Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
May 11, 2000
Approved: July 13, 2000
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Denise Stone (Vice Chair); Robert Ueland; Ric Alexander; Shirlie Karl; Robert Wells; Tou Cha; Les Frank; Leora Mahoney; Jose Martinez, Dapo Sobomehin
Citizen Advisors Absent: Gene Bales; Kitsy Brown Mahoney
City Staff Present: Capt. Bret Smith, IAD; Sgt. Steve Bottcher, IAD; Sgt. Suzanne Whisler, IAD; Sgt. Jay Drum, IAD; Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch); Janet Marcley-Hayes (Portland Free Press); Nick Budnick (Willamette Week)
This meeting was held in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall.
Mr. Ford opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. PIIAC Citizen Advisors and City Staff introduced themselves.
The minutes of the April 13, 2000, PIIAC meeting were approved as written.
PIIAC #99-25 (IAD #98-195)
This was a case in which the Appellant had been arrested for criminal mischief for spitting tobacco juice on a police car. He alleged that the police officers had used excessive force in arresting him, that they had called him a "loser," and that they did not return to him a container of beer that he had in his pocket. The Appellant was not present. PIIAC Advisors had heard this case in a prior meeting at which the Appellant had not appeared. Since the Appellant again failed to appear, the Advisors agreed to close this case with no change to their previous recommendation to affirm the IAD findings.
PIIAC #00-02 (IAD #99-297)
PIIAC Examiner Hess presented this case. The Appellant alleged that a Portland Police Officer (Officer A) had perjured himself in a pretrial disposition and that Officer A exhibited disparate treatment toward the Appellant based on her physical appearance.
During the discussion following the presentation of the Examiner and that of the Appellant, Mr. Ueland pointed out that the training issue of how to transport heavy individuals had been addressed by PIIAC nearly four years ago. Mr. Ueland suggested that this issue again be followed up on by the Monitoring Subcommittee.
A tangential issue brought up in the discussion was an allegation by Officer A’s ex-girlfriend in a letter to the Appellant that Officer A had abused the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) by conducting a law enforcement check on her (the ex-girlfriend). The Examiner asked Captain Smith if this should be investigated as a "bifurcation" of the complaint. Captain Smith replied that the extreme lack of timeliness (more than three years) and the fact that the allegation was made by a third party who never made this complaint to IAD would rule out an investigation at this time.
The Examiner’s recommendation to the Advisors was to affirm IAD’s decision to decline investigation of this complaint. The Advisors initially voted in favor of the recommendation. (Y = 6, N =5). However, following the break, Advisor Sobomehin stated that he had misunderstood the recommendation and that wished to change his vote. He made a motion to re-evaluate the case. After further discussion, a new vote was taken, and the majority of the Advisors this time voted against the recommendation
(Y = 5, N = 6). The case was returned to IAD for investigation.
PIIAC #00-07 (IAD #98-170)
The appellant was not present. Advisor Ric Alexander presented this case, in which the Appellant alleged that a Portland police officer had used excessive force in arresting him for what the officer had reason to suspect was a drug transaction. The advisors voted unanimously to uphold the IAD finding of "exonerated with debriefing" relative to the use of force. (Y = 11)
Chairman Ford announced that the next meeting of the PIIAC advisory committee would be held on June 8, 2000, at 6:30 p.m. in the Multnomah Art Center in Southwest Portland. Ms. Karl made the arrangements for this meeting place.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Michael H. Hess, D.D.S.