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Police Bureau

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Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

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1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Directive 1010.10, Post Deadly Force Procedures

Directive 1010.10, Post Deadly Force Procedures

 

Definitions:

  • Barricade: The intentional blocking/barricading of a roadway, by any means, to prevent passage of a pursued vehicle (per DIR 630.05).
  • Communication Restriction Order: An order issued in writing during an investigation that restricts the involved member(s) from discussing the facts of the case. This restriction will be given in writing and will be lifted in writing.
  • Deadly Physical Force: Physical force that under the circumstances in which it is used is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury (per ORS 161.051(3)).
  • In-Custody Death: Occurs when a subject dies while under physical control of a member or dies while in police custody. Physical control includes the use of an electronic control weapon system.
  • Involved Member: A member who is involved in the actual application of deadly force or directs another to use deadly physical force. Additionally, a member who has physical control, administers an electronic control weapon system, or has possession of a subject who dies in police custody.
  • Member: For purposes of this directive, the term member refers to any sworn member of the Portland Police Bureau, including reserve police officers. 
  • Negligent discharge: Any unintentional discharge of a firearm by a sworn member that is not due to equipment malfunction.
  • On-scene interview: A brief interview of the incident given to detectives, for the purpose of accurately processing the scene. An on-scene interview may include, but is not limited to, the identification of the crime scene(s), the identification of other members present, the identification of potential witnesses and other involved subjects, and the identification of evidence at the crime scene(s).
  • Police Action: Any circumstances, on or off duty, in which a member exercises official authority.
  • Probable Cause: A substantial objective basis for believing that more likely than not an offense has been committed and a person to be arrested as committed it (per ORS 131.005(11)).
  • Serious Physical Injury: Physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted loss, or impairment of function of any bodily organ (per ORS 161.015(8)).
  • Warning Shot: An intentional, unauthorized discharge of a firearm into the air, ground, or an inanimate object with the intent of gaining compliance by a suspect through shock or fear.
  • Witness Member: A member who observes or has firsthand knowledge of the events surrounding an in-custody death or the use of deadly physical force by another member and, other than observing the incident, did not use deadly physical force.  Additionally, a member observes or has firsthand knowledge of a member who directs another to use deadly force.

Policy:

1. The Bureau recognizes the importance of conducting thorough, impartial, and timely investigations of in-custody deaths and use of deadly force by members.

2. The investigation of such incidents is of critical importance to the involved member, the Bureau, and the community.

3. It is the responsibility of all Bureau members to assist in these investigations for the purpose of determining justification, as well as to identify any training and/or performance deficiencies. The Bureau also recognizes the impact these traumatic incidents have on members and acknowledges the need to be sensitive when conducting the required investigation. This policy recognizes these dual responsibilities and is designed to meet both goals.

4. The investigation of all incidents involving the use of deadly physical force and/or the death of an individual in police custody will be the responsibility of the Detectives Division.

5. This will require Homicide Detail supervisors to respond and assume responsibility for the investigation of the incident.

Procedure:

1. Release of Information:

1.1.   Public accountability requires the Bureau to provide timely and complete information when members use deadly force. However, the Bureau must weigh the public’s right to know with what is in the best interest of the investigation. As a general rule, the Bureau will release, as soon as possible, accurate information which will not compromise an ongoing investigation or the potential prosecution of a suspect(s).

1.2.   The Public Information Officer (PIO), who reports directly to the Chief of Police, will be called out to all use of deadly force incidents. As soon as possible, the PIO will coordinate with the Detective Division sergeant in charge of the investigation, the on-scene representative of the District Attorney’s Office and a union representative of the involved member(s) to determine what information will be released.

1.3.   During the course of the criminal investigation, the Detective Division will coordinate the release of information through the PIO. The Chief of Police is ultimately responsible for approving information available for release.

1.4.   The Bureau also has a responsibility to ensure that community members; in particular the families of community members directly affected by the use of deadly force, along with members of the Bureau, receive timely information.

1.5.   To provide timely and accurate information, the Detective Division may direct the Crisis Response Team (CRT) to assign a liaison to assist tin providing information to members of the community directly affected by a use of deadly force. The CRT will not release information that has not been approved for release by the Homicide Sergeant in charge of the investigation, and the District Attorney’s Office. Internal communication will be coordinated through the Chief of Police.

1.6.   As soon as possible, the PIO will release to the public the available information. Typically, the information will include:

1.6.1.      Nature of the call,

1.6.2.      Time of the call and member arrival,

1.6.3.      Number of members directly involved in the use of deadly force,

1.6.4.      Years of service of members directly involved in the use of deadly force,

1.6.5.      General information about the community member(s) involved in the deadly force encounter,

1.6.6.      Other information as determined by the Detective Division and District Attorney’s Office.

1.7.   The identity of Bureau member(s) involved in the incident will be released after a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours. In incidents involving the death of a Bureau member, or member of the public, the identity will be released with approval of the Detective Division and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

1.8.   As is normal procedure, requests for documents, CD’s and other public records will be processed through the Records Division.

1.9.   The Bureau has an interest in providing the community with information in the days that follow the use of deadly force. The Detective Division will coordinate the release of information with the Public Information Office.

1.10.  Public accountability requires that the Bureau provide updated information in a timely manner. Information that could jeopardize the integrity of the investigation or information needed to complete the criminal investigation or any pending prosecution will be withheld from the public.

2. Communication Restriction Order:

2.1.   A Communication Restriction Order (CRO) will be issued in writing by the Chief or as delegated to a member of the Detective Homicide Detail. Issuing a CRO will include:

2.1.1.      Providing a copy of the CRO to all witness and involved members before they leave the scene.

2.1.2.      Providing a copy of the CRO to a Detective Homicide Detail supervisor.

2.1.3.      Document that the CRO was issued and to whom.

2.2.   Union representatives shall not communicate to either involved members or witness members what has been told to them by an individual they are representing.

2.3.   The CRO generally will continue until the conclusion of the Grand Jury, or if no Grand Jury is held, until a disposition is entered by the District Attorney.

2.4.   On a case by case basis, the Chief of Police may extend the CRO, for reasons including, but not limited to:

2.4.1.1.For purposes related to the Administrative Review,

2.4.1.2.While the case is under review by another law enforcement agency, albeit a federal, state, or local entity. 

2.5.   Members not involved in a deadly force or in-custody death incident shall not communicate with a member who has been designated as an involved or witness member, about factual aspects of the investigation at hand, unless authorized to do so and until the involved or witness member is no longer under a CRO.

2.6.   Members may speak with Traumatic Incident Committee (TIC) members. Members should avoid directly discussing factual aspects of the incident with TIC members, as the TIC members are directed to steer the conversation away from the facts and focus instead on the emotional issues confronting the member(s).

2.7.   Separation of all witness and involved members is necessary in order to safeguard the integrity of the investigation. If the number of individuals to be physically separated is so great to be impractical, a supervisor or detective will be posted to ensure that no communication regarding the incident takes place.

3. Deadly Force/In-Custody Death inside the City of Portland during a Police Action by a Member:

3.1.   Member Responsibilities:

3.1.1.  Members as soon as practical will notify the on-scene supervisor and advise them of the member’s role in the incident (e.g. witness member, involved member, assisted at the scene).

3.1.2. This notification shall be to identify those members involved. This notification is intended to identify those members which detectives must attempt to interview in conjunction with their investigation of the incident.

3.1.3.  This notification is not intended to compel any statements or the production of any evidence by any involved member.

3.2.   Involved Member Responsibilities:

3.2.1. The member will first notify an on duty supervisor at the precinct of occurrence, as well as his or her own supervisor, if assigned to a precinct or division other than the precinct of occurrence. The notifications will take place as soon as possible.

3.2.2. The member, unless injured, will remain at the scene until released on an on scene supervisor. The release from the scene must be approved by the Homicide Detail sergeant. The member will not be held at the scene any longer than necessary.

3.2.3. The involved member will make it known to the on scene supervisor that they are an involved member, as defined.

3.2.4. The involved member(s) will be afforded all rights guaranteed under the United State and the State of Oregon Constitutions and the benefits of the current collective bargaining agreement throughout the investigation.

3.2.5. The member will be provided time to discuss the incident with his or her immediate supervisor, Responsible Unit manager, union representative, and private attorney. Members will not discuss the incident with anyone other than those covered in the Communication Restriction Order once it is issued, until the Communication Restriction Order is removed.

3.2.6. The involved member will be asked, but not required, to provide a voluntary interview at the scene to discuss the incident with detectives in order to ensure the prompt and accurate processing of the scene.

3.2.7.  In situations requiring detective involvement, the member will not drive a vehicle following the incident. An uninvolved member will be assigned to transport each involved or witness member.

3.3.   Witness Member Responsibilities:

3.3.1. Witness members will make it known to the on scene supervisor if they are a witness to the incident as defined or assisted at the scene.

3.3.2. All witness members, unless injured, will remain at the scene until released by the Homicide Detail sergeant. Witnesses will not be held at the scene any longer than necessary.

3.3.3. Witness members, if requested, are required to given an on scene interview to discuss the incident with detectives in order to ensure the prompt and accurate processing of the scene.

3.3.4.  All witness members will be afforded all rights guaranteed under the United State and the State of Oregon Constitutions and the benefits of the current collective bargaining agreement throughout the investigation.

3.3.5.  Witness members will not discuss the incident with any other person other than their immediate supervisor, Responsible Unit manager, detectives, and their union representative prior to the conclusion of their investigative interview. Members will not discuss the incident with anyone other than those covered in the Communication Restriction Order once it is issued, until the Communication Restriction Order is removed.

3.3.6. Witness members will be required to submit to an audio recorded interview if requested prior to going off shift. If injured, the witness member will be interviewed when medically stable.

3.3.7. Exceptions must be limited to those situations where the number of witnesses or the complexity of the crime scene make it necessary for the investigators to obtain additional details of the incident prior to beginning an interview. Those exceptions must be approved by the Detective Division Commander.

3.4.   First Arriving Supervisor Responsibilities:

3.4.1. After complying with secure scene and first aid provisions as found within DIR 640.10, Crime Scene Procedures, complete the following:

3.4.1.1.If ambulance transport is required, ensure an uninvolved member is assigned to accompany the injured member or community member to the hospital (in the ambulance).

3.4.1.2.Secure the primary crime scene with red tape and the outer perimeter of the scene with yellow tape.

3.4.1.3.Separate all witness and involved members. If the number of individuals to be physically separated is so great to be impractical, a supervisor or detective will be posted to ensure that no communication regarding the incident takes place.

3.4.1.4.Ensure that a single entry point into and out of the scene is established and advise the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) of its location.

3.4.1.5.Ensure that Crime Scene log is maintained at the entry point.

3.4.1.6.Make required notifications in the following order:

3.4.1.6.1.Detective Division Homicide Detail sergeant (up team),

3.4.1.6.2.Forensic Evidence Division (forensics),

3.4.1.6.3.Appropriate precinct or division commander, which includes the precinct of occurrence if the involved member is from a precinct or division separate from that of the occurrence,

3.4.1.6.4.Public Information Officer,

3.4.1.6.5.Employee Assistance Coordinator, and

3.4.1.6.6.Appropriate bargaining unit representative.

3.4.1.7.Ensure witness and involved member weapons are retained in their holsters pending weapon examination by responding detectives.

3.5.   Precinct or Division Commander Responsibilities:

3.5.1. The precinct or division commander will notify the appropriate Branch Chief and/or the Chief of Police.

3.6.   Detective Division Homicide Details Responsibilities:

3.6.1. The Detective Division Homicide Details will be responsible for all investigative duties of an in-custody death and a deadly force incident, to include the following:

3.6.1.1.Completion of the Investigative Report,

3.6.1.2.Scene sketches,

3.6.1.3.Diagrams,

3.6.1.4.Evidence processing,

3.6.1.5.Interviews of involved members and supervisors,

3.6.1.6.Interviews of witnesses,

3.6.1.7.Investigative follow up,

3.6.1.8.Issuance of Communication Restriction Orders, and

3.6.1.9.Completion of the investigative case book.

3.7.   Homicide Detail Sergeant Responsibilities:

3.7.1. Make required notifications:

3.7.1.1.Detective Division Command,

3.7.1.2.On call detectives,

3.7.1.3.District Attorney’s Office,

3.7.1.4.Medical Examiner’s Office,

3.7.1.5.Forensic Evidence Division, ensuring criminalists are responding to the scene, and

3.7.1.6.Training Division.

3.7.2.Request assistance from the East County Major Crime Team.

3.7.3.Respond to the scene and assume responsibility for the scene after receiving a briefing from the supervisor in charge of the scene.

3.7.4.Take charge of the investigation.

3.7.5. Identify all involved and witness members and any members with pertinent investigative information.

3.7.6. Make investigative and scene processing assignments.

3.7.7. Regularly provide updates to the Detective Division Commander, the Public Information officer, the Internal Affairs Captain, and the Chief of Police.

3.7.8.Ensure Communication Restriction Orders are issued.

3.7.9. Ensure all involved weapons have been examined, documented, and retained if necessary; ensure member(s) is supplied with a replacement weapon by Training, if appropriate. 

3.7.10.  Ensure a thorough and complete investigation is conducted.

3.7.11.  Ensure the appropriate checklists are used and case notebooks are prepared.

3.8.   Detectives Responsibilities:

3.8.1. Conduct a complete and thorough investigation of the incident, which will be used to determine justification for the use of deadly physical force, as well as to identify any training or policy concerns regarding the member’s actions.

3.8.2. Conduct interviews of all witness and involved members and use the interview checklists, ensuring all applicable areas are covered. All interviews wherein material facts of the case are discussed will be audio recorded in its entirety.

3.8.3. Interview civilian witnesses and attempt to audio record their statement.

3.8.4. Ensure his or her reports include detailed information related to any weapons involved, accounting of all shots fired and their point of impact, if determinable, and any injury or damage to property.

3.8.5. Collect and submit all weapons involved in a deadly force incident, including SERT weapons, to the Oregon State Crime Lab for appropriate testing, document their condition as found to include serial number, rounds in chamber, and number of rounds in each magazine.

3.8.6. Complete a Summary Report and case notebooks to include all transcripts of all taped statements.

3.8.7. Submit all cases involving intentional use of deadly force, in-custody deaths and negligent discharge resulting in injury to another, to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

3.9.   Chief of Police Responsibilities:

3.9.1. The Chief of Police will make the appropriate notification to the Commissioner-in-charge and the Deputy City Attorney.

4. Deadly Force/In-Custody Death outside the City of Portland during Police Action by a Member:

4.1.   Involved Member Responsibilities:

4.1.1.      Notify the jurisdiction of occurrence, and

4.1.2.      Notify supervisor.

4.2.   Supervisor Responsibilities:

4.2.1.      Supervisors will make notification as required of the on scene supervisor.

4.3.   Detective Division Homicide Detail Responsibilities:

4.3.1.      Respond to the scene, if feasible, and

4.3.2.      Serve as the Bureau liaison.

5. Deadly Force Against a Member in the City of Portland:

5.1.   This will be treated in the same manner as deadly force used by a member, for notification purposes.

5.2.   Detective Division will be notified in all cases and will assume investigative responsibility.

6. Deadly Force/In-Custody Death inside the City of Portland by a Member from another jurisdiction:

6.1.   Bureau Procedures:

6.1.1. The Bureau will normally be the investigating agency.

6.1.2. If the Bureau assumes investigative responsibility, the Homicide Sergeant will be the supervisor and Detectives will be responsible for the investigation. Investigative consideration will be made for the involved member’s agency policies and their current collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.

6.2.   The on scene supervisor will ensure that an on duty supervisor of the member’s agency is notified.

6.3.   Unless there is some immediate need to seize weapons, the involved members will be allowed to keep his or her weapon(s) until his or her agency supervisor arrives. Upon arrival, the agency supervisor will take custody of the firearm, and if necessary, surrender it to the investigator.

6.4.   In order to enhance community understanding of situations, the Precinct Commander and Branch Chief will be notified so that they may determine the need for community notification and information dissemination.

7. First Arriving Supervisor Checklist:

7.1.   After complying with secure scene and first aid provisions as found within DIR 640.10, Crime Scene Procedures, complete the following:

7.1.1. If ambulance transport is required, ensure an uninvolved member is assigned to accompany the injured member or community member to the hospital (in the ambulance).

7.1.2. Secure the primary crime scene with red tape and the outer perimeter of the scene with yellow tape.

7.1.3. Separate all witness and involved members. If the number of individuals to be physically separated is so great to be impractical, a supervisor or detective will be posted to ensure that no communication regarding the incident takes place.

7.1.4. Ensure that a single entry point into and out of the scene is established and advise the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) of its location.

7.1.5. Ensure that Crime Scene log is maintained at the entry point.

7.1.6. Make required notifications in the following order:

7.1.6.1.Detective Division Homicide Detail sergeant (up team),

7.1.6.2.Forensic Evidence Division (forensics),

7.1.6.3.Appropriate precinct or division commander of occurrence,

7.1.6.4.On duty supervisor of the member’s agency,  

7.1.6.5.Public Information Officer,

7.1.6.6.Employee Assistance Coordinator, and

7.1.7. Ensure witness and involved member weapons are retained in their holsters pending weapon examination by responding detectives.

7.1.8. Ask each member on scene what his or her role was in the incident (e.g. involved member, witness member, assisted at the scene), and document for the Homicide Sergeant.

7.1.9. Instruct the involved members and witness members to not discuss the incident among themselves or with any other person, except their immediate on scene supervisor, union representative, and private attorney, prior to being interviewed by a detective.

7.1.10.  Maintain integrity of witness and involved members weapons. If holstered, ensure it is retained there pending weapon examination by responding detectives. Weapons not still in custody of the member, but still in the crime scene, will be left as evidence if the situation is stable and safe to do so. 

7.1.11.  Notify the involved members and witness members that they have the right to have a union representative present through all stages of this process.

7.1.12.  Unless injured, do not release involved members and witness members from the scene without the approval of a Homicide Detail Sergeant.

7.1.13.  Assigned an uninvolved member to drive each involved member. Witness members may drive themselves. Whenever practical, each involved member and witness member should be transported in a separate vehicle.

7.1.14.  Upon release from the scene, instruct the involved members, witness members, and drivers of the following:

7.1.14.1. Proceed to Detectives or the designed area as determined by the Homicide Sergeant.

7.1.14.2. Involved members and witness members, prior to changing out of the clothes worn at the time of the incident, must confer with the Homicide Detail Sergeant.

7.1.14.3. The assigned criminalists, at the direction of the lead detective, will collect all evidence including involved members’ uniform and all outer clothing (including duty belt) and retain as evidence until instructed otherwise by the lead detective of the investigation. This instruction should be relayed to any uninvolved member that accompanied an injured involved member to the hospital.

7.1.14.4. Exceptions will be authorized by the Homicide Detail Sergeant.

7.1.14.5. Instruct members and witness members to remain at the location until instructed otherwise by the lead detective or they are released from the location with the approval of the Homicide Detail Sergeant.

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