (IAD #99-164)
Advisor Stone presented this case, offering a summary of the case and her
recommendations. The Appellant was present.
The complaint arose from a June 8, 1999, incident at the home of the
Appellant’s mother, where the Appellant was living. Her brother and her
brother’s two children were at the scene. The appellant’s brother called for
police intervention because the Appellant questioned the validity of a
restraining order against her. Officers responded to the brother’s call and,
after reviewing the restraining order, advised the Appellant that she had twenty
minutes to leave the premises.
Subsequently, after interviewing the Appellant’s mother and brother, Officer
A decided to place the Appellant in custody on mental hold and transport her to
a local mental health facility.
The Appellant filed the following complaints to IAD:
1. That officers violated the Appellant’s civil liberties by not allowing her
the twenty minutes specified in the restraining order to leave the premises;
2. That officers searched Appellant's belongings without her permission;
3. That officers violated General Orders by entering a private residence and
placing the Appellant on mental hold;
4. That officers considered evidence that was not found at the scene;
5. That officers failed to cite the specific law when making the arrest;
6. That officers were negligent in the performance of their duties;
7. That officers acted out of retaliation from a previous police
Advisor Stone then addressed each of the above complaints:
1. The conditions stated in the restraining order were superseded by the
officers' determination that the Appellant should be placed on mental hold.
2. Officers are required to search a person's belongings when placing the
person in custody for a mental hold.
3. Officers were invited into the residence to attest to the authenticity of
the restraining order.
4. Officers did not consider evidence that was not found on the scene.
(referring to a pitchfork that was not considered as evidence regarding the
5. Officers fully followed general orders regarding mental holds
6. Officers fully documented their decisions and actions in their reports.
7. There is no evidence to support the allegation of retaliation.
Advisor Stone recommended affirmation of the declination of an IAD
investigation as determined Capt. Smith.
Mr. Ford invited the Appellant to express her comments. The Appellant stated
The ORS (Oregon Revised Statutes) state that to be placed on mental hold a
person must be "suicidal or homicidal," so she should not have been placed on
mental hold. The residence was her residence also, not just that of her mother,
and that the officers were not invited in. The fact that four police officers
and a commanding officer entered the premises was an act of intimidation and
harassment. There was no reason for her to be placed in custody, since she was
intending to leave the residence as ordered by the restraining order.
The Appellant then passed around a copy of the restraining order.
Dr. Hess clarified that the ORS statute on officer mental hold does not
include the words suicidal or homicidal, but states rather that an officer "may
take into custody a person who the officer has probable cause to believe is
dangerous to self or any other person and
is in need of immediate care, custody, or treatment for mental illness."
(Quotation taken from Peace Officer's Pocket Guide to Oregon Revised
Advisor Wells asked the Appellant for further explanation of why she felt
intimidated by the police officers, and she reiterated that having four police
officers responding to a restraining order was in itself very intimidating.
Capt. Smith added that the officer who did the mental hold had been trained in
the CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) program to effectively communicate with
persons with mental health problems and that the person was subsequently
evaluated by a doctor.
Mr. Ford asked the appellant what her expectations were in coming before
PIIAC. The Appellant stated that in her opinion IAD fell very short of
evaluating what happened, so she wanted to take it to the next step.
Mr. Ford asked Ms. Stone to repeat her recommendation, which she then stated
in the form of a motion. Advisor Martinez seconded the motion. The motion
carried unanimously [Y-8].
PIIAC #99-18 (IAD #99-009)
Appellant was present. Advisor Wells presented this case as follows:
This was a very convoluted case concerning a series of incidents involving
the Appellant, Sergeant A, Captain A, an investigating Captain about Captain A,
and two staff members of IAD.
The Appellant alleges that Captain A' s conduct towards her on the telephone
was inappropriate and that this captain tried to get the Appellant to cease IAD
complaints against Sergeant A, whom the Appellant had contacted regarding a
photo-radar manual. IAD has bifurcated (split) the complaint against Captain A
and Sergeant A, and we are only dealing with the complaint against Captain A
tonight. The Appellant also alleges that Captain A deliberately lied to her
about obtaining public records.
The following background was given: the Appellant was caught by a photo radar
speed device. Although not issued a citation, she asked to view the photo-radar
manual. Since this manual is a manufacturer's proprietary document, Sergeant A
explained to the Appellant that in order for her to view it, there would have to
be a Portland Police
member present, and that according to City Ordinance a fee had to be charged
based on the hourly pay of the person supervising the reading of the document.
In her interview the Appellant expresses her feeling that the rates of
viewing the manual did not reflect the actual cost. The complaint regarding
conduct and procedure involving Captain A was somehow increased to that of
lying. The investigating officer did not allow the Appellant to rebut the lying
by Captain A, and the Appellant questioned the truthfulness of another IAD
investigator as well.
In the Appellant's written PIIAC complaint, the Appellant cites two criminal
statutes and feels that the investigating officer was wrong in not determining
criminal charges of Coercion, a Class C felony punishable by possible
penitentiary time, and Official Misconduct, a Class A Misdemeanor with possible
county jail time, against Captain A. The Appellant thus increased the severity
of her initial complaints of conduct and procedure to criminal allegations.
The record shows that Captain A advised the Appellant in writing that if she
was willing to wait until the photo-radar manual was transferred to Records, she
could then view the manual at less cost.
Advisor Wells then directed the following question to the Appellant. Does the
entire sequence of events, including Captain A and the IAD investigation, rise
to the level of felony and misdemeanor, which involve possible jail time or
The Appellant responded that she had come across the given ORS statutes and
she considered that Captain A's conduct in trying to get her to drop her
complaint against Sergeant A was so egregious that it warranted Capt.
Bennington's consideration of whether it met the criteria of a criminal act. She
wanted confirmation from Capt. Bennington that he had consulted with the City
Attorney's Office or with the D.A. about a possible coercion charge.
Mr. Ford asked Mr. Wells to continue his presentation. Mr. Wells asked why
Capt. A would lie to to the Appellant and make this into more than it is when he
corresponded with her and explained what she needed to do to have access to the
manual. He said that Capt. A's questions to the Appellant (What can I do to make
you happy? What can I do to make this go away?) were not in reference to the
Appellant's complaint about Sergeant A but rather reflected an effort on his
part to help the Appellant to understand the requirements of the public records
Mr. Ford then asked Mr. Wells to summarize his comments so that the committee
could move forward towards a decision based on the facts of this case. Mr. Wells
stated that all remained were his recommendations to the committee.
The Appellant stated that Captain A did not explain to her the public laws
regarding records. She said that the confusion arose from the fact that at that
time there was not a fee schedule or a mechanism for a member of the public to
review documents in the sole custody of the Traffic Division.
The Appellant then summarized her view of what was wrong with the
investigation of her complaint. She related her consternation at having her
picture taken by photo-radar and her frustration in calling the Traffic Division
and being told by a sergeant that she would be charged a substantial hourly fee
to read the photo-radar manual. She then filed an IAD complaint against the
sergeant based on her perception that his statements were meant as a threat to
impede her access to public records.
Mr. Ford asked the Appellant to summarize her complaint and to express her
expectations in appealing to PIIAC. The Appellant asked for an opportunity to
outline the lack of thoroughness and integrity of the IAD investigation, as
- That in the initial intake process the allegations of whether a criminal
action occurred were not looked into;
- That she was not fully interviewed;
- That pertinent details were omitted;
- That her statements were not accurately represented in the interview
- That tapes of some of her conversations with IAD intake personnel were not
in the file
- That the IAD investigator failed to consider a potential conflict of
interest in that a captain against whom the Appellant had a complaint
continued to conduct the investigation regarding Sergeant A.
Mr. Ford asked the Appellant at this point to allow the advisors to hear the
recommendations of the advisor who examined this case.
Advisor Wells proposed the following recommendations:
1. That the IAD inquiry regarding Captain A go no further and that the
inquiry of Captain A be noted as complete, objective, and fair.
2. That the original complaint against Sergeant A be treated as a completely
3. That the Monitoring Subcommittee look at IAD timeliness issues.
Ms. Mahoney seconded the motion.
After further discussion the advisors voted in favor of the motion. [Y -7]
Advisor Martinez abstained.
Mr. Ford thanked the Appellant and assured her that certain elements of her
complaint (e.g., fee schedules and access to public records) would be addressed
by PIIAC's Monitoring Subcommittee.
The Appellant then asked about the implications of Senate Bill 975 and
whether she would have access to the IAD files regarding her complaint against
Sergeant A. Capt. Smith explained that Senate Bill 975 has to do with the
release of personnel files when there is an unsustained finding. PIIAC
examinations are an exception. In the past, files regarding unsustained findings
were accessible to the appellant, but the Senate bill changed that.
Dr. Hess advised the Appellant to submit a written request within 30 days if
she desires to take her appeal before City Council.
The minutes of the October PIIAC meeting were approved. Mr. Ford announced
that there will be an election of officers at the December 9 meeting. Meeting
will be in the City Hall, since a meeting place in the community has not yet
A community member expressed her understanding that what the latter Appellant
was challenging was the ethics of the investigation. She pointed out that it is
a cause for concern whenever a citizen perceives that a public officer has been
Mr. Handelman from Portland Copwatch expressed grave concern about the
comments regarding Senate Bill 975. He said that PIIAC was created to provide
the public a window to Internal Affairs.
Capt. Smith reiterated that Senate Bill 975 does not affect PIIAC's access to
IAD files, but that individual appellants will no longer be able to get
unsustained files as they have in the past unless they meet certain criteria
established by law that is similar to sustained files. The Bureau is now looking
at the policies in regard to this. Mr. Handelman said that he hopes this will be
an issue that PIIAC follows up on.
Regarding procedural matters, Mr. Handelman suggested that instead of using
designations such as "Officer A," "Sergeant A," "Captain A," etc., it would be
less confusing if the examiner used different letters of the alphabet to
designate different persons. He also expressed his concerns about street police
officers who have not had full CIT training making decisions regarding mental
hold. Capt. Smith responded that all Portland Police officers have received
sufficient training to make these decisions and that the ORS does not require
police officers to have the full CIT training to make these decisions. Mr.
Handelman suggested again that there should be a flow chart available at PIIAC
meetings so that appellants will better understand PIIAC procedure.
The second appellant stated that she did feel that she was given sufficient
time to present her case because she had to use most of her time to answer the
questions of the advisors. Mr. Ford disagreed, stating that she was given ample
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Michael H. Hess, D.D.S.