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Analysis of the US Department of Justice Agreegment with City - from Portland Copwatch

Analysis of the --> (DOJ) Agreement with the City of Portland regarding changes to the Portland
Police Bureau (PPB), saying the Agreement doesn't go far enough and calling it
a "plastic mallet to hammer in a problem nail."
Analysis:  http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/copwatch_analysis_doj_1012.html
Here's the link to the PCW full 7-page analysis:

and the DOJ 85 page Agreement that Council will be voting on:

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 09:12:35

From: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>

Subject: ANALYSIS: Portland Copwatch Says DOJ/City Agreement
"A Plastic Mallet to Hammer in a Problem Nail"

Portland Copwatch
(a project of Peace and Justice Works)
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065 (office)
(503) 321-5120 (incident report line)



Today, Portland Copwatch released an analysis of the US Department of Justice
(DOJ) Agreement with the City of Portland regarding changes to the Portland
Police Bureau (PPB), saying the Agreement doesn't go far enough and calling it
a "plastic mallet to hammer in a problem nail." The accountability group listed
a number of potentially useful aspects of the agreement, but overall noted that
the Agreement does not go far enough and/or is ambiguous enough for the City to
avoid fulfilling the intent of the proposals, which is to alleviate the pattern
and practice of PPB excessive use of force. The analysis supplements comments
released by Portland Copwatch (PCW) on October 28.

Among the positives, PCW notes the Agreement:

--calls for police to de-escalate their use of violence as the resistance from
the subject(s) decreases (paragraph 67-c);

--subjects officers who are found in civil court to have violated someone's
rights to an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation, presuming they are guilty of
misconduct unless the evidence shows they are not (paragraph 132-iii);

--requires Supervisors to be trained to conduct annual performance reviews on
officers (paragraph 85-b-ii); and

--bans officers from using offensive epithets (including "mentals"), a
prohibition that extends to internal communication (paragraph 85-a-v).

Among the concerns, PCW highlights that the Agreement:

--doesn't call for terminating officers for egregious rights violations
(paragraph 136) and even suggests that some excessive force will not result in
discipline (paragraph 67-d);

--does not order the City to change provisions of existing collective
bargaining contracts which are inhibiting effective investigations and
disciplinary action;

--guts the existing Community/Police Relations Committee (CPRC) of the Human
Rights Commission, which is creating a program to educate officers on
institutional racism, to create an oversight body specific to the Agreement;

--creates the new position of Compliance Officer/Community Liaison
(COCL--paragraph 158), but does not give that office power before the federal
court when recommending changes to the Agreement (paragraph 162);

--retains and expands loopholes for excessive Taser use while creating a few
new restrictions (paragraph 68);

--isn't explicit enough about compelling the PPB to provide immediate medical
treatment to suspects;

--prohibits officers with sustained complaints (about use of force or
mistreatment of people with mental illnesses) from serving on the Crisis
Intervention Teams (paragraph 100) or Training Division (paragraph 84), even
though very few such complaints are ever sustained;

--is vague about how to compel officers to testify about deadly force incidents
(paragraph 123) and whether the Independent Police Review Division (IPR) will
be given power to do so (paragraph 127);

--endorses the new PPB policy sending Supervisors head to the scene of uses of
force but doesn't acknowledge those supervisors are mostly Sergeants in the
same collective bargaining unit as the line officers;

--calls for automatic investigation of all use of force complaints unless the
IPR says not to (paragraph 128), but doesn't say whether the complainant can
appeal that decision or compel investigations for lower-level complaints;

--doesn't solve a problem raised in the DOJ's findings letter where the Citizen
Review Committee (CRC) can request but not compel more investigation on a case,
nor address what happens if the Police Review Board (PRB) is refused a similar
request (paragraph 131);

--keeps the PRB meetings closed to the public and the person involved in the
incident being reviewed for possible misconduct, further frustrating attempts
to integrate and make transparent the City's oversight system;

--prohibits appeals to the CRC by people who survive police shootings or the
survivors of a death in custody victim;

--creates optimistic but unrealistic timelines to finish misconduct
investigations including appeals to CRC (paragraph 120);

--enshrines a controversial program that provides addiction treatment only to
people who have been arrested multiple times and has disproportionately
affected African Americans (paragraph 111); and

--jettisons all mentions of race relations that were in the findings letter,
including recommendations to build trust such as tracking all citizen contacts
(DOJ recommendation #9) and creating a policy explaining when it is ok for
officers to move from "mere conversation" to a stop.

Portland Copwatch concludes the analysis stating that its members would not
serve on the community board to oversee the Agreement because of its flaws.
"There are too many people who have suffered too long to see yet another chance
for real change be squandered by compromise," says PCW, repeating concerns that
if these weak changes are locked in place by a court order lasting five years,
the community will unfairly suffer.

The analysis was sent to the Department of Justice and City Council. The full
7-page analysis is on line as a PDF
<  http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/copwatch_analysis_doj_1012.pdf > and as a text
document <  http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/copwatch_analysis_doj_1012.html >.

homepage: homepage: http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/

plastic hammer pic 01.Nov.2012 22:03


dan speaking for copwatch with plastic hammer
screenshot picture from city video

City Hall-Cops 02.Nov.2012 12:33

Lone Vet lonevet2008@comcast.net

It Was A Time

We gathered at city hall at 2:00 PM, November 1, 2012 to hear what the Dept. of Justice and the City Attorney had put together as a settlement concerning the actions by the Portland Police Bureau. The report is very long and complicated and I fear that is by design.

I don't trust the Justice Department, City Council or the City Attorney to come up with a good settlement, so I decided not to testify and tried to listen to what the mayor and members of the council had to say. The first thing I noticed was the absence of Commissioner Saltzman. I wondered what it would take for me to miss this meeting if I was in Saltzman's shoes. Since I was there and it is always a big deal for me to sit for 3 hours listening, why was he missing? One of the things I hate about this council is how much time they spend congratulating each other on the job they are doing; this was no exception.

The problem with this settlement was made visible by Dan Handleman when he used a plastic hammer to demonstrate why this settlement was garbage in garbage out. (My words not Dan's) I just love simple demos and this was right on the money, as Dan spoke about the settlement and the lack of enforcement he banged a metal nail with a kids plastic hammer; it was priceless.


There was very good information offered to the council but the only one who seemed to pay attention was Commissioner Fritz, the other three shi-s looked like they just wanted this to be over. Commissioner randy left a few times, I imagine to scream in the men's room. JoAnn was JoAnn at her best and she always makes me proud that I know and like her so much. The ACLU gets a bad rap from the cops and I can never understand why, they seem logical to me, sometimes a little too logical, I wish they had more passion. The ministers were there and polite but strong, and wanted adams to take some more time with this and do it right. All and all most people could not understand how the public was left out of the process until today. It would have been much better to involve the standing committees, and other organizations before today. This is not the first time the council has presented something that was half-assed and I fear it will not be the last time.

So it looks like adams will have to revamp many of the items to satisfy the people of Portland. The next step is next week and as stated, will be for amendments to the settlements. The mayor also announced that if you wanted to comment on the issue at hand he would keep it open for another week. Here is an article about what the msm reported.
 link to www.oregonlive.com

I am glad I did not present my arguments because I think I would have thrown my shoes at the council.

I was disappointed that many of the activists from Occupy were not there, many of the clean water people, and anti-war people were also not present. This is a very important meeting that will shape our police force for many years. JoAnn said it well, what are we going to get for our $25,000,000+ in the next five years. You all should be there during this process, next week and until it is over. I will go if my health is ok but that is not always possible.