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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

September 4, 2000

Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
September 14, 2000
Approved: November 9, 2000
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Denise Stone (Vice Chair); Robert Ueland; Ric Alexander; Shirlie Karl; Tou Cha; Les Frank; Leora Mahoney; Jose Martinez
Citizen Advisors Absent: Dapo Sobomehin; Gene Bales; Kitsy Brown Mahoney; Robert Wells
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; City Attorney staff.
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Flying Focus Video)
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 and members of the public introduced themselves.
PIIAC #00-15 (IAD #98-054)
The Appellant was present with her attorneys. PIIAC Examiner Michael H. Hess, DDS, presented this case, involving circumstances surrounding a traffic stop on 2/26/98. Appellant alleged that a Portland Police officer used excessive force in removing her from the van and arresting her when she failed to produce her driver’s license and proof of insurance after being ordered to do so by the officer.
The Appellant’s attorney, Mr. David Park, presented on behalf of the Appellant. Mr. Park asserted that the IAD investigation was inadequate for several reasons, including the following: that the Appellant was not informed that her intake interview over the phone was the official IAD interview; that the IAD interview with the Appellant was over the phone and the officer’s interview was face to face; and that the IAD investigator did not examine the Appellant’s vehicle to verify the accuracy of the officer’s police report and testimony; and that the investigation took more than two years to complete; that the IAD investigator did not take into consideration that the witness in the car with the appellant at the time of the incident was physically and mentally impaired. Mr. Park also asserted that the traffic stop was based on racial profiling, although this was not an allegation that had been made by the appellant.
Advisor Mahoney withdrew herself from this case when the Appellant’s attorney inadvertently mentioned the name of the officer after being advised not to do so.
Based on his examination of the IAD files, Dr. Hess recommended to the PIIAC advisors that they affirm the Police Bureau’s finding of "unfounded" regarding excessive use of force. Mr. Ueland so moved, but no other advisor seconded the motion. Ms. Stone then made a motion to advise changing the finding to Insufficient Evidence, and this motion was seconded by Ms. Karl. The motion passed by a vote of 2 to 1, with 5 abstentions.
Yes votes: Stone, Karl
No vote: Ueland
Abstentions: Ford, Alexander, Tou Cha, Martinez, Frank.
Withdrawal: Mahoney
Dr. Hess informed the Appellant and her attorneys that he would make arrangements to schedule the Appellant to appear before the City Council.
PIIAC #00-16 (IAD #00-141)
The Appellant was present. PIIAC Examiner Michael Hess presented the case for Advisor Wells. The Appellant alleged that Portland Police officers had sprayed him in the face with pepper spray without provocation and refused to wash the spray from his face; that the officers added charges of Resisting Arrest and Offensive Physical Contact to the Disorderly Conduct charge for which they originally arrested him. The Appellant further alleged that the officers involved in his arrest had a "personal vendetta" against him.
The PIIAC advisors, after listening to the Appellant’s verbal allegations, voted unanimously to uphold the Internal Affairs Division’s declination of this complaint.
Yes = 8.
Dr. Hess informed the Appellant that he had the right to appeal the Advisors’ decision to the full PIIAC (City Council). The Appellant submitted a written request to do so.
The Advisors voted unanimously to return the case to IAD for further investigation of the property allegation regarding the lock pick and for the IAD to provide a written explanation of the time gaps and delay in the investigation.
Advisor Brown-Mahoney stated on record that she would like the Police Bureau to write a letter of apology to the Appellant and his son.
Other Business
Chairman Ford announced that the next meeting of the PIIAC advisory committee would be held on October 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall.
Captain Smith announced that the Portland Police Citizens Academy was scheduleed to begin within the next two weeks and that any Advisors interested in attending should turn in an application as soon as possible.
Public Input
Dan Handelman suggested that there should be a prepared form for Appellants to submit if they want to appeal a decision to the City Council.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Michael H. Hess, D.D.S.
PIIAC Examiner