MINUTES: Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
May 10, 2001
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Denise Stone (Vice Chair); Ric Alexander; Shirlie Karl; Leora Mahoney; Robert Wells; Les Frank; Jose Martinez; Dapo Sobomehin;; Robert Ueland
Absent: Tou Cha
City Staff : Lt. Steven Bechard; Sgt. Jerry Jones; Sgt. Sam Pronesti; Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Flying Focus Video)
This meeting was held in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall. Mr. Ford called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. PIIAC Citizen Advisors, City Staff, and members of the public introduced themselves.
PIIAC #00-31 (IAD #00-696). Advisor Wells presented this case. Appellant was present. Appellant alleged Portland Police officers were negligent in responding to a 911 call, that they failed to investigate a crime, and that they lied and deliberately withheld information from the appellant. Advisors decided by majority vote (9-1) to affirm IAD’s declination of this case. Appellant was advised that she could appeal this decision to City Council. (Yes: Ford, Stone, Alexander, Frank, Mahoney, Ueland, Wells, Martinez, Karl. No: Sobomehin.)
PIIAC #00-32 (IAD #00-378). Examiner Hess presented this case. The appellant alleged a Portland Police sergeant left threatening messages on her home answering machine, was discourteous, and refused to apologize. Mr. Sobomehin made a motion to recommend that Detective A apologize to the Appellant. Mr. Alexander seconded this, and the motion passed 7-3. (Yes: Sobomehin, Alexander, Martinez, Karl, Ford, Stone, Mahoney. No: Wells, Frank, Ueland.)
Diane Lane commented that the messages Sergeant A left on the second appellant’s home answering machine were rude and threatening and her conduct was unprofessional. She thought that the Advisors’ recommendation should have been to sustain the allegation. This person also stated that the many minority community members have an inherent fear of police authority, and that this should be taught in cultural sensitivity training.
Mary Rooklidge commented that Sergeant A’s threats of improbable legal maneuvers to be taken against the appellant were not appropriate.
Dr. John Mark commented that the process is flawed buried in legal complexities. He agreed that the phone messages were threatening, but felt that the Advisors’ recommendation for an apology was a "cry in the darkness."
Dan Handelman commented that the findings on the second case must be sustained in order to justify recommending that an apology be given.
Following public comments, Mr. Alexander presented a follow-up motion to the second case (IAD #00-378) to sustain the inquiry with regard to courtesy. Ms. Stone seconded this motion and it passed 6-3 with one abstention. (Yes votes: Alexander, Stone, Martinez, Sobomehin, Karl, Mahoney. No votes: Wells, Frank, Ueland. Abstention: Ford.)
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:45 p.m.
Submitted by Michael H. Hess, D.D.S., PIIAC Examiner