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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

101 excessive force complaints a year against Portland cops

There's a new report out about police use of force in Portland. It was written by a "task force" of nine members, five of whom are members of the Police Bureau. No big surprise, I suppose, that they found nothing seriously wrong. Their recommendations for change are stuff like "The Bureau should change the name of the required use of force form from 'Report' to 'Data Collection Form.'”

Interestingly, though, the report does point out that the chances of having an excessive force complaint sustained against a Portland officer are slim to none:

Since 2002, IPR has received an average of 101 complaints each year involving one or more force allegations against a Portland police officer. These force complaints make up about 14% of all complaints received by IPR.

PPB did not sustain a single citizen force complaint between 2004 and 2006. According to 2002 data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), other jurisdictions sustain an average of 8% to 14% force complaints per year. Furthermore, PPB exonerated officers in 62% of the complaints, more than double the national rate averaging 21% to 28%. The Police Bureau members of the Task Force point out that these national rates should be viewed cautiously because it is not clear what effect, if any, results from differences in the way jurisdictions receive, process and record complaints. Also, the Police Bureau notes that although no allegations of force were sustained in any citizen-generated complaints, in nine force cases between 2004 and 2006, other allegations such as profanity and rude or unprofessional behavior were sustained. One bureau-generated complaint (not brought to the Bureau’s attention by a citizen) was sustained during the same period.

I'm sure this report will be spun eight ways to Sunday, but if you'd like to read the document itself, it's here.

Comments (20)

Willamette Week has reported on this issue for years..naming rogue cops and misdeeds. Nothing much ever happens. Every politico running for city office claims to be for a Citizen review commission that has power and force...once elected that idea goes away in a hurry. Makes one wonder if the cops got the goods on all elected big-wigs.

With all the Meth Heads and Dirt Bags running around Portland, I wish they would swing harder..

Me too. And I hope you're on the receiving end.

I just want to know more about the task force members. Out of 9 members, 5 are cops, 2 are from IPR (the director and assistant director), and 2 are from the CRC.

Given how generally useless IPR has been, what do we know about the IPR and CRC members?

Is there anything in Portland that ISN'T out of control? Portland Public Schools, the cops, the "City Council", Metro, Tri-Met...that list just goes on and on, and nothing ever changes.

When we get ready to sell this place, I can tell your right now where we won't be buying. It won't be in Portland. It'll also be outside the reach of the ninnies at Metro.

Profanity and rude behavior!! Land-a-Goshen that’s no way for ushers to act at a garden party.


Don't let the door hit you in the @$$ when you leave.

Good riddance.

Oh, dear.

See ya, Max. If you really want to get away from the evil Metro may I suggest my old manor, San Diego. There the police just tend to shoot people (much more efficient than leaving bruised witnesses). The property developers own the government entirely, but at least they build thousand acre tracts not nasty condos. About one in ten people could even name the mayor, never mind council members (most are Republicans though, if that makes you feel safer). The place is bankrupt but the Padres still took the city for $350 million and the Chargers are lining up to do the same. There’s also plenty of meth heads and homeless, although the homeless are much better hidden so as not to scare the tourists.

I suspect you can say much the same about most big cities.

at least they build thousand acre tracts not nasty condos.

I guess you haven't been there for a while. It's Pearl South. Same financial results, too.

But I'm with you. Max sounds like he's ready for a change of scenery.

Well, the Space Coast ain't gonna do it for Max either. Today's headline in Florida today:

"Cocoa housing project in Limbo...City Leaders say scandals rocked development plans."

Imagine that!

OK...I should also add:

Headline: "Pain still fresh 20 years later...family, friends congregate to mourn the death of two police officers."

This stuff cuts both ways.

Best headline, though, from today's Florida Today:

"McCarty to appear before Sink, Cabinet."

No...he's not brushing his teeth. Alex Sink is a cabinet member in state government.

Floridians are a little crazy. Waiting for the crocodiles to come and eat you does that to a person.

When Max leaves, how we gonna get to Gresham?

The condo building is a tiny fraction of the new housing in San Diego. You have to drive 30-50 miles to see the really big stuff (allow an hour or two for the freeway trip). Picture thousand of houses and new commuters living in Tilamook and beyond. Actually there are a few people here that would love that.

The big difference between the Pearl and downtown SD is that people actually live in the Pearl. More than half of the apartments were bought by speculators in SD.

By the way, did I miss discussion of Sunday’s Oregonian? All of those rosy “outlook” sections must have had some people going apoplectic.

people actually live in the Pearl. More than half of the apartments were bought by speculators

I hear there are lots of condos in the Pearl being rented right now, because they can't be sold.

Same goes for SoWa, but the information is kept pretty guarded as to exactly how many are owned by speculators. Portland's not as high as many other places like Las Vegas, though.

.... because they can't be sold

Everything has a price. A negative cash flow can only be sustained for so long, and if things get worse (or even continue the stagnation of the last year or so), they'll have to hit the market.

they'll have to hit the market.

If the likely sale price is less than the mortgage, this would be a course of last resort.

When Max leaves, how we gonna get to Gresham?

You go to Gresham???

Say Sherwood - Did you find the sunday Oregonian "Outlook" sections as reeking of TriMet, Metro, and City Of Portland P.R./puff pieces as I did? I can't belive they published that stuff with a straight face.
Along the same lines as TriMet telling us how great their passenger loads are, yet unwilling to disclose what they really are. By the way does anybody know if TriMet's passenger counts have ever been independently audited?

Much as I love MAX, the streetcar and much of what's happening in Portland (even more so having navigated Oakland all weekend –you want to talk potholes), I did find much of it reeking of PR pamphlets with the Oregonian banner on top. If that stuff is distributed south of the border expect the influx to speed up.

When it comes to the MAX and my local bus, in my experience it is full (frequently too full) all the time. That includes 5am on the way to the airport.

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