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"Independent" Police Review Division Annual Report Shows Disinterest in Accountability

Except for two years when the "Independent" Police Review Division (IPR) did not release an annual report,* the 2014 report broke two records: latest report (released on November 12), and shortest report (just 15 pages). While many details were included in separate charts on IPR's website, the way the information is presented and the overall content reflect a system still biased in favor of police. Though the US Department of Justice (DOJ) asked IPR to produce the report no later than March 31, IPR missed that deadline by almost eight months, and included scant information about force and mental health issues-- the key elements of the DOJ's Settlement Agreement with the City. IPR didn't even mention the OIR Group's report on deadly force incidents, the Citizen Review Committee (CRC)'s proposals around Crowd Control, or even IPR's own analysis of the Bureau's interaction with the Hip Hop community (all in PPR #64).

In our analysis of the report, Portland Copwatch (PCW) found that as in the past, IPR failed to investigate racial profiling complaints and exaggerated the rates of "Sustained" (out of policy) findings, including Use of Force findings, even though they were at a new high this year. IPR states 66% of investigated cases ended with at least one allegation "Sustained," but only 42 of 789 allegations filed, or 5%, were sustained; this means community members have a one in twenty chance to have a complaint affirmed, not a two in three chance as IPR implies. Similarly, a complainant has only a 1 in 11 (9%) chance of having his/her complaint investigated, with 83% of cases dismissed or declined by IPR or Internal Affairs (IA). The number of Force complaints sustained was the highest ever-- four-- but the overall "sustain rate" of force allegations since 2002 is 0.84%.

IPR's reports continue to provide the number of officers disciplined without explaining what conduct led to the discipline, gloss over allegations raised in lawsuits against the police, and omit meaningful feedback gathered by their Outreach team.

We also found:

--The number of allegations of Use of Force are the lowest in IPR's history, but the 35 complaints still propelled Force to the top 5 complaints category;

--Only one of 27 allegations of Racial Profiling was investigated, and it was found in policy; the fate of an officer videotaped saying the "N" word in late 2013 (PPR #61) is not clear;

--Nearly as many officers' complaints (28) were investigated as civilians' (29), though officers made just 53 sets of allegations while civilians made 379;

--Only one of 28 cases summarized in the report included a "Sustained" finding;

--While 7% of all Portland Use of Force incidents in 2014 led to complaints, only 4% provoked complaints back in 2010;

--The report barely mentions IPR's Mediation program, including cutting out narratives such as those printed in the 2013 report;

--Non-disciplinary complaints added up to one in every seven complaints that came in the door; and

--Rudeness was the #1 complaint for the 12th of 13 years of IPR's existence.

Meanwhile, IPR's quarterly reports have been cut from four pages to one, giving information from the IPR Director, Outreach Coordinator, and CRC Chair just once a year rather than every three months.

* Reports for 2005 and 2006 were never released; then-IPR Director Leslie Stevens told PCW to see an annual report, we should staple the quarterly reports together.

The full PCW analysis can be found at
www.portlandcopwatch.org/i prannual2014analysis.html.
  People's Police Report

January, 2016
Also in PPR #67

PPB Kills Another Man in Crisis
  OR Police Continue Pattern of Shooting
IPR Annual Report Lacks Details
More Tension on DOJ Settlement
Review Board Flexes Power
Profiling: State Hearing, Spying
PPB Ignores Input on Directives
O'Deas of Our Lives 67
Devaluing Houseless Lives
Police Forums on Body Cameras
Updates PPR 67
  • OR FBI Sting Updates
  "Arresting Power" on DVD
  PPB Labels "Gangs" w/o Criteria
  Training Council Focuses on Process
Quick Flashes PPR 67
  Officer Badmouths Protests, Suspended
  Jury Deadlocks on Mistaken ID Case
  Klamath Sheriff Arrested for Force
  Clatskanie Cop Opposes Racism
Rapping Back #67

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #67 Table of Contents
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