08-09-2022  10:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Personal Information of Some in Jails Possibly Compromised

A statement from the county said names, dates of birth and photos — as well as medical information like diagnoses and treatments —...

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Rep. Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump, concedes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of two Republican members of Washington state's congressional delegation who voted to impeach Donald Trump, has conceded her reelection bid after being overtaken in late vote tallies by a GOP challenger endorsed by the former president. ...

Seattle City Council OKs outlawing abortion discrimination

SEATTLE (AP) — It will soon be illegal in Seattle to discriminate against people for seeking or receiving an abortion, part of the city’s efforts to preserve reproductive rights locally. The Seattle City Council on Tuesday passed a measure making it illegal to discriminate...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, most likely closing the case that shocked a nation and galvanized the modern civil rights movement. After...

Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son's birthday during the weekend. Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee's...

Lutheran bishop issues public apology to Latino congregation

Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, issued a public apology Tuesday to members of a majority Latino immigrant congregation for the pain and trauma they endured after the predominantly white denomination’s first openly transgender bishop unexpectedly...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: 'Day Shift' and 'Five Days at Memorial'

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES — One of the best movies of the year is finally streaming. “Belle,” Mamoru Hosoda's tour-de-force...

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. ...

'P-Valley' explores Black strip club culture, gay acceptance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Katori Hall first pitched the idea to convert her popular play about Black strip club culture into the television series “P-Valley,” the Pulitzer Prize winner was either quickly rejected after meeting with networks or denied before she could fully explain the concept. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Federal judge denies LIV golfers bid for PGA Tour postseason

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge in California ruled Tuesday that three golfers who joined Saudi-backed...

Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off...

Nebraska woman charged with helping daughter have abortion

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — A Nebraska woman has been charged with helping her teenage daughter end her pregnancy at...

Rescuers to move whale stranded in French river to saltwater

PARIS (AP) — French environmentalists prepared Tuesday to move a beluga whale that strayed into the Seine River...

'El Jefe' the jaguar, famed in US, photographed in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — They call him “El Jefe,” he is at least 12 years old and his crossing of the heavily...

3 migrants drown entering Panama near Darien Gap

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Three migrants drowned while crossing into Panama from Colombia, authorities said Tuesday. ...

Dan Handelman Portland Copwatch

Local police accountability group Portland Copwatch has released an analysis of the Independent Police Review Division's 2009 Annual Report, calling it "a mixed bag of useful and buried information, neutral reporting and public relations." The report is scheduled to be presented to City Council on Wednesday, June 30, at 6 p.m.
On the whole, the new report is geared less toward touting the IPR's statistics as achievements, a point PCW brought to attention in analyses of the 2007 and 2008 reports. There is less of an implication that the drop in complaints, use of force complaints, and officer involved shootings from 2007 to 2009 was the result of IPR's work. However, IPR ignored, for example, that only one of 27 cases investigated by the Internal Affairs Division was completed by the Bureau within the 5-month guideline. The report also continues to bump up certain statistics and trends--including the "sustain rate"--while leaving in the report's back pages information that the satisfaction rate with IPR has gone down while dissatisfaction has remained at 50 percent.
Below are highlights of Portland Copwatch's seven-page analysis of the Annual Report. The full analysis is available at their website, or upon request; the IPR report is available at their website.

NEUTRAL TONE SHOWS IPR CAPABLE OF OBJECTIVITY, BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN

IPR refrains from language used in past report that implied their work had led to changes in police behavior and complaints generated. This year's report states the facts, that the number of complaints "continued a downward trend ...from 771 in 2005 to 405 in 2009" (p.1) and that there was only one officer involved shooting and no deaths in custody in 2009, while "there were approximately eight shootings and/or deaths per year from 1997 through 2006." The neutral tone is welcome, since there is no way to know whether the scathing consultant's report issued in January,
2008 or other factors led to broader mistrust of IPR, or if the police are not committing as many acts of misconduct.
There is a downside to the neutrality, which is that by selectively choosing facts, the system appears to be functioning better than it really is.
For instance, the "Sustain rate," touted by IPR at "22 percent of cases fully investigated by the Police Bureau" ignores that only 37 percent of all complaints are turned over to the IAD, and that they only investigate 17 percent of those complaints (p. 14). Portland Copwatch's analysis, depending on the number you use for the overall pool of complaints, shows that between 2.8 percent and 8.1 percent of all complaints received one or more sustained findings, far less than 22 percent. The 22 percent number from IPR is the least deceiving since 2002: while in other years their "sustain rate" has been 12-16 times too high, this year it is only about 7 times too high.
PCW notes that "Service Improvement Opportunities" (SIOs) have climbed from being used by IAD 34-54 percent of the time in 2002-2006, to 51-60 percent 2007-2009 (p. 14). These minor complaints (which would be a better name for "Service Complaints" than "SIOs") are for violations of policy that normally do not rise to the level of discipline.
Disparate treatment, law enforcement treating someone differently or otherwise using race inappropriately in a police action, is one of the most serious offenses an officer can commit, yet only one racial profiling/disparate treatment case has been sustained since 2002 (in 2007). While the community might expect this behavior to result in discipline, ten racial profiling cases were handled as minor complaints/SIOs in 2009 (p. 14), and seven in 2008 (2008 p. 19).

SLIMMER REPORT, LESS INFORMATION

One result of the 2009 report being slimmed down is that some of the information that was previously discussed or presented in the body of the report is now buried in the appendix or missing from the publication.
This includes information about the combined rate of cases dismissed by IPR and declined by IAD, which would have shown this year that only 7.2 percent of cases received investigations, down from nearly 10 percent in recent years. In other words, the odds of a citizen's complaint getting an investigation went from about one in 10 to about one in 14.
The new report deletes multiple charts about the lack of timeliness of investigations, at the expense of any substantive acknowledgment that investigations take too long--only one of 27 cases was closed in the 5-month goal (p. 38). Just at IAD, 56 percent of investigations were not completed in the 10 week goal, and commanders are taking far too long to return proposed findings--only 18 percent came back within 90 days.
Other missing/under-analyzed information includes:
--How often there is not enough information to determine whether the officer or the complainant's version of facts is true; --How often Racial Profiling, Use of Force and other misconduct were alleged compared to other years; --How many case files opened by IPR based on preliminary lawsuits from the public led to IAD investigations; --What is happening at the Bureau's Use of Force Review Board, which reviews shootings, deaths in custody and uses of force leading to hospitalization for compliance with Bureau policies; and --How many complaints are filed in each precinct

DETAILS IN, DETAILS OUT

In a few places, the report does give details that more concretely demonstrate both the issues raised by complainants and the workings of the complaint system. In other areas, vague descriptions actually do disservice to the work of IPR and its Citizen Review Committee (CRC).
In a few places, IPR cites specific examples of complaints and how they were handled administratively, including one involving allegations of force and improper stop/search (p. 14) and one involving a violation of the Bureau's foot pursuit policy (p. 15). For the first time, IPR used the broadly known name of a person who died in police custody, in this instance, James Chasse [Jr] (p. 21).
On the other hand, for the first time, there are no details about the cases that were heard as appeals by the CRC, and a discussion of the Force Task Force's report does not specifically relate what recommendations the IPR and others on that group successfully made to the Bureau.

DISCIPLINE AND REPEAT OFFENDER OFFICERS

The IPR could do a better job reporting on officer discipline as well as officers who have received multiple complaints over time. A table on discipline imposed (p. 18) would be more meaningful if it described the actions for which the officers received time off, were terminated or resigned/retired. Answering questions for the community and Bureau members as to what kinds of serious misconduct lead to six officers leaving the force and 22 other officers receiving discipline could help increase trust and prevent future occurrences.
Along with other deficiencies on the section about officers with multiple complaints, one officer discussed in the new report received 14 Use of Force complaints in five years, and had two new complaints this year, even though the 2008 report says this officer was reassigned and subjected to a "behavior review" to reduce his/her use of force (2009 report, p. 20, 2008 report p. 31-32).

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK

The IPR has sent out more surveys to people who used the system, refrained from using their previous dismissive tone about the outcomes, and yet failed in their goal of transparency by printing the survey results in the appendix rather than in the body of the report. Overall satisfaction has gone down, to 37 percent from 44 percent; dissatisfaction held steady at 50 percent. It cannot be overlooked that the IPR has never received over 50 percent satisfaction rate on its own survey, or in the more generally worded Auditor's survey (p. 34).

CORRECTING THE RECORD, RAISING QUESTIONS

In several places, the IPR Annual Report gives out misleading information that could give outsiders the wrong idea about what IPR and CRC actually do. The most glaring example are the two places (pages 3 & 7) where the report accurately states that IPR can conduct independent investigations, but fails to mention that this has never happened in 8-1/2 years.
The report also raises a number of questions, such as whether commendations are investigated for accuracy, why some information is not formally documented, and whether it makes sense for an officer's supervisor, whose proposed findings can be overturned by at least three other people, to have a vote on the Police Review Board.

For more information, contact Portland Copwatch at 503-236-3065, or go to http://www.portlandcopwatch.org .

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