People's Police Report
Shootings & deaths
IPR Finds Bureau Lacks Policy to Provide Evidence of Untrustworthy Cops to Defense Lawyers
In late April, the "Independent" Police Review (IPR) released a report it began in January 2015 examining the issue of whether the Bureau was letting defense attorneys know about reasons officers testifying in court may lack credibility (such as, say, they were found to have been untruthful). Citing the 1963 court case Brady v. Maryland, IPR found the Bureau had no policy requiring the Bureau to hand over such information. The report details allegations about five officers whose supervisors found to be untruthful, but the Chief overturned those findings. The report reveals an Internal Affairs Lieutenant forwarded that information to the District Attorney's office. Rather than being rewarded for following a US Supreme Court ruling (aka constitutional legal procedures), the Lieutenant was reassigned by then-Chief Reese for his efforts. Much to our surprise, the Oregonian revealed this officer to be Lt. Larry Graham. Graham has had his ups and downs, providing helpful commentary at times during now-defunct Community Police Relations Committee meetings, but also being quite defensive of officers at a few Citizen Review Committee meetings (PPRs #58 and 62). PCW is granting Graham a "Spike Lee Do the Right Thing Award," which we haven't bestowed upon an officer for quite some time, with the caveat that this applies only to his whistleblowing efforts. After all, it was Graham (now a Captain at Central Precinct) who decided to revoke the organizers' permit on May Day (article), so, more actions for the downside column. The Bureau's response to IPR's report claims they will create a policy "within 90 days," so there should have been one by the end of July, but none has emerged.
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.