MINUTES: Police Internal Investigations Auditing
April 12, 2001
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Ric Alexander;
Shirlie Karl; Leora Mahoney; Robert Wells; Les Frank; Jose Martinez; Dapo
Sobomehin; Denise Stone; Robert Ueland
Citizen Advisors Absent: Tou Cha
City Staff Present: Capt. Bret Smith, IAD; LT Steve Bechard; IAD
Sergeants; Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner; Mayor Vera Katz (observing)
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Flying Focus Video)
This meeting was held in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall.The meeting
was opened at 4:00 p.m. PIIAC Citizen Advisors, City Staff, and members of the
public introduced themselves.
PIIAC #00-03 (IAD #00-019)
The appellant was present. Citizen Advisor Les Frank presented this case,
involving the appellant’s allegations that a Portland Police officer followed
him too closely on a freeway, exceeded the speed limit, displayed road rage, and
intimidated the appellant.
The appellant admitted that he did flash his high beam headlights at the
officer when the officer passed him. He stated that he admitted this in traffic
court, but it was his contention that the officer should have also received a
citation for his actions, and he expected an apology from the officer.
Based on the facts of the case and the fact that this case had been
adjudicated in a court of law, Mr. Frank made a motion to affirm the Police
Bureau’s finding of "Conduct: Unfounded," with reservations as to the officer’s
driving that made the appellant feel intimidated. Mr. Martinez seconded the
motion. The motion passed unanimously
(Yes = 8). (Ms. Stone and Mr. Ueland did not vote because they arrived late.)
Mr. Ford referred the advisors’ concerns about officer’s driving to the
Monitoring Subcommittee for further discussion.
PIIAC #00-20 (IAD #00-287)
The appellant was present. Citizen Advisor Shirlie Karl presented this case.
It involved allegations that an IAD investigator, aided and abetted by a
precinct sergeant, lied in a police report; and that the IAD Captain and a
Precinct Commander share culpability for the alleged false report due to their
command status. This complaint was declined by IAD due to lack of merit.
After Ms. Karl read her examination report, the appellant was given an
opportunity to present his side of the complaint. He began by asking the
advisors questions about his constitutional rights. He was advised by Chairman
Ford to present his case, and he refused to do so.
There was some discussion about referring the case directly to City Council
since the appellant was not willing to present his case until his constitutional
questions were answered. Ms. Karl then moved to recommend affiirmation of IAD’s
decision to decline the complaint. Mr. Alexander seconded the motion, and it
carried unanimously (Yes = 8, with one abstention.)
PIIAC #00-30 (IAD #99-173)
The appellant was present. Citizen Advisor Robert Wells presented this case.
It involved allegations that two Portland Police officers, responding to a call
for assistance by security officers in Pioneer Square, used excessive force in
arresting a man who had been given an exclusion order for littering. It was
further alleged that one of the officers rubbed a fast food tray in the man’s
face and that the other officer used profanity toward bystanders.
The disposition of the complaints were the following:
- First officer: Use of Force: Exonerated; Courtesy: Insufficient Evidence;
and Professional Conduct: Sustained
- Second officer: Use of Force: Exonerated; Courtesy: Unfounded.
After Mr. Wells read his examination report, the appellant was given an
opportunity to present his side of the complaint. The appellant in this case was
not the subject of the alleged misconduct but rather a witness.
After the advisors heard from the appellant and asked several questions, Mr.
Wells moved to recomment affirmation of the Police Bureau’s findings. The motion
was seconded by Ms. Karl and passed unanimously. (Yes = 10)
PIIAC #00-26 (IAD #00-430)
The appellant was present. Advisor Wells recused himself from the case
because he was acquainted with the appellant and her family. Citizen Advisor Ric
Alexander presented this case. The appellant’s allegations were that a Portland
Police officer lied in a police report, refused to ament the report, and
received inappropriate assistance from another officer in writing the report.
This complaint was declined by IAD due to lack of merit.
After Mr. Alexander read his examination report, the appellant was given an
opportunity to present her side of the complaint. Following this, the advisors
asked questions and discussed the case. The appellant conceded that the officer
had submitted a supplementary report at a later date, but claimed it was still
unsatisfactory. After stating that she had proof that a second officer had
inappropriately assisted the original officer in writing the police report, the
appellant was unwilling to present this proof to the advisors.
Mr. Alexander moved to affirm IAD’s declination of this complaint for lack of
merit. Mr. Ueland seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote. (Yes = 9,
with one recusal.)
A community member felt there was not enough investigation of the first case
involving the incident on I-5. She thought that IAD should have ascertained from
ODOT whether or not there was construction in the left lane, as the officer
testified, and should have checked with BOEC to see if the officer had been on a
A community member stated that his rights had been violated when he was told
he had been trespassed from Northeast Precinct.
The Copwatch/Flying Focus Video representative objected to the Auditor’s
proposal for changes in civilian review. He felt that the proposal shuts
citizens out of the process. He stated that IAD did not make sufficient efforts
to find witnesses for the case that happened at Pioneer Square. He felt that
there was no justification for the escalation in the use of force merely over a
candy wrapper that had been thrown on the ground.
A community member expressed dismay that the partner of the officer who
rubbed a food tray in face of the man who was being arrested did not report this
incident of misconduct.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Submitted by Michael H. Hess, D.D.S., PIIAC Examiner