February 8, 2001
MINUTES: Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
February 8, 2001
Citizen Advisors Present:, Denise Stone (Presiding); Ric Alexander; Shirlie Karl; Leora Mahoney; Jose Martinez; Robert Wells; Les Frank; Tou Cha; Dapo Sobomehin
City Staff Present: LT Steve Bechard; IAD Sergeants; Michael Hess (PIIAC Examiner); Gary Blackmer and Ken Gavett City Auditor’s Office (observers)
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Flying Focus Video)
This meeting opened at 6:30 p.m. in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall.
PIIAC #00-27 (IAD #98-222)
Appellant was present. Advisor Denise Stone presented the case. Appellant’s allegations were that Portland Police officers used excessive force in arresting him following a car and foot pursuit; that officers hit him in the head and jaw after restraining him; that an officer unnecessarily sprayed him with pepper mace after he was handcuffed; that an officer pulled him up by his hair and attempted to knee him in the testicles; that an officer videotaped the incident. The complaint was categorized as Use of Force. After the appellant presented his version of the events, Lieutenant Bechard of IAD made a presentation to the Advisors in which he challenged the accuracy of some of the statements made by Ms. Stone in her report. After discussion among the advisors, Ms. Stone made a motion to recommend changing the excessive use of force finding from Exonerated to Insufficient Evidence with Debriefing. The motion was seconded by Ms. Karl and passed by a majority vote as follows: Yes = 5 (Mr. Alexander, Mr. Sobomehin, Mr. Tou Cha, Ms. Stone, and Ms. Karl). No = 3 (Mr. Frank, Ms. Mahoney, Mr. Wells). There was one abstention (Mr. Martinez). Dr. Hess informed the appellant that the recommendation of the advisors would be presented to the City Council for their approval. The appellant agreed to appear before the City Council at a later date.
PIIAC #00-28 (IAD #99-114)
The appellant chose not to be present. Advisor Robert Wells presented the case. The allegation in this case was that police officers broke the back door of the appellant’s house in apprehending her daughter on an outstanding warrant; that the officers lied in their report about the daughter attempting to light up a cigarette in the back seat of the police car that police officers and then "beat up" and pepper maced her; that the incident exacerbated the appellant’s high blood pressure and her daughter’s medical condition. The Police Bureau findings were and Use of Force : Unfounded and Conduct: Unfounded with Debriefing (Officer A) and Use of Force and Conduct: Exonerated (Officer B). Following presentation of the examination report and discussion of the case, Mr. Wells made a motion to affirm the Police Bureau findings. Mr. Martinez seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. (Yes = 9)
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Submitted by Michael H. Hess, D.D.S., PIIAC Examiner