1999 MONITORING REPORT TO THE
The PIIAC Citizen Advisors Monitoring Subcommittee is responsible for
surveying cases handled by the Portland Police Bureau's Internal Affairs
Division (PPB/IAD) involving citizens’ and PPB employees' complaints about
alleged police misconduct. The Subcommittee analyzes complaints, IAD's
investigations, and Risk Management data to "highlight trends of police
performance, suggesting necessary Police Bureau policy and procedural changes.
Patterns of behavior, unclear procedures, policy issues and training needs may
be identified for review."
Due to staff turnover, this report combines monitoring results from fourth
quarter 1998 and all four quarters of calendar year 1999.
FOLLOW-UP TO PREVIOUS QUARTERLY REPORT
The Chief’s response to the Second/Third Quarter 1998 Monitoring
Report is attached to this report.
PIIAC requested that the Bureau research the legal and policy questions
surrounding a complaint in which a suspect’s pager, cellular phone, and
bulletproof vest were seized as evidence of suspected drug activity, even though
no weapons, drugs, or paraphernalia were found on his person. (He was searched
incident to a jaywalk arrest.) PPB referred this recommendation to the City
Attorney, DA’s Office, and Police Bureau Risk Management. The Police Bureau was
advised to review its policies on search and seizure and ensure that they
provide adequate guidance. The Chief reported that "GO 660.50 (Search, Seizure,
Reporting) establishes policy and provides sufficient guidelines."
PIIAC also requested that the Police Bureau develop an implementation plan
for the development of the IAD complaint form and brochure in Spanish. The Asian
Law Enforcement Advisory Council of Oregon recommended providing Russian,
Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian versions of these materials. The
Chief reported that "the project was completed and the brochures have been
distributed." PPB should be commended for this expression of outreach to diverse
cultures in the Portland area.
Citizen Advisors recommend that the IAD complaint forms and brochures also be
provided in the Hmong and Mien languages.
Responses to the remaining recommendations are included in the
I. IAD / PIIAC ACTIVITY
A. Change in PIIAC Staff
On June 3, 1999, PIIAC Examiner Lisa Botsko resigned. A community selection
committee was formed and after a limited national search Dr. Michael H. Hess was
selected. Dr. Hess began his PIIAC duties on August 30, 1999. PIIAC public
meetings on resumed on September 16, 1999.
B. New IAD Captain
In May 1999 Captain Bret Smith was assigned as IAD Captain, replacing Captain
William Bennington, who retired from the PPB.
C. PIIAC Advisory Committee back to full strength
The 13-member PIIAC Advisory Committee was down to seven members when public
meetings resumed in September 1999. Since then all vacancies have been filled.
Newly appointed members include: Jose Martinez (Mayor Katz); Ric Alexander
(Northeast Coalition); Kitsy Brown Mahoney (Northwest Coalition); Shirlie Karl
(Southwest Neighborhoods); and Tou Cha (Commissioner Francesconi). Les Frank
(Southeast Uplift) will return in January 2000 from a temporary leave of
On December 9, 1999, Charles Ford (Mayor Katz) was re-elected as PIIAC Chair
for the year 2000. Denise Stone (Erik Sten) was elected as Vice-Chair.
II. Cases Appealed / Monitored
During calendar year 1999, PIIAC advisors accepted 25 new appeals. The
decrease in appeals noted in the Second/Third Quarter 1998 Monitoring Report was
too short-lived to be considered a trend.
Since resumption of PIIAC activities in August 1999, the following cases were
PIIAC Case #99-04 (IAD Case #97-258)
Case was originally presented on 4/29/99. PIIAC advisors postponed a final
motion and vote until a finding regarding the Communication aspect of the
complaint was rendered. The Communication aspect involved a late night traffic
stop in which the appellant alleged that the primary officer displayed rude and
verbally abusive conduct. He alleged that the officer ordered him to keep his
hands on the wheel and followed with the question, "Where’s your wallet?" When
the appellant reached for his wallet, the officer allegedly became abusive and
said, "We’ll teach you to keep your hands where we told you." Advisory Committee
voted unanimously to recommend changing the finding from "Insufficient Evidence"
to "Insufficient Evidence with Debriefing."
PIIAC Case #99-16 (IAD Case #98-326)
Appellant alleged that during a routine traffic stop the cover officer spoke
to her in a demeaning manner and asked her if she was "a fucking mental." The
complaint was assigned as an inquiry to the officer’s precinct commander, and as
a result the officer was counseled by his supervisor on the appropriate use of
verbal force needed to control a situation. PIIAC advisors voted unanimously to
affirm the results of the inquiry.
PIIAC Case #99-17 (IAD Case #99-074)
Appellant alleged that an off-duty police sergeant made a discourteous
gesture toward her at a college cafeteria. Advisors voted unanimously to affirm
the decision of the IAD Captain to deny investigation of this complaint.
PIIAC Case #99-19 (IAD Case #98-036)
Appellant alleged that two police officers used excessive force in arresting
him. Advisors voted 4-1 to affirm the IAD finding of Exonerated. Appellant
requested an appeal before the City Council, but his probation was independently
revoked for another reason, and he is currently incarcerated in the Oregon State
PIIAC Case #99-09 (IAD Case #99-011)
Appellant alleged that in an encounter at the courthouse an officer called
him a liar, accused him of making a false police report, and threatened him with
arrest. Advisors voted unanimously (with one abstention) to affirm the IAD
finding of Exonerated on Conduct and Procedure.
PIIAC Case #99-23 (IAD Case #99-187)
Appellant alleged that police officers illegally searched her house and left
it damaged and in disarray during service of the search warrant. Advisors voted
5-1 to affirm the decision of the IAD Captain to deny investigation of this
complaint. Appellant has requested an appeal before the City Council. (A
bifurcated complaint of excessive use of force relating to this complaint is
PIIAC Case #99-20 (IAD Case #99-082)
Appellant alleged that a police officer harassed her by making false
statements about her to her neighbors, arrested and transported her to the
Justice Center for a minor littering infraction, and patted her down without
justification. Advisors voted unanimously (with one abstention) to affirm the
IAD finding of Exoneration for Conduct and Procedure and Unfounded on the
allegation that the officer made false statements about the appellant.
PIIAC Case #99-18 (IAD Case #99-009)
Appellant alleged that a PPB captain’s conduct on the phone was condescending
and inappropriate and that he lied about the appellant’s ability to obtain
public records from the Police Bureau. Advisors voted unamimously to affirm the
IAD finding of Exonerated. Appellant has requested an appeal before the City
PIIAC Case #99-21 (IAD Case #99-164)
Appellant alleged PPB officers violated her civil liberties by placing her in
custody, that they were not truthful, and that they searched her belongings
without permission. She also alleged that officers placed her in custody in
retaliation for a previous IAD complaint. Advisors voted unanimously to affirm
the IAD Captain’s decision to decline this complaint. Appellant has requested an
appeal before the City Council.
PIIAC Case #99-22 (IAD Case #99-108)
Appellant alleged that following an incident in which he was the victim of an
assault, a PPB officer did not interview witnesses at the scene and dismissed
the incident as mutual combat. Advisors voted 5-3 to affirm the IAD’s decision,
based on the results of an inquiry, not to investigate this case.
PIIAC Case #99-15 (IAD Case #98-013)
Appellant alleged that a PPB officer arrested him without sufficient cause,
that his car was unjustly towed, that he was released from East Precinct at 2:30
a.m. without means of transportation, and that the officer was a racist.
Advisors voted 7-1 to affirm the IAD findings of Exonerated with Debriefing on
the Conduct aspect, Unfounded on the Disparate Treatment aspect, and Exonerated
on the Procedure aspect.
The PIIAC Monitoring Subcommittee monitored an additional 19 closed
IAD investigations. We monitor all closed cases that fall into the following
categories: use of force, disparate treatment, complaints with sustained
findings, and cases that went to PPB’s Review Level Committee. Cases with less
significant allegations are not routinely audited unless they are appealed.
Cases reviewed for monitoring reflected the following types of
Use of Force 14
Disparate Treatment 2
The findings reflected the following:
Insufficient Evidence 10
Sustained complaints had been initiated both internally (Bureau members) and
externally (from citizens). Allegations that were Sustained included improper
handling of property (lost wallet), a police officer candidate lying about
college degree status, and use of degrading language and taking a person to a
detoxification center without sufficient reason and in apparent retaliation for
the person yelling a derogatory term at police officers.
III. Improvements in Timeliness
IAD Captain Bret Smith has instituted effective management procedures to
improve the timeliness of IAD investigations and to deal with the significant
backlog of IAD complaints. PIIAC has noted a marked improvement in turnaround
times over the past several months. Several cases that had been deadlocked have
now been investigated and adjudicated. To the credit of IAD, many of the
recommendations regarding timeliness that were outlined in the last PIIAC
Monitoring Report have been instituted. These include: having timeliness goals
for all phases of the investigative process, capping the number of cases
assigned to each investigator at any given time, and maintaining logs of cases
in progress. Captain Smith has aggressively attacked the backlog problem by
making prompt decisions about which cases should be investigated, which should
be delegated to precinct commanders for inquiry, and which should be declined.
His high expectations coupled with effective management and support of staff
training has visibly boosted the morale and professionalism of the IAD staff.
This is reflected in the efficiency and quality of investigations. In addition
Captain Smith has applied for and obtained a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
grant for a non-sworn staff member to assist in administration of tasks and with
the intake process.
Despite Captain Smith's aggressive management of backlogged cases, he
estimates that the average investigation time from intake through completion is
thirteen months. The number of IAD complaints remains steady, averaging 340
complaints per year ( 359 complaints in 1997, 339 in 1998, and 322 in 1999.)
Timeliness is a critical factor in building community trust in the efficacy
and integrity of police internal investigations. Lack of timeliness of IAD
investigations is a chronic problem and continues to be one of PIIAC's major
There are currently five sergeants and one captain on the IAD staff. To
move toward a suggested formula of 1 investigator per 100 police officers, with
adequate supervisory staff, PIIAC strongly recommends that a minimum of
three additional sergeants and one lieutenant be assigned to IAD. This will lead
to a reduction in the length of investigative time and improve the overall
quality of investigations. It will be a major step toward enhancing the Police
Bureau's image of accountability to the community.
IV. Communication Training
During 1999 PIIAC advisors reviewed an appeal with overtones similar to a
1998 appeal. Both involved traffic stops that escalated to confrontations in
which citizens were perceived as not following instructions and were handcuffed
and detained until their identities could be verified. In each case, officers
testified that they had instructed the driver to keep their hands on the
steering wheel or to keep their hands in sight but encountered some difficulty
with respect to identification. In the earlier case, the driver complained that
he was given conflicting orders to produce his identification and keep his hands
on the wheel. In the more recent case, the officer testified that he instructed
the driver to keep his hands in sight, then asked, "Where is your wallet?" He
assumed that the driver would just answer the question, not reach for his
wallet. When the motorist responded by reaching for the wallet, the officer
perceived this as a failure to comply and a possible threat.
Two complaints do not constitute a trend or pattern. However, the PIIAC
advisors brought this to Captain Smith’s attention as a training issue. Officers
need to be sensitive to the natural anxiety felt by some citizens during traffic
stops. In such situations a person may hear and respond to instructions on the
most elementary level. If an officer tells someone to keep his hands on the
wheel and follows up by asking "Where is your wallet?", the citizen’s natural
response may be to immediately reach for his wallet. Both officers, in their IAD
interviews, indicated that they thought the citizens were being deliberately
uncooperative. One of the officers stated that his commands were slow, clear,
and repetitive. However, the officer’s command and subsequent question were
confusing to the citizen. If the officer simply wants the driver to tell him
where his wallet is without reaching for it, he should clearly state this as an
explanation rather than as a command.
In response to problems noted in PIIAC cases, Captain Smith has initiated
several changes. He reports that one hour of communication training has been
included in the forty hours of In-Service training provided to all officers.
This training includes a spectrum of communication situations, including traffic
stops. This training is also provided to all new recruits in the Advanced
Academy. Captain Smith has invited PIIAC advisors to view these training
materials if they so desire. In addition to the communication training for
officers, all supervisors and command personnel have received two hours of
training in IAD and communication issues.
The PIIAC Monitoring Subcommittee will look into ways to work with the Police
Bureau and DMV to develop bilingual materials such as pamphlets or public
service announcements to advise motorists how to act during a traffic stop to
minimize potential problems. The PIIAC Citizen Advisory Committee urges the City
Council to make resources available to produce and disseminate these educational
(Refer to summary of PIIAC Case #99-16 on page 5.) On July 12, 1999,
the General Order 310.40 regarding Courtesy was revised to state in part that
"no member shall use profanity in the performance of their duties except where
necessary to establish control or to quote another person in police reports or
in testimony." PIIAC's concerned is that this General Order may be used to
justify an officer’s use of profanity when profanity is neither called for or
advisable. There has been a steady stream of PIIAC appeals in which citizens
have alleged that police officers have used profane or insulting language in an
inflammatory manner that only tended to exacerbate an already volatile
situation. PIIAC recommends that the General Order 310.40 on Courtesy be
re-examined in relation to the use of profanity. As currently written, this
General Order appears to give officers an open-ended justification for using
profanity and insults in any situation in which they can state that they were
trying to establish control, which could arguably extend to any police
VI. Disparate Treatment
Although PIIAC has seen only a handful of cases in the past year in which
disparate treatment was specifically alleged, and none of these have been proven
or founded, the question of disparate treatment based on race has been brought
up in several PIIAC hearings over the past few months. Most of these have
involved African Americans. IAD Statistics for 1998 and 1999 show that over 25
percent of all complaints have been from African Americans.
Captain Smith reports that an eight-hour block of diversity training is
provided for all new recruits at the Advanced Academy level. In addition,
cultural awareness training is blended into the segment on community policing
and the forty hours of Spanish language training in the Advanced Academy.
Given the insidious and damaging consequences of even the appearance of
disparate treatment, PIIAC recommends that in addition to the diversity
training provided in the Advanced Academy that the Police Bureau regularly cycle
a refresher course of diversity training in the In-Service training for all
Summary of PIIAC Recommendations
- To improve the timeliness of investigations and to move closer toward a
suggested formula of 10 investigators per 1000 police officers, with adequate
supervisory staff, PIIAC strongly recommends that a minimum of three
additional sergeants and one lieutenant be assigned to IAD.
- PIIAC recommends that the General Order 310.40 on Courtesy be re-examined
in relation to the use of profanity.
- PIIAC recommends that in addition to the diversity training provided in
the Advanced Academy that the Police Bureau regularly cycle a refresher course
of diversity training in the In-Service training for all officers.
- PIIAC recommends that the IAD complaint forms and brochures be provided in
the Hmong and Mien languages in addition to the languages in which they are
Addendum to the Monitoring Report
(Submitted by Citizen Advisor Shirley Karl)
Communication involves much more than speech. Words account for only 7% of a
message; 38% is communicated by tone of voice; 55% is transmitted by non-verbal
behavior.* In a multicultural, multiethnic society such as ours, a brief
encounter can easily be misunderstood. Nonverbal behavior can be interpreted
differently from one group to another. For example, some cultures value very
highly the initial approach, gestures, movements, and statements. The members of
these cultures are accustomed to making judgments based on these very important
initial interactions. The usual contact between an officer and a citizen is
relatively brief. Therefore, it is essential in our diverse society that each
person understand the other clearly and accurately.
*Experience the Best by Dr. Steve Stephens; Publ: Vision House
IAD COMPLAINT CATEGORIES (Revised 1/12/00)
1. Force: An allegation of excessive or inappropriate physical or
deadly physical force. This includes, but is not limited to, all instances where
there is an actual injury or an impact weapon was used.
2. Control Techniques: An allegation that a "control technique" was
used unreasonably or improperly. This would include control holds, hobble,
"takedowns," and handcuffing. Temporary discomfort, skin discoloration or marks,
or temporary pain are considered normal consequences of the use of a control
3. Conduct: An allegation that tends to bring reproach or discredit
upon the Bureau or City of Portland. It involves behavior by a Bureau member
that is unprofessional, unjustified, beyond the scope of their authority, or
unsatisfactory work performance. Typically this would include violation of the
Bureau's Standard of Conduct, Conform to Laws, Unsatisfactory Performance,
4. Disparate Treatment: Allegations of specific actions or statements
that indicate inappropriate treatment of an individual that is different from
the treatment of another, because of :
(b) Other: sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, economic status,
political or religious beliefs, appearance, handicap, etc.
5. Courtesy: Allegations relating to attitude and rude or discourteous
conduct other than disparate treatment.
6. Procedure: Allegations that an administrative or procedural
requirement was not met. This normally would include G.O.s such as the
identification, report writing, notebook entries, and property/evidence
1. Unfounded: Claim is false. Based on the facts of the investigation,
there is no basis to the allegation.
2. Exonerated: Actions of the officer were within the guidelines of
Bureau policy and procedure.
3. Insufficient Evidence: There was not enough evidence to prove or
disprove the allegation(s).
4. Sustained: Officer found to be in violation of Bureau policy or
5. Declined: Police Bureau declines to conduct full investigation.
6. Suspended: Investigation is suspended, usually because complainant
fails to provide key information.