06-21-2018  7:02 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Oregon allows rancher to kill a wolf after calves attacked

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife managers have issued a permit that allows a rancher in Eastern Oregon to kill a wolf after three of his calves were injured by the predators last week.The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday they confirmed that the calves were hurt by wolves...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Suu Kyi says outside hate narratives driving Myanmar tension

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A social media account run by the office of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi quotes...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

The office of the city auditor recently released its annual report detailing the efforts of the Independent Police Review, citing progress in the handling of police complaints.

The report gives an overview of the complaint process and IPR’s role. Highlights of the report include shorter resolution times for complaints, more independent investigations and fewer dismissed complaints compared to previous years -- 67 percent dismissed down from 76 percent in 2014.

But local police accountability advocates say the report is misleading and lacking analysis necessary for reform.

“I think it is inexcusable for a government agency that’s tasked with investigating complaints of police misconduct to be proud of … the significant numbers they don’t even bother to investigate,” said JoAnn Hardesty, president of the Portland Chapter of the NAACP.

 

Dismissed Complaints

Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch issued an analysis and response to the IPR report. The organization says there is faulty analysis behind the IPR report conclusions. For example, the IPR report states there were 11 cases with sustained allegations out of 62 IPR and administrative investigations. From these numbers, the report states that 18 percent of community complaints had merit.

However, in the Copwatch report, this number is challenged, saying that number should be based on the total number of complaints received, not the number that was investigated.

“That rate would be 2.8 percent of all cases (11 of 388), not 18 percent (11 of 62) as IPR indicates,” wrote Portland Copwatch in the response. “This means you're six times less likely to have your concerns validated than what IPR implies.”

City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero told The Skanner News that it would be inaccurate to include all complaints. Some had been dismissed for not having enough evidence or they were less serious allegations that were referred to supervisors, or were complaints that had jurisdiction errors, Hull Caballero said.

“Mr. Handelman’s methodology includes complaints against officers who do not work for the city of Portland,” Hull Caballero said. “IPR refers such complaints to the jurisdictions where the officers work. They count in our data as complaints that are dismissed. It would not be appropriate to consider them … when calculating the percentage of sustained allegations, because they never underwent that type of judgment.”

 Hardesty says there is a larger story behind the complaints that do not get investigated. In some cases complainants cannot name the officers involved, because the officer would not give his or her business card or could not be otherwise identified.

Complaints from the homeless are more likely to be dismissed because of issues locating people to follow up, according to Hardesty.

“I believe that the most vulnerable people in our society are the ones who don’t get their cases investigated and don’t get their due process through this IPR process,” Hardesty said. She would like to see an audit of every complaint rejected over the past five years.

 

Few details about African American complaints

The IPR report found that African Americans filed 21 percent of the community complaints against police, but make up only 6 percent of the population in the city. This number is up from 2014 when Black community members filed 19 percent of the complaints, according to Portland Copwatch.

Hardesty believes the 21 percent complaint rate is fairly consistent with the disparate treatment statistics for the Black community in Portland. According to Portland Police Bureau 2013 traffic stop data, Black residents experienced 12.8 percent of traffic stops and were twice as likely to be searched than White residents.

Another criticism of the report is the lack of racial data. There is an IPR complaint category for disparate treatment, which is defined as an inappropriate action or statement based on characteristics such as race, sex, age or disability.

The report states that three percent of the complaints were because of disparate treatment, but there is no more information presented beyond that number. There is no demographic breakdown of the disparate treatment complaints, or any information as to whether the grievances were sustained or dismissed.

“When you look at the outcome of the IPR’s investigation, there is no analysis about whether or not the people who are stopped the most are actually getting justice when they come and file a complaint,” Hardesty said.

 

Police complaints are sustained more often

The IPR report tracks both complaints filed by community members and complaints filed by police employees against other police officers. The report stated that 18 percent of community complaints were sustained compared to 68 percent of officer complaints.

Portland Copwatch reports that this disparity shows an institutional pattern of believing officers over community members.    

Hull Caballero says the information in the report is a snapshot of the last year compared with previous years data -- not an analysis of motives.

“It would not be appropriate for IPR to guess what drives a trend from one year to the next without researching the underlying causes, some of which may never be known,” Hull Caballero said.

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