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TO COUNCIL: Allow testimony, be on the right side of history, reject the contract

We urge you to reconsider the heavy-handed, undemocratic position you have taken to hold a City Council meeting without the public present. You should allow testimony on the Amendments to the Portland Police Association contract. The Amendments were introduced after a 2.5 hour recess on September 28 when a number of groups / individuals had already testified, including ours. When Council left the chambers on October 5 to avoid listening to what probably would have amounted to 1 hour of testimony, those of us awaiting to speak spent over 2 hours waiting for you to reconvene. Meanwhile, the allegedly desperately thin ranks of the Police Bureau were largely inside City Hall arresting and intimidating those who remained inside. We were also treated to a fleet of Department of Homeland Security vehicles parked in the street and several federal officers inside the hall. These measures and others listed below are indicators that Mayor Hales is willing to use any heavy handed tactic he can to push through the inadequate PPA contract. Portland Copwatch urges you not to be on the wrong side of history. You must delay this vote and let the next Mayor negotiate what his police will do.
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 09:42:39
From: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>
To: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>,
News Media < newsmedia@portlandcopwatch.org>
Subject: TO COUNCIL: Allow testimony, be on the right side of history,
reject the contract

Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 09:40:36
From: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>
To: Portland City Council -- Commissioner Amanda Fritz
< amanda@portlandoregon.gov>,
Commissioner Dan Saltzman < dan@portlandoregon.gov>,
Commissioner Nick Fish < Nick@portlandoregon.gov>,
Commissioner Steve Novick < novick@portlandoregon.gov>,
Mayor Charlie Hales < mayorhales@portlandoregon.gov>
Cc: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>
Subject: Allow testimony, be on the right side of history, reject the contract

Mayor Hales and Commissioners Fish, Fritz, Novick and Saltzman:

We urge you to reconsider the heavy-handed, undemocratic position you have taken to hold a City Council meeting without the public present. You should allow testimony on the Amendments to the Portland Police Association contract. The Amendments were introduced after a 2.5 hour recess on September 28 when a number of groups / individuals had already testified, including ours. When Council left the chambers on October 5 to avoid listening to what probably would have amounted to 1 hour of testimony, those of us awaiting to speak spent over 2 hours waiting for you to reconvene. Meanwhile, the allegedly desperately thin ranks of the Police Bureau were largely inside City Hall arresting and intimidating those who remained inside. We were also treated to a fleet of Department of Homeland Security vehicles parked in the street and several federal officers inside the hall. These measures and others listed below are indicators that Mayor Hales is willing to use any heavy handed tactic he can to push through the inadequate PPA contract. Portland Copwatch urges you not to be on the wrong side of history. You must delay this vote and let the next Mayor negotiate what his police will do.

In terms of financial issues, one solution could be to hire fewer officers at a higher rate, which would then not cost the City extra money. Even if it's true that the City needs more police, getting more officers and increasing accountability are not mutually exclusive-- we should wait for a contract that can do both.

In the past week, the Mayor has been desperate to shut down the voices calling for justice.

On Friday, he called organizations opposed to the contract into his office to try to convince them to change their position, including using emotional arguments about the death of 15 year old Fallon Smart in a hit-and-run as a justification for needing more police.

On Monday, he released a "Frequently Asked Questions" document that is riddled with inaccuracies and misdirection. For example, he points to the City's planned restructure of the Community Oversight Advisory Board as a way he is working to improve accountability. However, the COAB oversees the Department of Justice Agreement, not individual officer behavior.

On Tuesday, the day before the hearing was set, the Mayor's staff members sent out individualized pleas to Neighborhood Associations and other groups receiving city funds to ask them to support the contract. One such email included degrading language about the community members who oppose the contract. (1) When one neighborhood refused to do support the Contract, staff member Chad Stover berated them in a heavy-handed email. (2) It's worth pointing out here that Stover plans to leave the Mayor's office to attend the Police Academy in November, so he has a personal stake in seeing the pay raises go into place-- and the accountability measures remain muted. (Similarly, the Mayor took advice on the contract from his aide Deanna Wesson Mitchell, who was an officer when he drew her onto his staff and who returns to the Bureau later this month with the same sweet financial deal and no true independent oversight.)

And we've already described how on Wednesday the Mayor shut down a City Council meeting and locked down City Hall rather than listen to the public.

As to the Amendments being proposed to the agreement with the Police Association, they are insulting. In the same paragraph, the Mayor is asking for the community to weigh in on the Body Camera policy and to accept that the PPA and the PPB will have final say. A meaningful stakeholder process would have the PPA and PPB as part of the stakeholder group and bound to a democratic decision making process in that group. Ultimately, City Council should vote on a body camera policy that cannot be changed at the whim of the persons who are supposed to be getting held accountable by those devices.

Creating the stakeholder group will not erase the City's subjective assertion that whether officers can view their footage before writing a police report is mandatory for bargaining. We understand there are parts of the contract that the City and PPA consider to be mandatory for bargaining. We suggest that you look at the ACLU's recent letter, the National Lawyers Guild memo and an article in the Lewis and Clark Law Journal regarding some of these issues. (Analysis by NLG attorney Kristen Chambers at: < http://law.lclark.edu/live/files/11321-lcb162art11chamberspdf.pdf>).

Regardless, if the City considers something to be a mandatory issue for bargaining, that means the City should have bargained on those points during the closed-door, unannounced negotiations done by our outgoing Mayor. The changes we are suggesting to the oversight system that would allow the IPR (3) to compel officer testimony and investigate deadly force cases should have been negotiated to _inform_ the changes being made to IPR, rather than the other way around. The City has deflected criticism about the IPR's weaknesses by pointing to the PPA contract since 2001 when IPR was created.

It is our understanding that the Mayor never even tried changing some of these crucial accountability measures during the negotiations. We now know that he failed to contact the City's sixth elected official, the Auditor, despite the fact that a good chunk of her job is to oversee the police. Perhaps the Auditor and community's concerns would have been part of the negotiations if the City had pushed to hold the contract negotiations in public, as they did in 2010 and 2013.

In the Mayor's FAQ, he also denies the contract inhibits accountability, despite the point raised by the Auditor (that IPR can't compel officer testimony) and the ones we've raised -- that IPR and CRC can't investigate or hear appeals on deadly force cases, and that officers who are fired won't stay fired. On this last point, the City's appeal of Officer Frashour's reinstatement gave a road map to fixing the problem, which is to change the binding arbitration clause of the PPA contract. This is the time to make that change.

There are plenty of organizations in Portland whose advice the City should have sought _before_ heading into negotiations, but because the process was so flawed it took us months to realize our chance to obtain accountability was being sold out from under us. When the first trial balloon costing $9 million went down in flames, we thought the negotiations would be put on hold. We know that last week after resounding testimony to reject the contract, the Mayor met privately with some groups to try to sway their opposition. The follow up email from the ACLU reasserts their opposition, and we know they are not alone. We're not sure whether to be honored or insulted by the Mayor not calling us in for a meeting.

Just addressing the body camera issue does not satisfy the community's demands for justice. The Mayor has argued that there are communities crying out for more police protection, and that by opposing the contract we're ignoring those voices. However, if you polled most of the people who want more police (with the exception maybe of the Portland Business Alliance), they would likely be shocked to learn that this contract provides money to attract new officers but practically nothing assuring those officers will be held accountable for misconduct. It's even possible in an America after the Ferguson shooting and uprising that Council would have significant support not only from the public but also from arbitrators and courts to get rid of cops involved in bad shootings or excessive force incidents.

The Portland Tribune reported Tuesday that officers privately told them giving up the 48-hour rule was really no big deal as it hardly affects them. < http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/325750205416- citizens-call-for-more-oversight-in-police-contract> Because the list of dropped grievances looks like a shopping list, there is no way to tell what the City gained by negotiating those as part of this deal. We've very curious what the PPA's grievance about "mere conversation" was about, especially since such conversations would be exempted by the body camera policy as written, and as we testified earlier, the Portland Police consider an "officer safety" frisk is part of "mere conversation."

There's also a provision in the contract for a huge new public policy issue-- hiring unarmed police officers, something very intriguing to our group which advocates non-violent conflict resolution. This is something that deserves a community discussion before adding it via the collective bargaining agreement.

The Mayor's creation of a Stakeholder Group for body cameras is too little to fix the various problems the Bureau already introduced in the draft policy, especially if the City has already taken the position that the PPA has final say on the policy. As Deputy City Attorney Osoinach pointed out at the second forum on IPR changes, the City can set a policy regardless of the opinion of their attorney.

This contract will lock the current bad policies in place until the next Mayor's race is underway-- or maybe even decided-- in mid-2020. We continue to urge you to delay the vote on this contract.

dan handelman
--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)
 copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
 http://www.portlandcopwatch.org



(1)
(Excerpt)

From: "Peavey, Tom" < Tom.Peavey@portlandoregon.gov>
Date: Oct 4, 2016 2:52 PM
Subject: October 5th, City Council, Police Contract Support email

Thanks to a lot of genuine pain and trauma created by police shootings
elsewhere in our country, people in Portland have recently spoken loudly about the need for reform. That is good and helpful. What is NOT good nor helpful is that some of these advocates have seized on this new police union contract as "the problem here" and are urging the City Council not to approve it.

(2)

From: Stover, Chad < Chad.Stover@portlandoregon.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 2:05 PM
Subject: RE: Portland Police Association Contract Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs)


I'm going to chime in here following up to the previous e-mail I sent. I appreciate your wanting there to be more public involvement on this, but the truth of the matter is that there has been exponential public involvement on this topic for a very long time. Nothing is being done in a hurry here, and the process has been completely transparent. I reached out to Lents to encourage you to chime in NOW on this important topic that we have already been discussing for years. If you don't act, you will be letting a small portion of the city (mostly people who are misinformed about the issue) influence this vote to a negative outcome. The FAQs are very simple to understand and it all boils down to Portland being able to hire more Police Officers. If we don't, then Lents, and other neighborhoods, will continue to have extremely limited Police services. Clearly not a good outcome. This rests with you. Now is the time to step up and be leaders of your community.

(3)

(or IPR's successor body)

homepage: homepage: http://www.portlandcopwatch.org
phone: phone: (503) 236-3065 (offi


My letter to city council on Allow testimony, reject the Police Contarct 06.Oct.2016 13:12

Joe Anybody iam@joeanybody.com

INDY READERS PLEASE SEND YOUR EMAILS TO CITY COUNCIL
=======================================

Mayor Hales and all of City Council

Here is what the world is reading...regarding your games with the public citizen of Portland and the police
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/10/433294.shtml

I am outraged to hear how you are shutting the public out of police accountability.
The groups and activists and concerned citizens are being left out in the cold.
All the while the mayor sends out lying notices to different neighborhoods on spinning the truth about police accountability. That is dirty and deceitful.

The city is under fire from the DOJ regarding our Portland Police FORCE. (force was capitalized on purpose)
And at every turn you fight to do whats right, who close down meetings, refuse to cooperate, shut doors , and arrest people as well as scaring folks to "even dare try to use their opinions" with Homeland Security and armed cops inside the chambers.

You snub all the community who is concerned and care about these issues.
You have outraged citizens who wont even let you speak, you pushed back so hard and neglectful many don't even want to hear you anymore (cant blame em really)

You are taking the whole city down a serious rabbit hole
While you "fix" the outcome and ignore good groups who really care ..like "Portland Copwatch" "AMA" "NAACP" "Consult Hardesty" Mental Health Advocates" and every other person who wants a better policing system that show up day after day on your doorsteps.

The following link is posted on Portland Indymedia which is read "internationally"
The whole world is watching you on the council play games as you close out the public
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/10/433294.shtml

I sign my name "in bold print" along with the letter by Portland Copwatch that is on Indymedia
I have tweeted this information out to my (1,000 plus) followers
I am outraged how you treat the Portland citizens who care about these police contract issues
You all should step back or down if you cant be honest and figure out how to have democracy in our city.
You DON'T have a right to close the doors and conduct your 'sneaky business' all behind locked doors

I really hold out hope ...that the DOJ will see through all these scandalous dirty trick the Portland City Council is using to stop any real police accountability.

Further more you all should apologize to those you have insulted who are working hard in respectful ways to make "REAL" changes in how we are policed. You have insulted people of the city you work for.

SHAME ON YOU
Joe Anybody


Amanda Auto Reply 06.Oct.2016 13:16

Joe Anybody

she says to forward info here:
 ClaireAdamsick@portlandoregon.gov

=====================================

Thank you for your message. Please read the options below to increase the speed of response to it. This auto-response is now updated weekly, in order to provide information on urgent issues. Please choose an option below to get a speedy response to your message.

I receive many more emails daily than I am able to read in the time available. Often, I don't have any time between meetings, and I attend a lot of evening events. My office staff members help me respond to your questions, requests and comments in a timely manner.

I am currently endeavoring to read all emails regarding the Portland Police union's contract before the continued hearing this week. Please copy/forward all messages on this important issue to  Cristina.Nieves@portlandoregon.gov as she is my trusted Policy Advisor on all Portland Police and US Department of Justice Settlement Agreement matters.

To ensure prompt attention to other concerns:

For questions and comments regarding Parks, please contact  cristina.nieves@portlandoregon.gov For Neighborhood Involvement, please copy/forward your message to
 ClaireAdamsick@portlandoregon.gov




If your concern is not about Parks or Neighborhood Involvement, please contact the City-County Information and Referral Service at 503-823-4000 or  CityInfo@portlandoregon.gov to get assistance with general questions or concerns about any City, County, or Portland Development Commission issue. The "I&R" staff are also the folks to contact if you don't know who is responsible for any issue.

My office team members and their areas of responsibility are listed here:  http://portlandonline.com/fritz/index.cfm?c=49206

If you would like to schedule a meeting with me or invite me to an event, please contact  Goldann.Salazar@portlandoregon.gov or call her at 503-823-4124.

For urgent policy issues, and media requests, please contact my Chief of Staff, Tim Crail, at 503-823-3988 or  tim.crail@portlandoregon.gov

Thank you for participating in your City government.

Amanda

Rumor has it 06.Oct.2016 23:19

sade

The city council is getting them selves in a pickle, because they are operating: out of policy, as they try to [use their] *control on the legal public process.

Tweets from today's council session? 07.Oct.2016 09:34

curious one

If it's true that the public has been shut out of today's City Council session, will there be anyone inside the meeting room who can tweet out to the public details of what is happening, as it happens?

THANKS!

Speaking of twitter and City Council 07.Oct.2016 12:09

#BridgeCrane

yesterday on twitter: search using the hashtag #BridgeCrane

#bridgecrane 07.Oct.2016 16:19

curious one (partially) satifised

Thanks for the tip.
It was very interesting to see people sneak in their comments about the meeting process & police contract into the that other line item.

2PM Post from Copwatch - Press Release 12.Oct.2016 16:47

re-posting: Portland Copwatch

Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:16:29
From: Portland Copwatch < copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org>
To: "City Auditor, Mary Hull Caballero"
< AuditorHullCaballero@portlandoregon.gov>,
"Anderson, Toni" < Toni.Anderson@portlandoregon.gov>
Cc: "Moore-Love, Karla" < Karla.Moore-Love@portlandoregon.gov>,
"Parsons, Susan" < Susan.Parsons@portlandoregon.gov>,
"Landis, Sarah" < Sarah.Landis@portlandoregon.gov>,
Commissioner Amanda Fritz < amanda@portlandoregon.gov>,
"Auerbach, Harry" < Harry.Auerbach@portlandoregon.gov>
Subject: RE: Objection: Council item on PPA contract should not move to 2nd
reading

Auditor Hull Caballero, Ms Anderson and city counsel:

I am not surprised that the City Attorney did not address our concerns about the irregularities of last week's meeting prior to the second reading of the PPA contract today, since the same City Attorney's office is the one finding ways to skirt Oregon Public Meetings laws and exclude the community from Council hearings.

That said, Council should have known based on our previous objection that if they were going to take today's items out of numerical order, the City Code requires an affirmative majority vote. Once again, the Mayor just announced his intention to move the agenda around stating "if there are no objections." This is clearly not the procedure called for by Code and we again assert that Council is in violation of its own rules. We ask therefore that this week and last week's vote on the Bridge Crane and the PPA contract be vacated and sent back to Council for proper public notification and procedural votes.

dan handelman
--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)
 copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
 http://www.portlandcopwatch.org

On Fri, 7 Oct 2016, Anderson, Toni wrote:

Dan Handelman
Portland Copwatch

We have placed the Portland Police Association contract on the October 12, 2016 agenda per the direction of the City Council at their meeting of October 6, 2016.

Your concerns regarding the violations of City Code have been forwarded to the City Attorney's Office.

Sincerely,

Toni Anderson
Council/Contracts Supervisor
Office of the City Auditor
503.823.4022
 toni.anderson@portlandoregon.gov


-----Original Message-----
From: Portland Copwatch [mailto: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org]
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2016 9:58 AM
To: Hull Caballero, Mary < Mary.HullCaballero@portlandoregon.gov>
Cc: Moore-Love, Karla < Karla.Moore-Love@portlandoregon.gov>
Subject: Objection: Council item on PPA contract should not move to 2nd reading

Auditor Hull Caballero

We are writing to ask that the Portland Police Association contract not be posted on the October 12 agenda for a second reading due to two violations of the City Code on October 6.

City Code 3.02.040 states that "Items on the regular agenda shall be considered in numerical order listed except the order of the agenda may be changed by a majority vote of the Council." When Council convened at 1 PM on Thursday, they began with item #1109 (the contract) though I had signed up to speak for #1108 (on the purchase of a Bridge Crane). When Council was recessed on October 5, they had already called item #1092, a communication. At the beginning of the October 5 hearing the Mayor stated that he wanted to move communications and the consent agenda after the first Time Certain. There was not vote to change the order on Wednesday, and there was no discussion or vote when the Mayor moved #1109 ahead of the communications and #1108 on Thursday, a violation of City Code.

In addition, City Code chapter 3.02.020 reflects the state law on notice of special meetings, stating that the Auditor shall post notice of such meetings "not later than 24 hours preceding the meeting." We were handed information about the meeting on a piece of paper yesterday at 1:15 PM that said it would be convened "in a room where public access will be limited" and that rooms for public viewing would be "identified and announced." Unless I am mistaken, by not fault of your own, the notice of the 1 PM Thursday meeting was posted less than 24 hours before it occurred, another violation of City Code.

Please respond immediately as we know the agenda for 10/12 will be posted soon.
dan handelman

--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)
 copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
 http://www.portlandcopwatch.org

Wednesday Recap from Portland Copwatch 13.Oct.2016 13:52

re-posting: Portland Copwatch copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Update regarding City Hall protest on Wednesday 10/12/16 from Portland Copwatch 13.Oct.2016


Refer to this Portland Indymedia link for the 10/12/16 protest update

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/10/433406.shtml#448120