Auditor Gary Blackmer has not made any significant changes to the proposal for the "Independent" Police Review Division, despite input from Council, the Citizen Advisors, and the public.
The Council will be holding a public hearing, with
testimony "on the amendments only," at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, June 6 at City Hall, SW 4th at Madison.
One really important change that has been made is that
this has been converted into an "emergency" ordinance so that it can be implemented less than 30 days after Council votes. As a result, it must be voted on unanimously, and no more than one member of Council may be absent. In other words, if even one member votes no, or two abstain, the IPR cannot be adopted in its current form.
These are the sum total of the changes that were made:
1. The ordinance which outlines the city code mentions
that policies around shootings and deaths in custody need to be examined;
2. The Auditor has given himself until December 31 to
come up with city code implementing item #1;
3. Cases currently in the pipeline, handled by the old
IAD system, will be postponed until the new system is operating;
4. The word "citizen" has been defined, thus broadening
who can file a report from "citizens" to "civilians," but eliminating the possiblity that police (who are citizens too) can use the IPR.
5. The number of Citizens on the board, currently at
13, and originally reduced by the Auditor to 7, is now 9. (Four, rather than 3, will serve one-year terms for the first year instead of the full two-year term. The
Citizens may now select a chairperson.)
6. The City Council may nominate people to the board
who may get preference over those nominated by the review board members themselves.
7. The word "vexatious" no longer appears as a
criterion for rejecting a complaint;
8. The Citizens may review closed IAD/IPR cases that
were not appealed.
Also, the Auditor wrote a letter to the Tribune complaining about their insightful cartoon from the other day, stating that "I get very upset when people misrepresent the facts." His letter goes on to announce powers he has "added" to the citizen committee, all
but one of which are powers currently delegated to the
Citizens on PIIAC.
If you can, come Wednesday morning. Sign-up sheets will
probably be available at 9 AM.
Call or write the City Council between now and Wednesday and let them know how you feel:
Mayor Vera Katz, 503-823-4120,
Jim Francesconi, 503-823-3008,
Charlie Hales, 503-823-4682, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Saltzman, 503-823-4151, email@example.com
Erik Sten, 503-823-3589, Esten@ci.portland.or.us