Portland Copwatch Analyzes "Independent" Police Review Division 2016 Annual Report

Table of contents
Deferring to the Bureau, Sustaining Procedural Error on Force Complaint
Sustain Rate and Dispositions: Faulty Reporting
Dismissals Also Lack Full Disclosure
Police Review Board and Citizen Review Committee: Byzantine Bureaucracy
Common Complaints: General, Not Specific Information on Investigations
Force Data Also Lead to Confusion
Investigations, Complaint Numbers and Non-Investigative Case Handling
IPR Notes Racial Disparities, Needs to Expand Gender Analysis
Shootings: Analysis Mildly Helpful, But Lack of Names Hurt Report
Discipline: New Tidbits Not Enough for Clarity
Timeliness: Actual Figures Still Buried
Outreach: Surprisingly Small Section
Layout Issues and Other Missing Information

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Lack of Data / Details and Incorporating 2017 Activities Creates Confusion, Deferential Attitude Creates Mistrust
by Dan Handelman, Portland Copwatch, May 26, 2017

With its 2016 annual report, the "Independent" Police Review (IPR) has added a few new tidbits about Use of Force and discipline, but cut out trend markers such as most common allegations-- and by including data from 2017, caused confusion. In addition, IPR defers quite often to the supposition that state-sanctioned violence and other misconduct is reasonable because the police say so. There are also a number of inaccuracies and, as with the last three years, a lack of information needed to cross-check the report's claims. The report, which can be found at < https://www.portlandoregon.gov/ipr/article/639598>, has a data set included as a separate document, with no cross-references, numbering of the charts, or, in many cases, year-by-year data to examine. < https://www.portlandoregon.gov/ipr/article/639599>. IPR's trend toward making information harder to find proves its stated commitment to transparency is, at best, defined differently from what some would expect. IPR is required by ordinance to produce quarterly reports*-1 but none have come out since the 4th quarter of 2015, which was mildly disturbing when Portland Copwatch (PCW) noted this last year but now is a flagrant violation of City Code.

While some data in the report itself are now published including four-, five-, six- or nine-year trends, some only compare 2016 to 2015, while others have no comparison points. The report claims that six Force allegations made in 2016 were "Sustained" (the officer was found out of policy), but the data tables show only one such finding out of 52 allegations investigated (data p. 2). IPR told PCW they included five findings that were made in 2017 in the narrative. PCW believes that information should have been separated out into a footnote or parenthetical thought. Last year, IPR failed to release the data tables, so PCW was forced to speculate on a number of issues, but some of those data are in this year's appendix. As such, it is now certain that from 2002-2016, only 0.8% of all Force allegations were Sustained, a remarkably low number, and down from .84%.

Additionally, IPR continues its habit of misrepresenting how likely it is a person's complaint will be Sustained. They show that 13% of allegations were Sustained, which is 19 out of 144 investigated (data p. 2). However, since 1036 allegations came to IPR in 2016, the real figure is 1.8%.*-2 This means a complainant has a one in 50 chance of being affirmed, not a one in eight chance as IPR suggests.

Just in its news release announcing the report, IPR contradicted itself and made a factual error:
--It says "IPR initiated 29 independent investigations into misconduct in 2016," yet the data tables show only 22 (data p. 3). The report itself adds that IPR opened four investigations into Bureau complaints (not involving civilians), but that adds up to 26, not 29. (The chart on p. 16 also indicates IPR only opened 22 investigations.)
--It says the Citizen Review Committee (CRC), which hears appeals on misconduct cases, "affirmed findings in three cases and challenged findings in four cases," three of which they said led the Chief to change findings. But in reality, CRC challenged findings in 6 cases,*-3 CRC itself dropped its challenge to one of the findings after the Chief attended a "Conference Hearing," and City Council changed another finding in 2017, rejecting both the Bureau's "Exonerated" (in policy) finding and CRC's "Sustained" recommendation, opting for "Not Sustained" (Insufficient Evidence).

As with the Force data, information about the Council hearing could have been added to avoid confusion. The Compliance Officer/Community Liaison, which reports on the implementation of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement semi-annually, makes a point of referring updates after the close of the period under review to their next report. IPR should do the same.

Similarly, IPR reports on the number of people shot/shot at by Portland Police from January 2012 through March 2017 in its 2016 report, including the shootings of Quanice Hayes and Don Perkins from February this year (p. 8). This is a very confusing way to track data. What will the 2017 report say?

Additionally, for example, last year's report said IPR opened 11 investigations in 2015 but the data tables show only 10, adding that the Bureau's Internal Affairs unit (IA) investigated 51 cases, but the data now show 77 (data p. 4). An even larger discrepancy in 2014 data shows IA looked at 52 cases, rather than the previously reported 26.

IPR improved some of their charts and graphs by adding more years and data points, but still many charts show graphical representations without numbers included. On page 8, they put the actual number of officer-involved shootings (2 in 2016) into the bars of a graph, but no numbers are in the graph showing how many cases were dismissed because they (allegedly) did not violate Bureau policy (p. 16). The text tells us it was 52% of the cases, but only the data tables show the numbers were 107 "no violations" out of 206 dismissals (data p. 4).

Significantly, IPR has removed all data explaining in detail what the most common complaints are. There is one chart showing broad categories ("Procedure," "Conduct," "Courtesy," etc.-p. 12) and several about use of force (pp. 13-14). However, neither the report nor the supplemental data provide insight into the most frequent allegations. Last year they were Failure to Act, Rudeness, Force and Inadequate Investigation. PCW has tracked these data for years, especially the shifts among the top three categories from 2015 taking the number 1 spot at various times. We cannot do so for 2016 based on IPR's meager reporting.

IPR notes an uptick in force complaints but attributes them to complaints from protests in September (not sure what this was) and October (when police attacked people protesting the Police Association's Collective Bargaining contract). It's not clear why they do not mention November, when major police violence took place at post-election demonstrations. PCW has asked over and over again why the police force statistics don't seem to include force used in crowds-- especially since, for instance, the force data tend to show fewer than 10 people per year affected by pepper spray even though dozens are exposed to it at protests. The IPR report states that "when an officer pushes someone in a crowd control situation, such an action could be considered an appropriate crowd control technique as described in Police Bureau policies." In other words, they play fast and loose deciding what is force depending on the context. IPR's case summaries also show a predisposition that the Bureau's conduct is nearly always justifiable-- unless officers fail to write a report.

This annual report clocks in two pages longer than last year's at 25 pages of substance, but compared to the 2002-2004 reports which were about 120 pages (plus tables), it's not clear why IPR continues to refuse to include the 9-page data table appendix in the main report. The report only includes four case summaries, (only one of which involved a Sustained finding), while the 2015 report included 11 summaries and 2014's had 28.

A release in May rather than July (as with last year) makes this among the four earliest reports*-4, yet still in theory too late still for the DOJ, *-5 which has been scrutinizing the Bureau's use of force and treatment of people in mental health crisis since 2012. In reference to DOJ, IPR notes (on p. 2) that since the Agreement, it is doing more investigations, and processing more complaints in less time. In general, IPR avoids judgment on its own behavior (which we called out last year) but hardly says anything substantive. As IPR is working on a five-year strategic plan, it would be important to use these reports to achieve some of their goals for transparency and better explaining things to the community. To improve transparency, PCW has examined and included summary information on all CRC hearings, including vote tallies (information which used to appear in IPR's reports), and Police Review Board hearings, in the body and the footnotes of this analysis.

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The four case summaries illustrate how the system is stacked against civilians making complaints. Three of them were about dismissed complaints, and one force complaint had a sustained finding due to a missing police report.

1) A 13 year old African American boy was stopped by police, who shone a spotlight on him and asked him questions on his grandmother's porch. IPR tried to identify the officers by contacting the precinct and a "specialty unit" (we assume the Gang Enforcement Team). The report says the officers they thought were the right ones were "able to show they had not contacted the young man," but indicates the cops told investigators about "persistent issues with GPS systems in vehicles." It's not clear, if the tracking devices are not functioning properly, how the officers could prove they did not go to the young man's house. It seems extremely strange that records of who was on duty on the area in the day in question would not lead to identifying the officers. Did IPR show pictures of the officers in question to the complainant and witness? It seems this case was dismissed because the police simply denied it happened (p. 10).

2) A woman received a traffic ticket in a school zone where she said no signs were posted and claimed the officer manipulated the judge to believe she was easily confused. She paid a fine. IPR went to the scene and found signs posted, but didn't indicate whether they determined how long the signs had been there. IPR used that information and the fact that the court ruled in the officer's favor to dismiss the complaint, even though neither necessarily proves the officer acted within policy (p. 16).

3) Another woman experiencing memory issues due to medication had run in at a grocery store with an officer she said was rude and told her she was trespassing. IPR figured out the date and that she was arrested for being in the store after it was closed, which she did not remember. Interestingly, IPR subpoenaed video footage from the store-- it's rare we hear about them using their power to do so-- saying the video "corroborated" that the officers behaved professionally as the store employees claimed. But the summary doesn't say whether there was audio on the recording or speculate whether officer behavior might have been rude even if the trespass arrest was, itself, appropriate (p. 17).

4) A man says three officers threatened to arrest him, pulled him out of his car, cuffed him, twisted his arm back and pushed him onto trunk of patrol car. IPR talked to hotel staff, got surveillance video, and identified the officers but found no police reports (p. 20). There were four allegations: Force (removal from car), force (pushed onto the patrol vehicle), courtesy (threat) and procedure (no report after handcuffing). Guess what was the only sustained finding.

As we discuss below in the Force section, IPR dismissed one Force complaint because they found the complainant was "not reliable."

Also, in defining the possible findings for allegations, IPR again uses the Bureau's offensive definition for "Unfounded," which says the claim was "false or without a credible basis as a possible violation of Bureau policy or procedures." As noted before, the 2007 Internal Affairs Directive (#330.00) defined Unfounded as "The available facts of the investigation do not support the allegation." This is far less likely to make complainants (and potential complainants) feel that the City is calling them liars.

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As PCW regularly reminds the community, IPR uses faulty logic to calculate the "Sustain rate" showing how often a civilian's allegations are upheld. That number needs to be compared to the pool of all complaints received by IPR, not just those which are investigated. IPR also switches back and forth between calculating how many allegations are Sustained versus how many complaints had at least one allegation Sustained. We noted above that the former shows a 1.8% Sustain rate (vs. the IPR's 13% figure), while the latter is 28% by IPR's count (22 cases of 80 investigations closed), it should be 5%, dividing 22 cases into 435 complaints. Even if one only focuses on cases processed by IPR, you get the slightly higher figure of 22/360 or 6%-- nowhere near the 28% figure IPR continues to hawk. Going by the case rather than the allegation, a complainant only has a one in 20 chance of being affirmed, unlike the 2 in 7 chance IPR advertises. Still, this is better than the one in 50 chance in 2009-2010.

--Force allegations: In more irresponsible number crunching, the report says findings were attached to 80 Force allegations (even though data table p. 2 shows 52), claiming an 8% sustain rate. But this is based on the figure of six Sustained findings, including 2017 numbers. In addition, the report says "no force allegations were Sustained in 2014 or 2015," but the 2014 report showed 4 Sustained. So either they were wrong then (and did not issue a correction) or they are wrong now.

--Other findings: While there is no way to compare to 2015, it is notable that the number of "Not Sustained" findings is way up, from 18% in 2014 to 55% in 2016. Since most of the time it's the officer's word against the civilian's (assuming the civilian makes it past IPR's deferential dismissal standards), this trend is actually encouraging. Concurrently, Exonerated findings went down from 40% to 17%. There's also a 15% "Unfounded" rate, which can really only be compared to 2007 numbers because after that year, "Unfounded" and "Insufficient Evidence" were combined into one finding called "Unproven." Oddly, the data table (data p. 2) only shows debriefings attached to Not Sustained findings (14 out of 79 such dispositions), while Exonerated and Unfounded findings do not seem to result in supervisors talking to the officers.

--Kinds of allegations not Sustained: While it's not unusual that no Disparate Treatment/Profiling allegations were Sustained (see below), considering that Rudeness is consistently among the top three complaints, it is odd that there were no Courtesy allegations Sustained in 2016 (date p. 2). This is especially odd since 7 were Sustained in 2014 and at least two ever year since 2011 (though there's still no published data for 2015.)

As for IPR's "independent" investigations,*-6 the report says of 19 investigations closed, four (21%) had one or more sustained findings (p. 3). There are no details on the exact allegations IPR examined.

--Bureau-Initiated cases: True "Internal Affairs" cases (allegedly) not involving civilians*-7 were up in number this year from 28 to 45. In this instance, IPR measures both by cases (79% with one or more Sustained findings) and by allegations (67% Sustained). PCW attributes the higher rates to the police believing other officers' words over civilians'-- the Not Sustained rate is 28% and only 3% of officer-on- officer or solo officer misconduct is Exonerated. It may be worth noting here that 48 officer allegations were Sustained in 2015 (with a 56% Sustain rate) while only 26 were Sustained in 2016 (the 67% rate)-- so the raw number of findings against officers is down.

What's interesting is that the actual number of cases with Sustained findings for civilians (22) was higher than the number for officers (15). This was the first time in 11 years-- since 2006-- with more civilian cases (18) than Bureau ones (15) with one or more Sustained findings.

IPR attempts to show that "most investigations did not lead to sustained findings" (p. 20) with another poorly designed table with no actual numbers on it. Using data table p. 2, one can determine the actual figures:

2013: 15 of 31 cases with Sustained findings, or 48%
2014: 19 of 29 cases with Sustained findings, or 66%
2015: 11 of 62 cases with Sustained findings, or 18%
2013: 22 of 80 cases with Sustained findings, or 28%

While this is only based on completed investigations, it does show a troubling downward trend.

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IPR touts their incomplete statistic that shows only 57% of complaints (206 of 360 processed) were dismissed in 2016, down from 67% the previous year. However, they continue to leave off the number of cases declined for investigation by IA, which in essence are IPR declines since they could choose to investigate complaints the Bureau rejects. Adding in the 12 Internal Affairs declines, that means 218 of 360 or 61% were dismissed, and 2015 (whose figures were not available in that report) had a 72% dismissal rate. So it is true the dismissal rate is going down, but chances of having their case be investigated or treated as a non-disciplinary complaint ("Service Improvement Opportunity"/SIO) are only about 1 in 3. It should be noted that the combined dismissal rates in 2002 and 2003 were 45% and 56%, when IPR had a much smaller staff and was dealing with 480-750 cases per year.

IPR also notes (on p. 15) that it sent 44 complaints to commanders for follow-up, even though they did not rise to the level of misconduct. It is unclear if this is the same thing as an SIO, since the report's data table (p. 4) shows 89 cases handled as SIOs.

In terms of why IPR dismissed so many cases, as noted above they once again used a poorly designed graphic with no numbers in it showing "No Misconduct" and "Other Reasons." The report indicates that 52% of dismissals were because no misconduct was identified, 18% of the time they could not identify the officers, 8% of the time the complainant was unavailable, and 3% of the time the civilian took to long to complain. Significantly missing is IPR's continued use of "unable to prove misconduct" as a reason for dismissal. PCW calls this the "crystal ball" rationale, meaning IPR somehow has to know what the officers are going to say and what a full investigation would show. That finding was used 7 times (3% of dismissals, more than the 6 filing delays) in 2016, and we now know it was done 6 times in 2015 (2%) after not having data last year (data p. 4). This is down from 17% (in 2013) and 6% (in 2014). Thankfully, IPR removed this criterion from the ordinance in April 2017.

For the last two years, IPR has failed to report how often people objected to the IPR dismissing their complaints, known as a "protest," which leads to a different IPR manager reviewing the complaint. This is odd since one of the sample cases in 2015 involved such a "protest." The statistic of such "reconsiderations" was included in IPR reports from 2010-2012, when there were 13-21 such actions per year.

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In its 2012 letter of findings, the DOJ called our oversight system "Byzantine." In trying to explain how the system works in a flowchart, IPR suggests cases with findings attached can go either to the Bureau's internal Police Review Board (PRB) or, on appeal by an officer or civilian, to the Citizen Review Committee. IPR says that the PRB includes "community members" and, "a member of the CRC in force cases" (pp. 6/7). But in reality, only one community member sits on any PRB when they recommend to the Chief whether an officer should be found out of policy, and if so, what the discipline should be. Moreover, cases can go from the PRB to the CRC, as happened in the case of a videographer whose camera was grabbed (2016-x-0004) and the woman who was told she "must not be a very good lawyer" (2016-x-0001).

--Police Review Board data: For the third year in a row, the report discusses how the PRB hears cases which involved "moderate-to-serious discipline," shootings/deaths, and force resulting in injury. But by using a headline that the PRB "Sustained 75% of complaints" (p. 21), IPR continues to obfuscate the fact that most cases only go to the PRB after a Sustained finding is attached to them. The exceptions include deadly force cases, which are automatically sent to PRB, and instances where IPR, IA or an Assistant Chief "controverts" (disagrees with) the commanding officer's proposed findings. The report says IPR controverted five cases in 2016 (the same number as 2015), but there is no data table showing why they sent those cases or what the outcomes were. The two cases that ended up at CRC were each controverted by IPR.

Incidentally, the 75% number means that 18 cases of 24 reviewed had one or more findings Sustained. Data table p. 6 shows the 25% not sustained are 3 community complaints, 2 shootings, and one Bureau-- this means officers in 100% of deadly force, 23% of community, and just 11% of Bureau cases were not found to have committed misconduct. The 75% figure does not break down individual allegations considered at the PRB. Interestingly, PCW complained that IPR wasn't including deadly force cases in their previous percentages of Sustained PRB cases, but that has changed as of this year.*-8

Because the narratives of PRB cases are often convoluted and obscured (those reports even redact the gender of officers and community members), more insight from IPR, a voting member at the PRB, would be of great help. (Aside from IPR, the community representative and CRC, the other voting members are all police, including the supervisor of the officer under scrutiny.) IPR does, for the fourth year running, include a link to the Police Review Board reports page.

Examining the February 2017 PRB report, which only goes through October 2016, PCW found it covers 11 cases:
5 Bureau-initiated (one of which-- the camcorder case-- included a civilian);
5 community related ;
1 shooting (Timothy Bucher).

It shows eight officers who faced discipline-- four who were to be terminated, one given suspension without pay, and three who received Command Counseling. Included in the PRB report are three of the 10 Bureau-only cases involving Sustained findings and five of the 8 Civilian cases.*-9

--Citizen Review Committee information: PCW has long advocated more integration of the PRB and the Citizen Review Committee, since PRB members never have to interact with one another or with the public, but are purportedly the eyes and ears of the community in high-profile cases. The report does not mention that the PRB uses the same standard of review as commanders-- preponderance of the evidence-- when reviewing cases. In contrast, the CRC is saddled with a deferential standard, described in the report as determining "whether the findings were reasonable based on the evidence" (p. 22). They do not fully explain that City Code explicitly says CRC may not disagree with the finding if another person could reasonably agree (known as the "Reasonable Person" standard).

IPR continues to note that Bureau-only and deadly force cases are not allowed to be heard by CRC, even though technically the ordinance does not prohibit such appeals.

As noted above, IPR talks about CRC hearing seven appeals, but only has them challenging findings in four, with one of the four challenges not accepted by the Chief. Since the report does not include narratives for all the cases, we have summarized them and set the record straight here.*-10

CRC did hear 7 cases but challenged in six of them. CRC considered 17 allegations, and proposed changes to 9 findings (53%). Five of the nine proposed changes were to "sustain" allegations but one of those, regarding the boxing in (kettling) of protestors was reversed at an unprecedented second Conference Hearing (2015-x-0004). As noted above, Council changed another one, about whether Taser use was excessive force, to "Not Sustained" (2015-x-0002). The Bureau accepted two Sustained findings about officers being rude to a lawyer observing a police action (2016-x-0001), and one about an officer grabbing a videographer's camera (2016-x-0004). The other proposed changes were to add three debriefings (to two "Not Sustained" findings, and one Exonerated finding) and to change an Exonerated finding to Not Sustained with debriefing. The allegations had to do with whether profanity was used at a traffic stop (2016-x-0002), whether an officer was rude to a motorcyclist (2016-x-0005), whether the initial force used in the Taser case was excessive, and whether an officer shoved the lawyer witnessing the police action. So far as we know, all of those recommendations were accepted, but the IPR report contains no details. The only case in which CRC accepted the Bureau's (only) finding was 2016-x-0003, which asked whether an officer grabbing a woman's arm on a MAX train platform was excessive force; the finding was Exonerated with a debriefing.

Though they met inconsistently, it is still disrespectful that IPR did not include any information about CRC's Work Groups. There is, however, an oblique reference to CRC holding "sessions related to strengthening the committee internally." Though they boast about their recruiting an undisclosed number of applicants for the PRB and CRC (but note 25 of the applicants were women and 16 were from the LGBTQ or non-white ethnic communities-p. 5), they do not mention that following resignations, three new members were appointed to CRC in 2016 (following three resignations): Neil Simon, Marisea Rivera, and Andrea Chiller.

It is notable that IPR's flowcharts of how the system works (pp. 5&7) still do not mention the role of City Council in hearing appeals,*-11 especially since such an appeal was triggered by CRC action in 2016 (but held in 2017).

The report also does not mention two of the CRC and PRB's most significant functions: One, that either body can send a case back for more investigation if the original information is lacking (CRC did this with the lawyer witness complaint),*-12 and two, that they make policy recommendations to the Bureau. Since IPR's strategic plan includes a proposal to track such recommendations, PCW hopes to see a table of all CRC, PRB, IPR and deadly force review recommendations in future annual reports.

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As noted above, for the first time in 15 years, IPR did not include data on the most common complaint allegations. PCW has tracked these data annually and published them as part of our analyses, showing, for instance, that Force was the #3 allegation in 7 of the last 8 years, with Rudeness and Failure to Act switching off between the #1 and #2 slots in that time. This year, IPR only lists Procedure (#1/359 allegations), Conduct (#2/308 allegations), Courtesy (#3/103 allegations), Force (#4/143 allegations), Disparate Treatment (#5/25 allegations), and Control (#6/1%/8 allegations). Since the top three include a large variety of policies, whereas Force and Disparate Treatment essentially focus on one each, this is like comparing apples and stacks of apples. The report has a chart showing just the past two years (p. 12), indicating an increase in most categories, but the data tables (data p. 4) show four years of data. The chart impressively combines the data with the definitions for each category, but only shows raw numbers and not percentages.

The only tidbit in the body text not discernible from the data is that African- and Asian- Americans alleged more Conduct than Procedure violations. The increase in Force allegations (from 9% in 2015 to 14% in 2016) is attributed to the protest actions noted above.

The closest IPR comes to divulging the content of Bureau allegations is that Conduct violations include demeaning/defamatory language use, and that these complaints were more common than Procedure this year (p. 15). Those numbers can only be found on data p. 1, and they are: 67 Conduct/26 Procedure compared to 24 Conduct/31 Procedure in 2015. IPR claims this bucks historical trends, but records show Procedure was 9-25% of Bureau allegations, then 0, then 15%, before jumping to 51-57% in 2013- 2015. So once again, IPR has their facts wrong.

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The report makes a point that while the number of Force complaints (62) and allegations (143) jumped from 2015 (when they were at 36 and 69), they show that reported force used by the Bureau remains relatively steady (between 972 and 1096 reports 2012-2016). PCW has crunched some numbers here and determined this means that civilians formerly complained 6-7% of the time when force was used, but now complain 13% of the time.*-13

--What is Force?: As noted above, IPR blames the increase in Force complaints compared to reported force on the bizarre concept that pushing someone in a crowd control situation is a valid "crowd control technique... even though a community member may interpret it as an inappropriate use of force" (p. 14). If a civilian so much as touches an officer, they will be arrested for harassment or assault on an officer. It makes no sense that pushing someone is not considered Force just because that person is part of a crowd. While it is good that IPR is taking on the responsibility to investigate crowd-related complaints, nothing will improve so long as all Force is not treated equally. Perhaps this is an issue to be sent to the Office of Equity and Human Rights.

--Force Allegations up: A chart showing Force _allegations_ going down from 122 in 2011 to 58 in 2014, then back up to 134 in 2016 breaks from IPR's usual examining Force _complaints._ (The chart only has three numbers for the six years shown, though the missing data are on data p. 7).

--Types of Force: It's very telling that one headline in the report states "All types of force allegations from community members increased except for those involving firearms." IPR categorized force allegations in a chart (p. 14), with "other force" showing most increase, including grabbing or pushing with unnecessary force. In the text, they note that allegations included improper management and unnecessary precipitation of force. Hands/feet/knees, hobbles, take down/impact, and Taser make up the rest of the chart, though a table (data p. 7) also includes Baton use, Firearm Display, Vehicle, Dog/Horse, Pepper and Less/Lethals. However, the totals for 2016 only add up to 128, not 143, when all types are added up.*-14

--Dismissed Force cases; IPR again notes that the DOJ Agreement requires all Force allegations to be investigated, unless "clear and convincing evidence" shows otherwise. They say they dismissed or declined 9 of 143 Force allegations (6%) because of failure to identify the officer, no misconduct occurred (how would they know without investigating?), officer from another jurisdiction (again raising the question why no referrals to other agencies were made, see below) and, alarmingly, that the complainant was "not reliable." If they mean unavailable for continuing the complaint that is one thing, but this seems like a huge judgment on the complainant which could discourage others from stepping forward.

The chart showing the ratio of investigated Force complaints to those not investigated shows dismissals at 6% (8 of 49) for 2016. Oddly, it shows a dismissal rate of 10% for 2015, though last year's report said it was 16%. It is definitely noteworthy that those rates were 62% in 2014 and 70% in 2013. Clearly the DOJ's mandate is one reason so many more investigations are now occurring.

Just for the record, last year PCW had to estimate the number of Force allegations (due to lack of data) at 72, noting IPR incorrectly said in 2015's report there were "fewer use-of-force allegations" than 2014's 58. The data tables now tell us the actual number was 69, which is still higher than 58.

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For the second year in a row, IPR's cover letter announcing the release of the report combines the number of community complaints with Bureau-initiated complaints (480), even though they lead to different processes. The community complaint number is 435, a 12% increase over 2015. The Bureau number is 45, a 60% increase after a 47% fall last time.

--Complaint numbers: The reports says IPR's investigators had 1300 contacts from the public in 2016 (p. 3), but only 435 complaints are noted. Were the other 865 contacts all commendations? It's hard to say, as these data are nowhere to be found (not even a raw number of commendations). Even though a number of complaints usually come to IPR about other agencies-- especially during protest actions or those regarding the Transit Police, which involve multiple regional law enforcement agencies, the report makes no mention of this phenomenon and the data tables (p. 4) show no such referrals in 2016 (but one in 2015 and three in 2014).

--How many were investigated?: Of all the cases that came through the door (435), 80 were fully investigated, or 18%, the highest rate ever. The previous high was 16% in 2015. This means a person now has a two in 11 chance of having their case investigated-- an improvement over the old 1 in 10. Of processed cases, the number is 32% also a high, far more than the 24% in 2015.

Based on the numbers in the appendix, IPR conducting 22 investigations and Internal Affairs conducting 93 means that of 115 cases IPR took the lead in 19%. This certainly reflects the largest number of cases IPR has ever taken on, though percentagewise, 2014 statistics showed IPR led 7 of 33 investigations, or 21%.*-15 When IPR notes that it launched more investigations in 2016 than ever before (22, 26 or 29 as noted above), that is not a difficult achievement since they conducted none before 2014, when they did 7, and 10 or 11 in 2015. It's akin to a weather reporter seeming surprised that temperatures in May are the hottest of the year.

A table in the report (p. 2) breaks down IPR's (alleged) 29 investigations as: 10 protest, 9 disparate treatment, 5 captain or above, 4 at Director's Discretion and 1 "Other Force." It would help to be a bit more specific, since it's a well documented fact that IPR is investigating four former Assistant Chiefs and former Chief O'Dea for their roles in covering up O'Dea's off-duty shooting in April 2016. On that note, O'Dea's shooting incident is not mentioned anywhere in the report. It's not clear what the "Director's Discretion" cases were, though other than the types listed, the report says IPR generally investigates when Internal Affairs may have a conflict of interest.

--Command review: It's particularly significant that IPR describes the role of the commander as determining whether the evidence "supports the allegation." As with any normal person, this would make one assume the commander is deciding if there is a preponderance of evidence (50%+1) to support whatever finding they assign-- which is the case. However, the City Code guiding CRC and Council's appeal hearings ask whether the finding is "supported by the evidence" which is then defined to ask whether a reasonable person could come to that conclusion (see above). Thus, PCW strongly urges IPR to explicitly mention the standard of review used by the commander.

--Trends in complaints: The chart showing the trend in numbers of complaints received (p. 9) shows a nine-year trend (and data p. 1 includes information for 10 years). Because the chart has no numbers on the data points, one needs to consult the table to see that this year's 435 complaints is exactly the same as the number in 2008. So much for the Bureau bragging how complaints are down.

--Which cops generate complaints: IPR again makes a mis-statement when looking at which Bureau divisions generate the most complaints (p. 11). While it is true that the majority still come from Patrol (73%) and Traffic (6%) officers, trends have actually changed in that the Tactical Operations Division now generates more complaints than other specific units listed (11/3%), followed by Detectives. Historically, Transit police were the third highest specific unit, but they were down to 7 complaints this year (2%). Also of interest: Multiple precincts (usually meaning protest complaints) disappeared off the chart in 2015, but is back now at 5 complaints (1% of complaints).

Side note: The table showing this information (data p. 5) and others show both raw numbers and percentages across four years, while the table on demographics (data p. 3) only shows raw numbers for 2016.

--Cops with multiple complaints: The report notes that 49 officers had three or more complaints in 2016, up from 30 with that many complaints in 2015 (p. 11). While that is of some concern, because the overall number of officers receiving complaints was so much higher (397 vs. 333) PCW calculates the percentage of officers with multiple complaints only went up from 9% to 12%. More troubling is that IPR says such repeat attention "should" cause supervisors to intervene, whether or not the complaint is Sustained. The last two reports noted repeat officers "may" get talked to by their bosses, but it seems the best policy would be a mandatory supervisor review once three complaints come in.

--What happened to complaints: In another terribly confusing bit of reporting, a new chart on p. 18 shows how many cases were investigated, declined or treated as non-disciplinary complaints (SIOs) by Internal Affairs. Adding the numbers for this year, IA disposed of 194 cases, even though only 123 were sent to them (p. 17). This may speak well to IA clearing out a backlog, but IPR doesn't explain the disparity. In fact, adding all the numbers given in these annual reports since 2002, it shows 2533 cases sent to IA, with 2964 disposed of as Service Complaints/SIOS (1490), investigated (781) or declined (683). It's not clear why there are 431 unexplained cases (including the 71 unexplained ones from just this year).

Probably because of the mandate to investigate all Force allegations, there has been a significant increase in how many civilian complaints are investigated in the last two years (80 in 2016, 62 in 2015) compared both to earlier years (about 30 in 2013/2014) and to how many Bureau complaints are investigated (20-28 from 2013-2016). By our count, about 37 more force investigations happened than would have before the DOJ Agreement, meaning there would only have been 43 investigations this year even with the increase in overall complaints. But again, with just one force allegation sustained of 52 investigated (data p. 2), and an overall stated Sustain rate of 28% for community complaints vs. 79% for officers, it seems that civilians are believed less often and officers' actions are excused more often, especially when they use violence on the community.

--Mediation: In the only mention of Mediation outside of the flowchart explaining the process (p. 6), the chart on p. 16 indicates (and data p. 4 confirms) that only 8 mediations were held or scheduled in 2016, down from 12 in 2015. Since IPR's strategic plan claims they want to increase use of Mediation, it's not clear why the process isn't explained or highlighted in the annual report.

--Non-Disciplinary Complaints (NDCs): As for those NDCs, last year there were no data and we guessed there were 55 based on a chart in that report; the actually number was 53. Page 18 shows in 2016 there were 89 "SIOs" in 2016 (as noted above), though the report's failure to capitalize the term "Service Improvement Opportunities" helps create confusion. PCW's data show that NDCs were used in about 20% of case resolutions, up from 12-15% in the previous four years. We expect that number to grow higher as IPR successfully pushed to change City Code, renaming SIOs as "Supervisory Investigations" (whose definition includes the term "non-disciplinary complaints," so why not just call them that?) as a means to divert more complaints from receiving full investigations.

The 2015 report had no data on what kinds of cases were sent for NDCs/SIOs, but the new report says, broadly, that Procedure and Courtesy were the most frequent assigned to supervisors. The data table (data p. 4) shows specifically that Inadequate Action, Rudeness, Unprofessional Conduct, and Inadequate Investigation were the top reasons for NDCs. The previous reported top five, in 2014, were Rudeness, Inadequate Communication, Inadequate Investigation, and Demeaning/Defaming Conduct.

NDCs are supposed to help with the overall aim of closing cases in 180 days (as required by the DOJ Agreement, more below). The timeliness of NDCs has not been mentioned in the body of the report for the last three years, but a data table (data p. 8) shows they took 14 days to go through the Bureau, but 50 days overall to process in 2016, as opposed to 13 days/65 days in 2015 and 28 days/72 days in 2014.

--Tort Claims up, but ignored: The DOJ Agreement requires the City to examine lawsuits (/tort claims) for possible misconduct investigations, but for the second year in a row, there is no mention of lawsuits, how often they were filed, or how often they led to inquiries. The data tables (data p. 3) show there were 15 investigations opened due to tort claims in 2016, way up from 1-3 in the past three years.

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IPR notes again that African Americans filed 23 percent of complaints but make up just 6% of the population, up from 21% in 2015 (and, 19% in 2014). The report says whites and "Asians" filed complaints at a lower rate than their presence in the general population, consistent with demographics in the past (p. 10). However, they do not note that Latinos ("Hispanics") filed 8% of complaints-- on par with their representation in the population but much higher than the 2-5% in previous years (data p. 3). They do note that Latinos made 16% of Disparate Treatment complaints, while African Americans were 56% of the people claiming they were profiled.

--Gender breakdown: The report notes that 53% of complainants were male, which is also not unusual. (Side note: The table on data p. 3 has, we believe, male and female numbers reversed for 2016.). They do have an "unknown" category, which they do not include with the percentages. Especially now that the state and PSU allow for other gender identification, that category should probably be "unknown/other" and be included in the percentages. The percentages would then be 50% male, 44% female, and 6% unknown/other.

--"Unknown" race offsets data: IPR also does not include "Unknown" in its percentages for racial demographics. Considering 115 of 421 complainants did not provide racial data, this throws the numbers off considerably. If "Unknown" race were included, percentages would be 44% white (not 61%), 17% black (not 23%) and 27% unknown.

--Numbers don't add up: The total number of complainants adds up to 421, even though there were 435 complaints. A footnote about source of complaints (also data p. 3) explains disparities, but not in the demographics table.

--Disparate treatment investigations: As noted above, no Disparate Treatment/Profiling allegations were Sustained in 2016. There are no data for 2015, but assuming there were no such findings in that year-- as has been the case for every year except 2008, when the only Sustained allegation for Disparate Treatment was reported. It is possible, however, that the 2013 incident in which an officer was caught on video using the "N" word*-16 was resolved in 2015-- but if the complaint had been Sustained, it likely would have gone to the Police Review Board. Since there was no such case summarized by the PRB, either the officer was not found out of policy or he did not face discipline.

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The report refers to two officer-involved shootings, one of which was fatal, but leaves off the names (Steven Liffel was killed, Timothy Bucher was shot at but not hit). It also notes that an officer who used his car to hit a person on a bicycle was investigated for use of deadly force (p. 8), but leaves out that IPR had to argue with the Bureau for the investigation to occur.

--Shooting demographics: The report notes that both individuals shot at by police were white in 2016. This is the second year IPR has addressed shooting demographics. As noted above, IPR's figures include 5.25 years (2012-March 2017), so their count of 22 people shot/shot at with 17 who were white, three African Americans and two Latinos is skewed by going past the reporting period. Properly, it is 20 people, 16 white, 2 African American (both wounded-- a teenager in 2012 & Denorris McClendon in 2014), and 2 Latino (Santiago Cisneros-killed in 2013, and Michael Anthony Tate-not hit in 2012). While the five-year trend shows just 10% of people subjected to deadly force by the PPB are African American, a longer look from 2007-2016 shows that 21% (7 of 34) of people shot or shot at were black, plus one person who died in custody (so 8 of 35 deadly force incidents, or 23%).

--Unpredictable trends: The report title on deadly force for 2015 said "Six officers fired their weapons at people in 2015, " but the new report says "There were fewer officer-involved shootings in 2016 than the last two years." Seeing as there have already been three shootings in 2017 (and the long-term numbers from 2006 vary from 1 to 7 deadly force incidents) it would be better to look at broader questions about the use of deadly force.

--Mental health and shootings: In 2015, IPR noted that 11 of the 22 people shot over five years were possibly in mental health crisis, but this time they only say six individuals were experiencing mental illness. The overlap of 2012-2015 would include Brad Morgan, Jonah Potter, Merle Hatch, Santiago Cisneros and Denorris McClendon (5 cases) plus three dropped from 2011 (presumably Higginbotham, Turner and Monroe) totalling eight cases. This indicates IPR re-thought whether three of the older cases involved mental health issues. Having complete data explaining these trends would be extremely helpful. IPR includes the names of all shooting subjects and officers in its monthly reports, but for some reason only included such information in its 2012 Annual Report. Once again, the report notes the Bureau is working on training to defuse crisis situations, but not the connection between that issue and the DOJ Agreement. Even if just 6 of 20 cases involved mental illness (which we assume includes Mr. Bucher), IPR should be raising concerns that the Bureau is not reducing force against people in crisis.

--Investigating deadly force: IPR's reports explicitly state that deadly force incidents do not follow the same investigative trail as other misconduct allegations. It is not explained _why_ that is the case, since all force is part of a continuum, and officers exerting force against the public are either in policy or not. The reality is that the Portland Police Association (PPA)'s labor contract prohibits IPR from conducting investigations. This has been interpreted so broadly that IPR rejected a complaint filed from someone shot in the head by police in 2007, and an appeal filed by Keaton Otis' father in 2012. The report emphasizes that civilians and officers cannot appeal findings on deadly force cases, but does not explain why. Moreover, the table showing what happens when a deadly force incident is reviewed (p. 7) includes the criminal investigation by the District Attorney, but differentiates the analysis by the Training Division from the mandatory Internal Affairs administrative investigation, even though both of those are used for Police Review Board hearings judging officer conduct. In short, if a person who was shot/shot at (or his/her survivors) believe an officer acted out of policy and should be disciplined, they do not have the same rights as a person who was called a name or had their handcuffs put on too tight. That fundamental unfairness needs to be addressed. The PPA contract must be amended. As we have said many times, the City Ordinance guiding IPR does not prohibit IPR investigations or CRC appeals of such cases.

Beyond mentioning its ability to do so, IPR does not report on its attending the scenes of all shootings to monitor the investigations. A report on what the agency does should be explicit about whether they witnessed the Bureau following protocols, especially if changes are needed.

--Outside experts get sidelined: The OIR Group, which has conducted outside reviews of deadly force incidents since 2010 (taking over for PARC which did them from 2003-2009), produced a report in 2016, focusing specifically on mental health issues. Their recommendations included that the Bureau stop using the term "suicide by cop" to describe when a community member seems to want to be killed by police. But reading the IPR report, one would not know this, as the only two references to the outside reports are a link to IPR's website hosting all of the report (p. 8) and a discussion of OIR's suggestions about timeliness (p. 25).

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Once again, the subsection in IPR's report on Discipline does not include the word "Discipline," it only says "Some officers lost pay or their job for their misconduct." They note that 32 officers receiving discipline in 2016 is an uptick from 28 in 2015, but not that both years are down considerably from 41 disciplined in 2014.

--New information: PCW has complained that there is not enough information explaining what kind of misconduct leads to what kind of discipline. IPR included a sentence in this year's report saying that most discipline was for unprofessional or unlawful conduct (p 22). This is a step forward, but at the very least it would be good to know what the two officers who were terminated did to deserve their fate. The PRB report only accounts for one officer, who barged back into a poker game off-duty and made threats, but three of the six officers who left the Bureau under investigation with Sustained allegations against them.

--Another confusing chart: The chart showing what kinds of discipline were assigned does not include specific numbers (p. 23), but a data table (data p. 6) shows there were 18 command counselings (up from 8), four letters of reprimand (down from 8), only two Suspensions With Out Pay (down from 7), no demotions and two terminations. As in the past, trying to connect the number of cases with Sustained findings (37) to disciplines (32) makes for difficult analysis. Incidentally, the two Suspensions is the lowest number since IPR began in 2002.

We note once more that since the Police Review Board ordinance requires the Chief to explain why he/she deviates from recommended discipline, IPR should publish information on if, when and why that is happening.

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A table on p. 24 shows that "Internal Affairs investigations are quicker," indicating IA was taking 177 days to look into complaints back in 2013 but now only needs 106 days (the numbers in between can only be found on data p. 8). However, the overall time to close cases after they come in the door is still not down to 180 days as the DOJ required. The data table shows that full closure takes 200 days (down from 231). For the first time, this table also includes how long IPR investigations take to close-- which was 248 days in 2016 and 262 in 2015. IPR should identify why its investigations take over a month longer than IA's.

One of the main reasons for the discrepancy between full closure and reported IA closure time is that overall closure includes IPR intake. Adding the median time for IPR intake (24 days, down from 32) to IA gets to 130 days, far less than the 200 day full closure date, and another confusing data point. That time previously was 145 days after being over 180 days in 2013-2014.

To be fair, excluding the assigning of and setting findings for complaints, IA's investigations take 63 days (9 weeks), slightly up from 59 in 2015 and a week more than 55 days in 2014, though it was 10 weeks or more before then.

--Commander reviews: One major snag historically has been how long Commanders have taken to issue findings once they receive investigative files. IPR proposed that the investigators themselves should attach proposed findings to save time, but that proposal disappeared from the ordinance passed in April, which IPR says was due to "Not enough political support on City Council." To their credit, commanders are now only taking 10 days to issue findings, down from 12 days in 2015 and 18 days in 2014.

--IPR intake: Regarding IPR's intake, they admit their median time of 24 days isn't quite at their desired goal of 21 days, but they say they are "making more efficient use of its investigative resources" to improve timeliness (p. 23). With no further information, this sounds as if IPR is being less thorough and more dismissive of complainants' concerns. Surely a few examples would build community confidence in IPR.

--Deadly force timelines: A new section on how long officer-involved shooting investigations take says that the time has gone down from 308 days in 2011 to 58 days in 2016 (p. 25). A confusing chart overlays the time it takes to get to the Police Review Board (from the beginning of the investigation) to how long the investigations take. More interestingly, they should show how long it takes cases to get to the PRB, which was 95 days in 2016. The data table on data p. 9 shows this delay has to do with how long commanders take to make findings, which was, not coincidentally, 95 days in 2016, but that is down from 102 days in 2015, 209 in 2014, and 238 in 2010. This table shows 13 years worth of information, which is a tremendous help for conducting analysis.

--Fixing the delays: Without using the organization's name, IPR notes that the OIR Group identified delays in various stages of deadly force investigations: IA, Training review, and the Commander's findings. IPR says it helped speed things up by urging PPB to conduct administrative investigations while criminal proceedings are still underway, something the DOJ suggested as well.

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Though there were examples in older reports, there once again are no examples of community feedback given to the IPR's outreach coordinator. The outreach section also used to contain a lengthy list of organizations contacted by IPR, but there is only a short list (mostly connected to recruiting CRC and PRB members) and nothing in the appendix. As with many of these issues, one could gather the information by scouring the IPR's monthly Director's reports and reading the minutes of CRC meetings-- but the point of an annual report should be to put them all in one place.

The meager outreach section on p. 4 talks about a new effort (which we don't remember hearing about before) called "Community Dialogues on Police Accountability," which involved two translator- supported sessions with new immigrants. The section notes that "IPR's Russian-speaking Senior Outreach Coordinator" (Irene Konev, not named in the report) was on Slavic radio three times, but nothing about other media appearances, or what happened to their 2015 efforts to place ads on public transportation. There is no mention of outreach to youth, African Americans, or the houseless community.

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We have many issues with how the report itself is presented, some of which we've noted in other sections of our analysis.

--Integrate the data: The Auditor should put data tables back in the body of the report for local and national persons wishing to examine trends over time. The Auditor offered to provide PCW with data tables, but this is not about our organization, this is important for our community and the country as a whole.

--Clearer layout: We still encourage IPR to use underlines or some other visual system to indicate where new sections begin. In addition, headings and sub-headings are written as full phrases or sentences when they could just include one or two words. For example, "Investigators worked with complainants at intake" would be clearer and less cluttered if it just read "INTAKE."

--In addition to our comment on better language to define the various findings, we note here that the definition of "allegation" contains the word "allegation" (p. 3).

--There is no list of the members of the Citizen Review Committee or the civilian pool members of the Police Review Board. There is also no list of the staff members at IPR, including that someone who actively writes for a local weekly newspaper (Andrea Damewood, food critic for the Portland Mercury) was recently hired as an IPR investigator.

--For the second year in a row, there is no measure at all of feedback on IPR's performance. We continue to urge IPR to re-institute the complainant surveys they stopped in 2011, rather than inserting data from the sole question about IPR in the Auditor's survey of Portlanders (most of whom never use IPR's services).

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IPR's annual reports have become so threadbare that persons unfamiliar with the system will have no idea what really happened over the course of a calendar year. It's notable that this report mentions proposed changes to the IPR ordinance, but not two stakeholder groups held in 2016-- one behind closed doors from January to May and a public one in November (which PCW sat on). The little window the public has into the system through monthly Citizen Review Committee meetings (which were twice monthly five times in 2016) could be more meaningful with more data. The annual report should be presented both to CRC and to City Council in public forums.

Our analyses showing how IPR's data gives people unfounded hopes their cases will be investigated or result in Sustained findings have been going on for years with no change in the reporting. The fact that we've generated a 13-plus-page analysis of a 26-page report shows that our all-volunteer group is spending far too much time digging around for information that IPR's considerably sized paid staff should be making easily accessible.

PCW still points people to IPR to file complaints, because for all its weaknesses, it's important for the system to hear when community members feel they have been mistreated. Despite being shut out of the first work group, CRC member orientations, and the original invitations to IPR's strategic plan forums, we will continue to monitor the review system and advocate for improvements.

PCW urges City Council to make further changes to the IPR/CRC system, re-opening the Portland Police Association contract for bargaining as needed. In addition to giving IPR the power to compel testimony and to investigate deadly force cases, they should enshrine the definitions of investigative findings in to City Code.*-17 Then the Bureau would have a hard time changing things around and making complainants feel disrespected.

Please let us know when the Report will be presented to City Council.

Thank you
dan handelman
portland copwatch


*1- Portland City Code 3.21.170 (D)

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*2- PCW did not provide the analysis on allegations sustained last year because IPR did not provide data.

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*3- CRC recommended at least one changed finding in cases 2015-x-0002, 2015-x-0004, 2016-x- 0001, 2016-x-0002, 2016-x-0003 and 2016-x-0004. See case summaries in footnote #10. The discrepancy may lie in cases in which CRC asked the Bureau to add a debriefing to certain findings. CRC's Chair has alluded to the possibility that because CRC did not find the original findings unreasonable that the Bureau refused to add debriefings, which, if true, is a gross miscarriage of justice.

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*4-The 2002 and 2012 reports were released in May of the following years, the 2008 report in April 2009. The 2014 report came out in November 2015. Excluding the two years IPR failed to put out reports (2005-06), the average date for release has been in July. Though IPR was in existence for 15 years at the end of 2016, this is the 14th annual report because they combined the 2005-06 reports despite the ordinance requiring annual reports.

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*5-Memo from US DOJ to City Attorney Tracy Reeve and Auditor Lavonne Griffin Valade dated October 28, 2014, in which the DOJ sought assurances the City would produce the 2014 IPR report "no later than March 31, 2015."

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*6- IPR relies on the Bureau's Internal Affairs Division to compel officers to testify.

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*7-PCW has repeatedly documented Police Review Board cases in which civilians are involved, but the cases are reviewed as "B" (Bureau only) cases. Officer involved shootings are treated as "B" cases even though they nearly always involve civilians.

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*8-For people who are trying to track data from year to year, IPR should note when such changes are made.

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*9-The 11 cases in the February 2017 PRB report includes 11 cases, 5 Bureau, 5 community, and one shooting.
The shooting case was the only one in which the PRB looked at Use of Force.

IPR says the PRB heard 24 cases in 2016 (data p. 6), meaning 13 cases were not closed by the time the report came out in February. If our math is correct, those 13 include: One shooting (Steven Liffel), 8 community cases, and 4 Bureau cases.

The 11 cases involved a total of 34 allegations, of which 22 ultimately were "Sustained."
(only 18 because of the PRB's recommendations-- we wonder if this is included in the "Sustain rate" of 75%).
9 findings were "Exonerated/In Policy," and 3 were "Not Sustained."
13 of the 22 "Sustained" findings were in "B" cases
9 were in "C" cases (in the poker game case, Chief O'Dea over-rode a 5-0 vote of the Board).

8 officers faced discipline:

4 officers involved in outrageous conduct were set to be fired,
3 of them resigned or retired before the City had the chance
(a fourth resigned facing 40 hours' time off).

The officers faced termination for:
1) inappropriate physical contact with a Domestic Violence survivor (Officer Jeromie Palaoro),
2) blowing .08 on a Breathalyzer test while on duty,
3) falsifying timecards, adding 1-2 hours a day for two months, and
2) returning to a friend's house out-of-control after an off-duty poker game (this officer was actually terminated).

The officer who was given 40 hours suspension without pay failed to notify the Bureau about prescription drug use, misrepresented a timecard, and was unprofessional to her supervisor.

Officer Scott Groshong received Command Counseling for unprofessional behavior when he interfered with a videographer's camera (CRC Appeal 2016-x-0004).

After an officer left the scene of a domestic disturbance call, there was an assault. The officer received Command Counseling for Improper Domestic Violence Investigation.

A supervisor ridiculed and retaliated against an officer. Chief O'Dea over-rode the PRB's "Not Sustained" recommendations and found the supervisor out of policy for unprofessional behavior and Courtesy violations. The supervisor received Command Counseling. (The Supervisor's superior in this case received a "Not Sustained with debriefing" finding.)

In all, four findings were moved from "Not Sustained" (insufficient evidence) to "Sustained"
by the Chief (not the PRB) -- in Groshong's case, after the CRC appeal.

The data table indicates only three Civilian cases did not have any "Sustained" findings. These are two of them:

1) In the case of teenager Thai Gurule, who was beaten and tased by officers, only the question of improper stop went to the PRB. Though IPR wanted to "Sustain" the finding, it was a 4-1 vote for "Not Sustained with a debriefing."

2) An officer who used questionable tactics to interview a juvenile after a fight at school was considered for a Conduct allegation; the Board and Chief decided to add a debriefing to the "Not Sustained" finding.

Of the 10 Civilian cases in 2016 with Sustained findings, one was the off-duty poker game cop, one was Palaoro, and one was the officer who left the domestic disturbance call. (Accounting for three cases.)

Of the 8 Bureau cases in 2016 with Sustained findings, one was the DUII officer, one was the cop who falsified timecards, one was the cop who failed to report taking medication, one was the rude/retaliatory supervisor, and one was Officer Groshong (who, again, interacted with a Civilian so this should have been a "C" case). (Accounting for 5 cases.) See PCW's full analysis at < http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/PRBanalysis0117.html>

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*10-Here is a summary of this year's cases:

Case #2015-X-0002: Man with Mental Health Issues Tasered Up to Six Times

Matthew Klug, a man who has a diagnosed mental illness and a brain injury, was hit as many as six times by police Tasers. Klug was allegedly circling a woman's car and punching the windows before officers approached. Klug supposedly would not take his hands out of his pockets and officers used the 50,000 volt Taser six times, according to the device's computer readout, including five "arcs" and one "probe deployment." The allegations were that (1) a Sergeant used force too quickly when first approaching Klug, and (2) the officer who tasered Klug used excessive force.

CRC heard this case four times (and, in an unprecedented move, voted 7-0 to compel Bureau officials to attend when they failed to attend the originally scheduled second meeting in April 2016).

October 2016: Case File Review. CRC felt IA should have interviewed more witnesses than just the security guard who saw what happened. Using their power to order new investigation for the first time, they voted 7- 0 to send the case back.

May 2016: Appeal Hearing. On allegation (1), CRC agreed with the Bureau that the Sergeant was in policy ("Exonerated") but voted 8-0 asking them to debrief him about de-escalation. CRC voted to affirm the finding of "Exonerated with a debriefing" on allegation (2), but found out 2 days later Mr. Klug had correctly told them the Bureau used the wrong Directive to assess the officer's conduct.

September 2016: Supplemental Hearing. CRC reconsidered allegation (2) using the correct directive and voted 6-0 to "Sustain" the allegation (find the officer out of policy). (Two new members abstained.)

December 2016: Conference Hearing. Chief Marshman tried to get CRC to change its recommendation, but they voted 4-0 to send their "Sustained" recommendation to City Council. (One new member abstained.)

[February 2017: City Council voted 3-2 to change the finding to "Not Sustained" (insufficient evidence).]

Case # 2015-X-0004: Officers Box In Protestors at Post-Ferguson Demonstration

People involved in Portland protests after the verdict in Ferguson, MO in 2014 complained about violence (including pepper spray and flash-bangs), but IPR only chose to investigate one person's complaint that supervisors (a Commander and a Sergeant) incorrectly ordered officers to arrest protestors who were boxed in on all four sides by police. This case came to CRC four times.

December 2015: Case File Review. CRC felt there was enough information to hold a full hearing, but due to time constraints, set the Appeal for January.

January 2016: Appeal Hearing. The Appellant was never arrested, but the Bureau's analysis of the complaint only focused on people who were taken into custody and processed. CRC voted 5-3 to say the commanders were both out of policy ("Sustained") for ordering the arrests, sweeping up people like the Appellant with no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity (which they felt was unconstitutional).

February 2016: Conference Hearing #1. After the City Attorney said CRC could not direct the Bureau to consider whether ordering officers to tell people they were under arrest, then release them (improper detaining), Chief O'Dea volunteered to reformulate allegations and investigate that question. CRC voted 7-0 to send the case back to the Bureau.

August 2016: Supplemental Hearing. Using the new investigation, CRC disagreed with the Bureau's "Exonerated" findings and voted 6-2 to find the Commander out of policy ("Sustained") for inappropriately ordering the Appellant to be detained.

October 2016: Conference Hearing #2: Chief Marshman argued that the Commander did not violate policy because "kettling" (boxing in) is within Bureau policy. CRC voted 4-2 to reverse their earlier recommendation, thus affirming the Bureau's "Exonerated" finding.

Case #2016-X-0001: "You Must Not Be a Very Good Lawyer"

Sara Foroshani, a public defender, witnessed a woman outside Goodwill being manhandled by police and was then roughly treated for intervening. She alleged that (1) Officer B dragged the woman out of her car by the hair, (2) Officer A pushed Foroshani (classified as a "control hold"), and (3 &4) after hearing her advise the arrestee she did not have to talk to the police, both officers A and B said something along the lines of "you must not be a very good lawyer." Another allegation (5) said Officer A used profanity ("no fucking way you're a defense attorney"). The Bureau found the force allegations within policy ("Exonerated"), while the other allegations were "Not Sustained"-- there wasn't enough evidence to prove or disprove them. The case had been to the Police Review Board because Director Severe "controverted" the findings, saying Officer A's unprofessional behavior allegation should be Sustained since he admitted to making disparaging remarks.

This case was heard three times by CRC.

January, 2016: Case File Review. CRC sent the case back for more investigation, since the woman in the car had not been interviewed.

June, 2016: Appeal Hearing. CRC voted 5-0 to affirm the "Exonerated" finding about force on the woman in the car (1), 4-1 to change the finding about pushing Foroshani (2) from "Exonerated" to "Not Sustained with a debriefing," 5-0 to recommend the discourtesy allegations (3&4) both be "Sustained," and 5- 0 to affirm the "Not Sustained" finding on profanity (allegation 5).

October, 2016: Conference Hearing. Chief Marshman agreed to change the finding about pushing Foroshani (2), and on Officer A being rude-- not for his comment about Foroshani, but because he waved good-bye sarcastically. Though the Chief asked them to change their minds, CRC voted 6-0 to continue asking the allegation of rudeness against Officer B be "Sustained." The next day, the Chief agreed.

Case #2016-X-0002: Black Man Manhandled Driving His Own Car

Warren, a young African American man, was approached by police for allegedly not using a turn signal. Three officers grabbed his arms, pinned him against the trunk of the police car, cuffed him, and Officer B put a wrist lock on him (Allegation 2--force). Warren said when he complained about the pain, the officer said he "didn't give a fuck" (Allegation 1--rudeness). Based on the license plate, police thought Warren was a person who'd recently driven the same car, received a DUII and had his license suspended; he wasn't, so the cops let the young man go without charges.

CRC heard this case two times.

February 2016: Case File Review. CRC felt there was enough information to move forward, but put off the Appeal because the Lieutenant did not attend the meeting due to administrative error.

October 2016: Appeal Hearing. On Allegation 1 about rudeness, CRC voted 8-0 to affirm the "Not Sustained" finding but asked the Bureau to add a debriefing. On Allegation 2 about force, CRC voted 8-0 to agree that action was in policy ("Exonerated").

Side notes: (a) CRC discussed whether the stop was racial profiling, indicating that if the ordinance allowed them to send the case back to change the allegations they likely would have; (b) the appellant did not appear at the meeting because he felt the system was stacked against him.

Case 2016-X-0003: Officer Grabs a Woman Over a $1.25 Transit Fare

Michelle, a woman with diabetes, says an officer used excessive force when he yanked her around by her shoulder bag after questioning the validity of her "Honored Citizen" Trimet pass.

March 2016: Case File Review and Appeal Hearing. Commander Mike Leloff admitted a $2.50 train ticket is not a significant governmental interest to use force. (Actually, an honored citizen ticket is $1.25.) He "Exonerated" the officer for his use of force but planned to debrief him for failing to report the grab as a use of force. CRC voted 7-0 to affirm the "Exonerated with a debriefing" finding, asking that Leloff also discuss the impact of the use of force on vulnerable civilians.

Case 2016-X-0004: Officer Interferes with Videographer

Robert West, an activist with Film the Police 911, was video-ing outside Central Precinct when Officer Scott Groshong drove up in an unmarked SUV, got out, put his hand on the camera's lens, said "oh, it's you," then got back in the vehicle and left. Captain Mark Kruger said the allegation of unprofessional behavior was "Not Sustained" (insufficient evidence).

CRC heard this case twice.

March 2016: Case File Review and Appeal Hearing. CRC voted 5-2 to change the finding to "Sustained," based on the video evidence.

June 2016: Conference Hearing: Acting Chief Donna Henderson argued that Groshong's behavior didn't rise to the level of a conduct violation, offering to add a debriefing to the original "Not Sustained" finding. CRC voted 6-0 to continue recommending a "Sustained" finding. Days later, Henderson accepted the recommendation.

Case 2016-x-0005: Motorcyclist Says Traffic Cop Kicked Him, Called His Riding "Stupid"

A motorcyclist said a motorcycle cop kicked him in the leg to force him off the road (Allegation 1, force), then called him "stupid" (Allegation 2, rudeness).

November 2016: Case File Review and Appeal Hearing. Capt. Kelli Sheffer of the Traffic Division called Allegation 1 "Unfounded (facts don't support the allegation)," but she said she was willing to change the finding to "Not Sustained." Nonetheless, CRC voted 7-2 to affirm the "Unfounded" finding. CRC voted 9-0 to add a debriefing to the "Not Sustained" finding on allegation 2 about rudeness.

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*11- Portland City Code 3.21.160 (A)(2)

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*12-City Code was changed in 2015 so that IPR or IA must conduct further investigation upon CRC request. The PRB Directive also gives the Board that power, but it is not yet enshrined in Code.

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*13-We note here that looking at the Bureau's Force data reports at < http://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/577038> , we found different numbers for 2015/2016 with 804 uses and 1037 uses while IPR has the figures 972 and 1092.

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*14-The numbers are off for Hands/feet/knees (table shows 36, chart shows 39), Other Force (table 29/chart 38), restraints (table 26/chart just 24), and firearm pointing (table shows just 3 but chart shows 4). Accounting for the errant numbers (+3, +9, -2, -1) that still only makes 137, not 143.

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*15- The new data show a total of 59 investigations that year (data p. 4), meaning IPR led 12%. These inconsistencies make tracking data very confusing.

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*16- Portland Mercury, November 21, 2013: < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_QK4OObAkY>

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*17- "Unfounded," "Exonerated," and "Not Sustained" are all "not Sustained" findings, so we urge the City to take action to return that finding to the more easily understandable "Insufficient Evidence" as well as readopting the old definition of "Unfounded."
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Posted May 26, 2017