People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Oversight Group's Annual Report Shares Little Analysis,
In late June, the Independent Police Review Division (IPR) released its 2011 annual report. A month later, Portland Copwatch (PCW) released an analysis calling the annual report "one of the most important documents on police accountability in the city," but noting that the report continues to get smaller, leaves out analysis of troubling trends, and is mostly made up of the exact same information as 2010's report, save for new statistics. One trend not examined: why use of force complaints are up 50% since 2010 (from 42 to 63). Though IPR mentions that 14 complaints were received from Occupy Portland-- and that they opened up 14 other cases based on testimony from Occupiers-- the report doesn't say whether those are all force related. (Staff later said that of the 28 Occupy complaints in 2011-2012, 12 were force complaints.) Of course, IPR also mentioned the 53 commendations about how police handled Occupy (see PPR #56).
PCW found other items not highlighted in the report, such as:
• Not a single allegation of Use of Force was sustained in 2011;
• A chart showing the status of deadly force investigations, included last year, is now missing;
• 20% of complainants are African American, yet no Disparate Treatment allegations were sustained (for the 9th of IPR's 10 years);
• Approval ratings for the oversight system were at their highest in 2009, before Council expanded IPR's powers in 2010 and those of its Citizen Review Committee (CRC) last year;
• Because 76% of complaints are dismissed or declined, a person complaining has only a 1 in 11 chance of having their allegations of police misconduct investigated;
• While IPR admits their intake investigations have slowed down from 18 days to 33, and Police Review Board hearing schedulings take 110 days, up from 53, there is no pledge to improve those numbers;
• IPR again touts a "sustain rate" of 26%, based only on cases that were investigated, while in reality, of all allegations brought to IPR's attention, just 1.5% were sustained.
• The nine-member CRC is given no credit for asking for changes to the system denied to it by the IPR, the City Auditor, and City Council; though they have some independent powers, they are still referred to as an "advisory body."
PCW's full analysis can be found at http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/iprannual2011analysis.html
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.