Portland Copwatch Analyzes Compliance Officer Report on US DOJ Agreement November 2021Table of contents
More Problems with Force Reporting and Analysis
Lack of Planning, Crowd Training Leads to Two New Compliance Failures
Screening Out Bad Cops
Mental Health and Crisis Intervention: Deadly Force and Other Concerns Unmet
Accountability and the Employee Information System: Still Missing Set Goals
Public Engagement: Lack of Staff Support, PPB Annual Report Still Problems
Minor Bothersome Things
a project of Peace and Justice Works
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
To: Compliance Officer/Community Liaison
COPS CONTINUE TO LACK COMPLIANCE WITH US DOJ AGREEMENT ON FORCE,
The Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL) released its draft Quarter 2 Report on the City's compliance with the terms of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement,*-1 which purports to mitigate excessive police use of force, particularly against people in mental health crisis. In our analysis of the Q1 COCL Report, Portland Copwatch (PCW) noted at least 17 paragraphs were identified as lacking compliance. This time, two paragraphs related to training were moved to "Partial Compliance," meaning now 19 of about 90 paragraphs are in violation. PCW generally supports the COCL's analysis of those failures. The consultants also pushed back against members of the Police Bureau who want to have officers leave their Tasers in patrol cars which would change the current mandate that all cops carry the less-lethal weapons. However, as has been the case for most of the seven years these Reports have been issued, no mention was made about the use of deadly force against people in mental health crisis. The second quarter included three shootings, two of them fatal killings of people in crisis; a third person in crisis was shot and wounded in Q3. Unless deadly force gets as much scrutiny as lower levels of force, such tragedies will continue.
In general, the Bureau's failing grades are still the result of their over-use of force at racial justice protests in 2020*-2 and the Bureau's lack of accountability, documentation, and remedial action around that force use. The Compliance Officer also notes other areas of concern, including the increase in overall uses of force in addition to force being used in about 7% of all police custodies, double what it was in 2018-19 (p. 17). At the same time, they refer to a "minor overrepresentation" of "Category 2" force (second only to deadly force) against people in mental health crisis-- which jumped by 50% from 10% of encounters with force to 15% (p. 19). Similarly, they state that "only" eight of 41 people with mental illness were unarmed when they were zapped by Tasers (p. 20), meaning 20% of those hit with 10,000 volts of electricity did not have weapons.
Other alarming information about Tasers: in debriefing a scenario where officers could choose guns or Tasers, an instructor noted that Tasers "require a lot of paperwork" (p. 33). Because officers who use deadly force are not required to fill out their own reports (per Agreement Paragraph 69c), this gives an incentive to use lethal weapons. The COCL does address that issue-- in a too-gentle way, in the same way they remind the PPB that officers should use procedural justice techniques even during "violent" protests. This comment is a response to a training video where an officer says such niceties "go out the window" when there are "anti-police groups" involved (p. 27).
Additionally, the COCL continues to ignore failings of the current oversight system, the "Independent" Police Review (IPR). While noting IPR is still taking take over 180 days to complete initial investigations, the Compliance Officer again overlooked a case sent back by the IPR's Citizen Review Committee (CRC) for more investigation. As noted in our analysis of the Q1 Report, the case involving former PPB Sergeant Liani Reyna was sent to IPR in October 2020. The Settlement Agreement requires such investigation to be completed in 10 days (Paragraph 136). The case was finally relayed back to CRC in August. Then they violated their own protocols by not holding a new hearing in October. Perhaps these details will show up in the Q3 or Q4 reports, but the supplemental investigation was not completed eight months after the vote when this Q2 Report closed out, far longer than ten days.
While the Agreement has few references to race, PCW continues to appreciate that the COCL has recently been reporting on the disparities in traffic stop data, where, for instance, 19% of stops were of African Americans in a city which is 6% Black. They note that Portland is the only city in the state showing such imbalance (p. 28). The COCL even breaks down demographic and stop data by precinct (p. 65), showing that in Central, 16% of stops are of Black drivers where there is only 3% representation in the population (PCW notes this is a 530% disparity), in East it is 20% vs. 6% of the population (330% disparity), and North is also 20% vs. 9% of the population (a "mere" 220% disparity). Unfortunately, the COCL's advice is for the community to monitor this issue. PCW continues to suggest that the PPB report how many drivers who are stopped are from outside Portland, since they claim people driving in from Gresham and other outlying areas are skewing the data. It is also curious that the COCL does not make the same observation about disproportionate use of force against African Americans in Portland, where the numbers are between 25 and 30% of those subjected to police violence inmost quarters.
Finally, before getting into further analysis of the Report, there must be accountability for the COCL in describing how the police were being "attacked from all sides" in 2020, listing defunding and lack of City/Bureau support leading to multiple resignations and low morale (p. 3). While it's important to remember the humanity of individual officers, there needs to be an institutional analysis and reckoning for why the police had their budget cut, and not to over-emphasize their feeling "attacked" when they used force over 6000 times against protestors using chemicals, projectiles and batons. The COCL does note it's time to re-think public safety, but that also includes carefully choosing one's words about the way police currently operate.
PCW has once again created a "scorecard" showing the compliance ratings on Force, Training, the Employee Information System, Accountability and Community Engagement at http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/sampleDOJscorecard1121.pdf .
The COCL reports an increase in use of force not related to protests from 142 people in Q3 2020 to 213 in Q1 2021, a 50% increase (p. 16). They also note this was the largest number of incidents in two years. Of course, it could be that fewer officers were out patrolling the streets both because of the pandemic and because most of them were being assigned to crowd control in 2020. The Report also notes an increase in force use against people with mental illness. Though it doesn't report the total number, it says there were 71 more people subjected to force than in the prior quarter (also p 16).
In the Q1 Report, the COCL called out the City for failing to do a comprehensive review of the force used during the 2020 protests, calling the Bureau's self-assessment "not comprehensive in facts or scope." Most of the reason the Force section of the Agreement is still out of compliance has to do with the City not improving that assessment. New issues cropped up because the Force Inspector, who is supposed to send feedback to supervisors after they respond to concerning trends identified by the Inspector, did not do so (pp. 4 and 15). The COCL notes this has to do with there being "several" Inspectors over the last two years. The fact is, as documented in PCW's newsletter, the People's Police Report (May 2021), there were four different people in that job between July 2020 and February, 2021.*-3
Regardless, as the COCL notes, there is a training manual for the job and there is no real excuse for the system failure. On the other hand, the Inspector apparently did identify several trends which the COCL summarizes as focusing on improving After Action Reports, clarifying warnings about use of force, and what officers should do after using Tasers (p. 14). Notably, none of those identified trends has to do with the actual force used on civilians. Still, PCW called out the COCL for not using examples in the last two Reports, and appreciates this step forward.
The failure ratings also relate to the fact that there has been no training on Crowd Control or changes to policies based on the police violence from last year (Paragraphs 66, 67 and 69). There were also issues with auditing the 2020 force reports (Paragraphs 74, 75, 76 and 77) and creating and tracking those reports (Paragraphs 70 and 73).
The COCL minimizes an increase in higher levels of force: Category 4, the lowest level, went from 65% to just 50% of force over three years. Also, they describe that in 95% of incidents, officers used between one and three kinds of force. Stating the facts this way ignores that 5% of the time, officers are using force four or more times on the same person (p. 18).
Embedded in the Force section is the fact that despite the PPB's ongoing claim of being short- staffed, the ratio of supervisors to line officers remained at about the same rate as in the past, 4.95:1 (p. 13). Perhaps as many Sergeants resigned as officers.
The two paragraphs which led to new non-compliance ratings were those about updating the annual training plan (Paragraph 79) and delivery of Crowd Control training (Paragraph 84). The COCL had threatened to change the compliance rating in the Q1 Report, even though they knew at the time that PPB had not done so by the end of Q2 when that Report was issued.
One key issue the COCL identifies is that the training scenario used in Q2 was an emergency entry into a residence where a person is being held by a "suspect" armed with a knife. The scenario was set up so that the suspect threatens officers almost immediately, meaning there was no time for de- escalation or procedural justice, and the aforementioned debate about using a Taser vs. a gun favored those who went for their firearms (75% of trainees-- p. 33). The COCL said they did not review the lesson plan, and that police had previously said they would add procedural justice to the role-play but did not. Apparently the PPB did encourage de-escalation during a phone call to the suspect. The COCL urges the police to show sympathy for the person being held at knifepoint-- but not the suspect.
The PPB has often encouraged civilians to engage in virtual training scenarios to see how stressful it is to be an officer. Of course, being put into a virtual truck driving scenario could also stress out someone who doesn't drive a truck for a living if wild traffic behaviors were the only things presented. A new virtual simulator for the cops has them in a high school, looking for a shooter while avoiding hitting students and staff. Each officer fired off six to 14 shots during the scenario, meaning that like the role playing, it is set up to encourage use of deadly force (p. 34). Moreover, the COCL notes that the simulator isn't necessarily in line with PPB policy, or even Oregon law.
In an improvement after they were shut out of some trainings last quarter, the COCL was allowed to observe officers getting instructions this time (p. 22). They noted that the City Attorney changed their legal advice about court rulings regarding force at protests, and asked officers to leave their cameras on during the Zoom conferences, an improvement from Q1 when cops were allowed to turn video off. This apparently happened just before the Rapid Response Team (RRT) quit en masse, citing "conflicting advice," lack of body cameras and being subjected to "extreme violence" (p. 24). The COCL understands that policing the protests was difficult, but wisely wonders why the RRT was a voluntary position when the Bureau could assign people.
Another impressive observation by COCL: community member videos can give investigators information they need about officer conduct while there are no body cams. This is what Portland Copwatch has urged all along because the police cameras don't gather the image of what the officers are doing, only the civilians.
On the other hand, the COCL seems to find it reasonable that for training purposes, the PPB does not use any local examples, but instead relies on videos from other agencies (pp. 24 and 31). While it may be helpful to learn from other people's mistakes, what happens in Portland should be instructive to Portland officers. The COCL admits this in describing how showing officers in other cities make bad decisions around Taser use, it could lead to Portland officers hesitating to use the less lethal weapons (p. 32).
One example of such out-of-town videos has to do with changing the approach to people who are "ready to fight" by keeping a safe distance. Instead, the Bureau is encouraging officers to get close and "strike" the person to "retain control," avoid having their weapon taken (which would clearly be harder for the person to do if the cop stayed away, right?) and avoid "collateral damage." This last phrase was popularized by the military to describe the people killed by bombs but were not the intended target. It is unsavory and should not be used by the PPB. In any case, the COCL notes that even though 45% of officers who die by gunfire are killed by their own weapons, it's not clear whether this new idea of close-quarter combat will work, or that the training was a good use of two hours. Apparently, the state training academy is pushing this new tactic.
A little more detail on the PPB's newfound opposition to Tasers: they claim the weapons are only 50% effective (p. 32). Have they done an analysis of how often police shoot at suspects and miss with some or all of the bullets? Also, the COCL says they teach that Tasers should only be used when "necessary" (defined as at the proper distance-- which seems more like "applicable") and "appropriate" (defined as stopping aggression, preventing suicide or escape and to avoid deadly force, which might be called "allowed by policy" rather than "appropriate").
Meanwhile, the Bureau has continued the Equity trainings discussed in the Q1 Report, covering systemic racism, Jim Crow laws, redlining and more. The police plan to add gender identity, sexual orientation and houselessness to future trainings (p. 25). There is also the officer wellness training, which on the one hand talks about the challenges of "COVID, protests and riots" (p. 26), but also introduces the idea of "institutional betrayal." The implication here is the cops are being taught how to handle it when the Bureau leaves them holding the proverbial bag.
Officers were documented missing training 33 times in Q2, up from 16 times in Q1 (Paragraph 81, p. 35). It's not clear why this happened or how PPB plans to address the issue.
In the "boo-hoo" department, the COCL reports that officers who carry knives were upset they were told to disregard previous training about using knives for deadly force scenarios, since there is no written policy on the issue (p. 30).
In the Q1 Report, the COCL indicated they believe the reasons officers are to be barred from being trainers (Paragraph 83) or part of either the Enhanced Crisis Intervention or Behavioral Health Response Teams (Paragraphs 101 and 108) are if the officer is found out of policy for the use of force against or mistreatment of people with mental illness. They claim Paragraph 83 saying officers cannot have sustained findings for "the use of excessive force or mistreatment of people with mental illness" means that both criteria only apply to people with mental illness (which we noted makes no grammatical sense in our Q1 analysis). A close read of the Settlement Agreement shows that Training officers should not have "a history of using excessive force" (83), and that the word "the" in front of "use of force or mistreatment of people with mental illness" only appears in Paragraph 83, not 101 or 108. As PCW urged in our analysis of the Q1 Report, the DOJ and COCL should make sure none of the officers who used excessive force at protests are on these teams.
As noted above, the COCL does not address that two people killed in Q2 by Portland Police-- Robert Delgado and Michael Townsend-- were people with known mental health issues, despite the prominence of that issue in the Settlement Agreement. The Behavioral Health Unit Advisory Committee (BHUAC) held its first three public outreach meetings this year, in Q1, Q2 and the beginning of Q4. While community members including Portland Copwatch raised questions about BHUAC discussing the shootings, there was no real response until the Q4 meeting (which we hope to see reflected in the COCL's Q4 Report, and in actions by the BHUAC). At that meeting, after the BHUAC chair claimed that shootings were not in the Committee's purview, a representative of the USDOJ asked who had told them that was true. As it became clear this was a BHUAC opinion, PCW added that the Police Review Board (PRB) looks at deadly force incidents to make sure police followed policy, but has rarely if ever mentioned a person's mental health status. The community is counting on BHUAC to apply a mental health lens to these tragedies. The Chair seemed to understand and indicated that BHUAC-- after operating since February 2013 in behind closed door meetings-- might take up this issue. Clearly if the DOJ and COCL had provided more support to those pushing to open those meetings to the public, we would not have lost almost nine years of dialogue.
Notably, the BHUAC did not have a quorum for two of its meetings in Q2 (pp. 8 & 47), meaning with the missed meeting in Q1, overall they missed half their meetings in the first six months of 2021. As a result, they did not review proposed policies around 911 dispatch for and police interactions with the new Portland Street Response (PSR), which pairs a Fire Bureau employee with a mental health specialist to respond to calls which don't require police presence. The COCL appropriately calls out the City for claiming that expanding the types of calls PSR responds to would violate the Settlement Agreement (p. 39). In fact, the DOJ has said and COCL repeats that the intent of the Agreement includes finding non-police responses to mental health crises as a way to limit the likelihood of force being used (Paragraph 90d). The COCL specifically calls for PSR to be able to show up when there is a threat of suicide and/or when the person is indoors. What is not mentioned is one reason these calls have been excluded from PSR's purview is pushback from the Police Association.
The COCL reports that in addition to training and policies, BHUAC also began looking at Standard Operating Procedures (p. 42). The Committee asked for more information about SOP #2-1, which COCL tells PCW is about the Behavioral Health Unit Electronic Referral System.*-4
The section of the Agreement on Mental Health continues to be treated as mostly "aspirational" and receives Substantial Compliance despite community member concerns. The COCL repeats its ongoing admission that because they don't have information on Oregon's health care system, they can't really assess whether parts of Paragraph 90 are in compliance (p. 39). They also continue to assert that the Unity Center meets the Agreement's description of a walk-in/drop-off center (Paragraph 89, page 7), despite community members saying the walk-in component is not adequate.
For Crisis Intervention, the COCL has delivered some promised information about the Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team (ECIT). Looking at six months of data, they found there's no difference in ECIT and non-ECIT officers in terms of how often people are taken to jail or to the hospital (p. 8). Notably, non-ECIT officers over the years have met the ECIT's rate of 26% of people being sent to the hospital, up from a previous 9% (p. 43). However, the COCL found that calls where ECIT officers were requested resulted in more use of force than non-ECIT calls. Combining numbers provided in the Report, PCW figures that 87% of the time force is used is by non-ECIT at these calls-- 42% when only non-ECIT trained officers used force and 45% when both did. In contrast, ECIT officers used force in 58% of the incidents-- 13% when they were the only ones to do so and the same 45% overlap (also p. 43).
The COCL explains that studies show it's more likely force will be used when more officers show up to a call. This seems counter-intuitive in some ways, since one excuse many officers give for using force is that they do not have backup of any kind. The COCL suggests the Bureau may want to rethink its strategy around how many officers show up in order to reduce force use.
The COCL doesn't draw a line between these force data and their observation that there has been a drop in how many times ECIT officers show up to ECIT calls-- down to 69% from a previous 75% (p. 42). One reason might be is that there are now only 115 volunteer officers in the ECIT program, down from 131 in Q4 of 2020. Supposedly, new officers will be trained this month.
As noted above, the current oversight system continues to be out of compliance with the Agreement because both the "Independent" Police Review and the Bureau's Internal Affairs division (IA) are not meeting the goal of finishing misconduct investigations in 180 days (Paragraph 121). In fact, IPR went over time in 50% of cases, while IA missed the benchmark 19% of the time (pp. 10 & 54). Also, because there have been "inconsistent" reviews of incidents during last year's protests, officers are not being held accountable for violations of policy (Paragraph 169, p. 9). The COCL expresses hope that with 20 people appointed to the Commission meant to overhaul the system based on a Nov. 2020 ballot measure,*-5 these deficiencies can be fixed. However, that Commission is allowed to take as long as 18 months to deliberate and has not yet had its first meeting, one year after the election. When its work is done, City Council has to turn their recommendations into City Code and appoint members to the new oversight board. That board then has to hire a Director, who in turn will hire investigators and staff, so it's expected the earliest the new system will be in place is late 2023.
A key finding of the COCL: Police Review Board hearings are not functioning well. Having observed two of the closed-door meetings, they report that "irrelevant" information is being introduced, that the Board is considering mitigating circumstances for why officers use force rather than applying the mitigation to proposed discipline, confusing what the "totality of the circumstances" means and not appropriately understanding when an individual is engaged in "active aggression" rather than simply walking away or being in a rowdy crowd (pp. 54-55). It would be helpful to get more details on the cases COCL is referring to. The DOJ called out two instances where the PRB did not find officers out of policy for use of force at protests, which led to the Chief changing the proposed findings and issuing Letters of Reprimand.*-6
Another lack of accountability may be on its way to being remedied, as the case outlined in the Q1 report where a supervisor claimed force was not used so no investigation was needed is now under review. This review did not happen in Q2, but an ensuing investigation is mentioned on p. 53. COCL's analysis is particularly helpful because the incident was logged in the Employee Information System (EIS), but that doesn't address the original officer's behavior or supervisors who ignored it-- the EIS, the Report notes, is not disciplinary.
While it is difficult to gauge without surveying those who choose not to file complaints with IPR, the COCL notes that the number of complaints is at an all time low (p. 52).*-7 For example, the ballot measure to replace IPR might have undermined public confidence in the existing system. PCW has called for surveys about IPR to be done since COCL was hired, but none have been done. It is also possible that officers responding to fewer calls for service led to the decline. The Report notes that of 402 complaints in 2020 (including officer-generated complaints), 61% (280) were related to the protests.
Despite the COCL's failure to follow up on the Sgt. Reyna case, the Compliance Officer reports on the Citizen Review Committee's only appeal heard in Q2, which involved a woman arrested for twerking in a bike lane during a protest in 2018. They accurately note that CRC agreed arresting the woman was within policy, could not determine whether the arrest was racially motivated, asked to find that force may have been used inappropriately (but was not definitely in policy as the Bureau said), and found an officer wrote an inadequate report (pp. 55-56). The Report gives credit to CRC for their examination of that case. It's not clear whether the Bureau has accepted the changed findings yet, though.
In our analysis of the Q1 Report, we noted that in June, the City waived CRC's requirement to participate in police ride-alongs so long as the COVID pandemic is an issue. Despite this update, the COCL repeats their suggestion that CRC members should do "walk-alongs" or work side by side with police doing case reviews to understand police work (p. 56). To this, PCW says the COCL and all officers should have to attend a protest out of uniform and unarmed to see what it's like when the police attack the crowd.
The COCL also includes some detailed data about complaints and investigations. They say that force investigations, which are required unless "clear and convincing evidence" shows there was no misconduct, were "only" administratively closed 22% of the time (p. 58). That is rather alarming, and should be followed up with an examination of what evidence was used to dismiss force complaints nearly 1/4 of the time. PCW is also concerned that over an 18 month period, only 3 cases, or 0.3%, were sent to mediation-- a useful process where officers and complainants talk one on one (with a mediator present) about what happened without the threat of discipline.
Other data show that East Precinct generates the most complaints (36%), while Central and North account for 23% and 20% respectively (p. 58). The Report doesn't say how many officers work at each Precinct. COCL adds that of 387 complaints they looked at, they found three officers who had seven, eight and nine complaints respectively, while 64% of cops had only one complaint (p. 59).
Side note: in the past, we criticized the COCL for analyzing the oversight system for "expediency," which indicates speed over accuracy; the revised Q1 Report and the Q2 draft both use the word "timeliness" instead.*-8
As for the EIS, the Bureau still has not fixed the problem where data on officers at the protests was not properly entered into the system, so there has been no identification of officers who use more force than their peers (Paragraph 116, p. 48). However, they did find one Sergeant who made four arrests and used force on average 3.5 times at each. The Force Inspector said that since Sergeants don't usually respond to calls, they found nothing of concern. The COCL appropriately calls out the Inspector's dismissive language as "biased" and says they should let the Sergeant's supervisor decide if there is a problem (p. 49).
The questions of whether certain precincts or divisions use more force than others and inability to review data (which isn't there) kept Paragraphs 117, 118 and 119 out of compliance.
The two areas the COCL found out of compliance with regard to Public Engagement are (1) that the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing (PCCEP) still does not have adequate staff support, for instance making finding documents and videos online difficult (Paragraph 144, p. 61), and (2) that the Bureau still had not put out its final annual report for 2020 and presented it to the Precincts and City Council (Paragraph 150, p. 62). On the latter issue, the Bureau did make these presentations in Q3, but with very inadequate public notice. Moreover, they presented at just one Precinct before reporting to City Council, meaning they were not conveying any community concerns about the Bureau's performance based on feedback. This is particularly important as Council does not take public testimony on Reports due to a policy enacted unilaterally by Mayor Wheeler in 2017.
The COCL notes that the PCCEP made formal recommendations around the Bureau's "Core Patrol" functions, which led to a work session at Council within the proscribed 60 days for a response from the City (p. 60). They did not note the lack of response to PCCEP's support for Training Advisory Council recommendations about the Public Safety Support Specialist program, which went to the Mayor in Q1. Again getting ahead of ourselves a bit here, the PCCEP's proposal to send condolence letters to families of people killed by police was approved in Q1, but the first letters did not go out until early September (Q3). *-9
The Report also notes that of the Bureau's six culturally specific Advisory Councils, they could only find information about meetings of the Latino and Asian Pacific Islander American groups. A footnote says the Bureau pointed the COCL to a list of scheduled meetings "hidden under the DOJ section at the PPB website" (pp. 62-63). The COCL calls for the PPB to improve their website three times-- once noting there is a previously unknown Bureau-Wide Advisory Council, once regarding communication, and once about advisory groups in general (pp. 63-64).
The overarching Coalition of Advisory Groups (CAG) was reported in Q1 and Q2 as having internal conflict, making it impossible for work to get done. The COCL called for the members to resign or the City to dissolve the CAG (p. 63). At the town hall presentation on the compliance Report, a member of the African American Advisory Council denied the characterization, so the COCL may amend this section.
Getting back to the issue of traffic stop data, the COCL noted that more fields were added to the PPB's data collection, including explaining why a stop is made (the subject of a training video, per p. 65). The plan to inform people of their right to refuse a search still hasn't gone into effect in part because the translations of cards explaining that right haven't been made, and thus training hasn't been done. Unfortunately, because this isn't required by the Agreement, the Bureau is still seen as in Substantial Compliance with Paragraph 148.
Portland Copwatch also had other critiques of the COCL report, some of which are continuing issues.
--In referring to the DOJ's letter about how the Bureau failed compliance during the protests as an attachment to this Report, the COCL claims they attached their own letter to the Q1 Report. However, that letter was only attached to the draft in Q1 but disappeared when it was revised.*-10
--When the COCL includes tables/charts provided by other entities (PPB, IPR), if those tables/charts have missing or unclear information, the COCL shrugs off responsibility for the inadequate graphics rather than fixing them. There are missing labels in graphics on pages 44, 45, 46 and 53, for example.
--Although PCW has repeatedly pointed out that Internal Affairs and Assistant Chiefs share the IPR's ability to "controvert" proposed findings on misconduct cases, which prompts a hearing before the Police Review Board (see Directive 332.00), the COCL continues to only list IPR as having that power (p. 55).
--The COCL, whose reports developed from critiques of the community in 2014 to recent support for the general goals of last year's demonstrations, refers to "George Floyd protests" (p. 58, for example) rather than "racial justice protests" as they did in 2020. Although the murder of George Floyd did spark the movement, this language omits the broader context of biased and violent policing.
--In looking at the oversight system, the COCL notes that Police Review Board reports are heavily redacted but still calls the Bureau's efforts "largely transparent." The PRB Reports are so threadbare, they do not include the genders or ranks of the people involved, making them hard to follow. Reports on deadly force barely include any details, including the names of officers-- even though City Code allows their use. So, the COCL is being too generous once again.
--PCW sent other minor corrections to the COCL in a separate document.
As with many of the previous Compliance summaries, the Q2 COCL Report gives some insight into information which cannot be gleaned elsewhere, pushes back against Bureau inertia in some places, but also goes too easy on the police in others. In PCW's last analysis, we had misunderstood comments about why the Q1 Report was delayed and said that the Bureau stopped compiling data because they thought they DOJ was going to sign off on their being done with the Agreement. While that turned out not to be accurate, overall, the PPB continues to fail to face up to the problems they have around force, mental illness, and community trust. We continue to say that so long as there are police, they must be held accountable. Whether or not the DOJ's nine proposed remedies (particularly their demand for the use of body cameras) do anything to change the status quo remains to be seen. PCW will continue to monitor the PPB and the COCL so long as they are around.
*1- Find the Report at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/pccep/article/796645
*2- For some reason, the COCL changed their language from "racial justice protests" to "George Floyd protests" between the last few Reports and this one; see details in our "Minor Bothersome Things" section.
*3- The four Inspectors were Lt. Jeff Niiya, Lt. Robert Simon, Lt. John Sapper, and Lt. Chris Lindsey- People's Police Report #83: https://www.portlandcopwatch.org/PPR83/trainingac83.html
*4- COCL says they will add this detail to the final version of the Report.
*5- Including the main author of this analysis, Dan Handelman.
*6- See PCW's analysis of the September 2021 PRB Report at https://www.portlandcopwatch.org/PRBanalysis0921.html .
*7- They refer to data from IPR's online data portal which goes from 2011-2021, though looking at all of IPR's annual reports since it was formed in 2002 support this assertion. See: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/ipr/54264 .
*8- The COCL also admitted, in a footnote, that IPR has not taken in-person complaints since March 2020 due to COVID, but asserts that because they allow such filing in other circumstances they are in compliance with access goals (p. 52).
*9- The letters went to the families of Robert Delgado, who was shot in April, and Michael Townsend, who was shot in June. The letters went out shortly after Townsend's sister spoke at a PCCEP meeting, and Portland Copwatch asked about the letters at the Status Conference with Judge Simon, both in late August.
*10- See https://bit.ly/3BOEVyi ; PCW called attention to this and the COCL may have added the memo to the final version. However this means the original "final" version was transmitted to the judge without the memo.
Portland Copwatch home page
Peace and Justice Works home page
Posted November 10, 2021