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The City of Portland, Oregon

Independent Police Review

Independent Police Review is a police oversight agency, and is independent and autonomous from the Portland Police Bureau.

phone: 503-823-0146

fax: 503-823-4571

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 140, Portland, OR 97204

February 11, 1999

FEBRUARY 11, 1999
Submitted by Bob Ueland
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Gene Bales; Les Frank; Deborah Haring; Leora Mahoney; Robert Ueland; Robert Wells
Citizen Advisors Absent: Marina Anttila; Steve Heck; Dapo Sobomehin
City Staff Present: Capt. Bill Bennington, IAD; Sgt. Vince Jarmer, IAD; Sgt. Pam Kauffman, IAD
Meeting was called to order at 5:40 p.m. Chair Charles Ford noted the lack of quorum but said City Attorney Brockman has advised in past to proceed with meeting and validate all votes at next meeting with quorum.
[Staff Note: There was in fact a quorum, based on number of currently filled positions.]
1. Captain Bennington distributed copies of new PPB statement called "Civilian Review of Law Enforcement."
2. Minutes of January 21, 1999 were approved as presented.
3. Case #99-01 was presented by Robert Wells. Appellant was not present. Motion by Robert Wells to affirm PPB's handling of the case. Second: Leora Mahoney.
Discussion: Gene Bales felt letter from Commander Kauffman to Appellant was well written. Captain Bennington pointed out that while no misconduct by officer was alleged, it was recommended the officers meet with their shift Lieutenant for further discussion about the case.
Vote: Unanimous for motion.
4. Case #99-02 was presented by Bob Ueland. Appellant was present and spoke as follows:
Appellant said basic facts as presented by the officers were correct except that Officer "A" did call him a "retard" and did accuse him of being on drugs. He said he had been advised in past to stay at least 15 feet away from officers so he could not be accused of interfering and that he remained silent so officers could not possibly misunderstand anything he might say.
CA Les Bales [?] asked appellant if he didn't think his silence would put the officers more on guard. Appellant said he had remained silent on other occasions and nothing happened. He felt he should "witness" any events involving police and citizens so he could testify for citizen if asked to. He was fearful of being hit by police if he said anything. Capt. Bennington said Commander Kauffman had recommended "debriefing" for the officers involved, but this was not communicated in the letter from Commander Kauffman to the appellant. Captain Bennington apologized to the appellant and said he would forward copy of the "debriefing" letter to the appellant.
Appellant said Officer "B" seemed to try to exclude himself from scene as Officer "A" became more verbally abusive and actually rode away on his bicycle only to return.
CA Les Frank asked appellant why he won't talk to police. Appellant says this is his policy based on past experience as bartender in a gay bar where he witnessed police beatings. CA Robert Wells advised appellant that there is a "Sexual Minorities Roundtable" that he could attend and bring complaints to.
CA Charles Ford expressed concerns with police conduct during confrontations in a "drug-free zone." He asked appellant what he hoped to gain by filing his appeal. Appellant said he did not want apology, but did want copy of complaint to be in Officer "A's" personnel file. Captain Bennington assured him it is.
Motion by Bob Ueland to lay this case on the table until next month's meeting to allow sending of "debriefing" letter to appellant. Second - Robert Wells.
Vote: Unanimous in favor of motion.
Chairperson Charles Ford asked that letters be sent to all members not in attendance encouraging their participation in the future.
Chairperson Charles Ford announced next meeting will be at Self-Enhancement Building, 3926 N. Kirby.
CA Les Frank suggested all meetings should be out in communities rather than downtown which is unhandy and somewhat threatening to appellants to come to City Hall.
Chair Charles Ford wondered if we could hold meetings in Precinct Community Rooms. Members thought it would be alright.
CA Gene Bales recommends asking appellant in questionnaire what it is they want to accomplish.
5. Public Testimony
Dan Handelman says he asked City Council for status of changes to PIIAC Ordinance. He was pleased with result of 99-02. He states he has been verbally provoked by police officers also, and that one doesn't have to speak with them. Mr. Handelman thinks meeting in Police Precincts would be bad PR and suggested we publicize next month's meeting as much as possible.
Meeting adjourned at 6:44.