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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

August 10, 2000

Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
August 10, 2000
Approved: November 9, 2000
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Denise Stone (Vice Chair); Robert Ueland; Ric Alexander; Shirlie Karl; Leora Mahoney; Jose Martinez; Robert Wells; Dapo Sobomehin;; Kitsy Brown Mahoney; Les Frank
Citizen Advisors Absent: Gene Bales;Tou Cha
City Staff Present: Capt. Bret Smith, Sgt. Suzanne Whisler, Sgt. Steve Bottcher, IAD Sgt. Jay Drum, IAD; Sgt. Jerry Jones, IAD; Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Flying Focus Video)
This meeting was held at the Hawthorn Inn and Suites in Northwest Portland.
Mr. Ford opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. PIIAC Citizen Advisors and City Staff and members of the public introduced themselves.
PIIAC #99-27 (IAD #99-014)
(This case was originally heard on 2/10/00, but the Appellant was not present. Appellant appealed the Advisors’ original decision to City Council, which directed the PIIAC Advisors to give the Appellant another opportunity to appear before them.)
The Appellant was present. PIIAC Advisor Ric Alexander presented the case, involving the arrest of the Appellant’s girlfriend’s minor son at their apartment. Appellant alleged that Portland Police officers used excessive force against him, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s son. He also alleged that the officers were rude and insulting during the incident.
Following his presentations and that of the Appellant, Mr. Alexander made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau’s findings: Use of Force (Sergeant A): Insufficient Evidence; Use of Force (Officer B): Exonerated; Communication (Officer B): Exonerated. Mr. Ueland seconded the motion to affirm the findings. The motion carried.
Yes = 8 (Ford, Ueland, Wells, Frank, Sobomehin, Mahoney, Brown-Mahoney, Alexander)
No = 1 (Karl)
Abstain = 2 (Stone, Martinez)
PIIAC #00-13 (IAD #00-152)
The Appellant was present. PIIAC Advisor Robert Wells presented the case. The Appellant alleged that a Portland Police officer and two police desk clerks did not submit a Citizen Crime Report listing items that the Appellant believed to have been stolen from his car.
The PIIAC advisors, after listening to the Appellant’s oral presentation, voted unanimously to uphold the Internal Affairs Division’s decision to decline this case due to lack of merit.
PIIAC #00-14 (IAD #99089)
The Appellant was present with his companion and his daughter. PIIAC Examiner Michael Hess presented the case. The complaint stemmed from an incident in which the Appellant was being given a citation for illegally parking in a handicapped parking zone.
The Appeallants allegations were the following:
  • That Portland reserve officers used excessive force when arresting Appellant A.
  • That one of the reserve officers told Appellant to "Get on the fuckin’ ground."
  • That the reserve officers did not tell Appellant that his vehicle was being towed.
  • That officers at the scene refused identify themselves when requested.
  • That the reserve officers failed to put a seatbelt on the Appellant before transporting him to the precinct.
  • That another officer drove carelessly and ten miles over the speed limit when transporting the Appellant to the Justice Center.
  • That the reserve officers made false statements in their police reports.
  • That two cover officers would not let Appellant’s companion go to the car to remove her personal belongings.
  • That an officer told the Appellant’s companion, "If you didn’t have your underpants on so tight, you would know what’s going on here."
After the presentation of the Appellant, his companion, and his daughter, Dr. Hess recommended affirmation of the Police Bureau’s findings.
Other Business
Chairman Ford announced that the next meeting of the PIIAC advisory committee would be held on December 12, 2000 in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall. Since the next meeting was expected to be a longer meeting than usual with a possibility of four cases, the Advisors agreed to begin the meeting at 5:30 p.m. rather than 6:30 p.m.
There was discussion about having a training session for Advisors some time after Mike Hess and Robert Wells return from the course in Police Internal Investigations in November. Captain Smith offered to have IAD staff provide part of the training.
Public Input
A community member publicly criticized the Advisors for their decision to uphold an investigation that involved apparent conflict of interest rather than sending the case back to be investigated by a different supervisor.
Another community member repeated the latter criticism and expressed his objections to the current system of oversight. He also asserted that the Police Bureau should not involved in the training of PIIAC advisors.
Dan Handelman again suggested that there should be a prepared form for Appellants to submit to appeal a decision to the City Council. He also supported bringing in trainers from outside of the Police Bureau, such as defense attorneys.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Michael H. Hess, D.D.S.
PIIAC Examiner