People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
Police Review Board Report: Still More Sustained Complaints for Internal Cop Misconduct;
Portland's Police Review Board (PRB), in their report labelled July 2016 (but released in October), reveals their findings in 7 cases other than three deadly force cases (A HREF="http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/PPR70/shootings70.html">article). Three of the seven were considered "C" cases-- involving community members-- even though three of the four "B" ("Bureau only") cases also revolved around cops interacting with members of the public. Fourteen out of 20 allegations were "Sustained" (that is, officers found out of policy), which as always needs to be tempered by the caveat that most cases that head to the PRB are sent to the behind-closed- doors body because of such findings. In one of those cases, in which an officer admitted to striking their spouse, the Chief over-rode the PRB's recommendation of "Not Sustained" to find the cop out of policy... but only gave out a Letter of Reprimand as punishment. The ranks, assignments and genders are, once again, redacted.
The Board's 3-2 vote in the abuse case was based on a recurring problem, which is how allegations are framed. They said that because the allegation only mentioned the officer striking their spouse and being arrested, and the spouse changed their story, violations of the "Laws, Rules and Orders" and "Conduct" policies could not be proven. The two dissenting votes, asking the Chief to Sustain the complaint, noted the language said the violations "included" those two issues. For the first time, in almost all of the non-deadly force cases, they explained how the cases ended up at the Review Board. In this case, an Assistant Chief, the IPR Director, and the head of Internal Affairs all controverted the commanding officer's original "Not Sustained" finding. Since the reports don't even identify who voted how by the members' affiliations, we don't know if the same two voting members (IPR and the Assistant Chief) were the two level-headed members, or whether one of the votes was from the sole PRB community representative-- or maybe even a peer officer.
Other stellar behavior included Specialist Isaac Lackey, who was fired for-- while on duty-- visiting another officer in Beaverton (presumably for a sexual liaison), and going to his spouse's house in Clackamas while acting "increasingly aggressive." Lackey was fired because of failing to show up at a specialty unit call after a supervisor ordered him to. We know this was Specialist Lackey because on December 7, his job was restored after City Council settled a grievance with the Police Association. In other words, the PRB reports, which purportedly tell the community "final" outcomes, don't address whether the "union" gets discipline overturned. The re-hire came with a last-chance warning: if Lackey messes up again, he's gone.*
Another cop was caught using steroids during a random drug test, and resigned rather than be fired.
Officer Elizabeth Willard, who let a naked man in a park get a bear hug on her from behind and
grab her Taser, was given 10 hours off without pay and remedial training. (Willard's name was mis-
spelled in an October 20 Mercury blog post.)
The spousal abuse case was considered a "C" case (involving a civilian), but Lackey visiting a lover and spouse while on duty, and failing to respond to a police scene, as well as Willard being hugged by a naked person, were listed as "B" cases.
One officer who apparently used their patrol car's spotlight to "intimidate" someone in the public was given a Letter of Reprimand, even though the Board noted this cop was a supervisor with a prior discipline record.
Two other cops were found out of policy and given Command Counseling for arresting a suspect without a warrant. This was odd, since they had already arrested and released the woman but returned to bring more charges, perhaps after Officer #2 asked her to be an informant and she refused (the narratives are hard to follow). In another case involving an informant (this one listed as a "B" case), the officer failed to do anything after discovering the informant was involved in criminal activity, but was only given a Letter of Reprimand because of "lack of malice."
Although the report's release was delayed, it is worth noting that in addition to the information about how cases were referred (mostly by commanders who recommended discipline), for the first time, they used the name of one of the people shot by the police (Michael Johnson).
Read the PRB report at www.portlandoregon.gov/police/articl
*-Officer Scherise Hobbs, also on a "last chance notice," was not yet fired as of December 1 for using the police database to spy on her stepdaughter "with whom she had a stormy relationship" (Portland Tribune, 12/1).
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.