Police Abuse

Union Perk for Portland Police: 48 Hour Waiting Period Before Post-Shooting Questioning



The Portland Auditor's Police Review Division released an 82-page report making thirteen recommendations for reforms of Portland Police Bureau practices based on a review of seven closed case police shootings ranging from 2004 to 2010. They were not the only police shootings in that time period, but were selected because of the victims' emotional or mental distress levels. Though the first "common theme" the report found in the seven incidents was a delay in interviewing the police officer involved (up to seven days in one instance), eliminating that delay was not one of the recommendations. That delay is mandated by the police union contract. From the report:

In addition, the trend in more recent fatal shootings is for officers, upon advice of counsel, to decline to provide voluntary statements to detectives.  As a result, any advantage of affording officers a couple days delay so that a voluntary statement can be obtained no longer exists.

And, as noted above, even in the cases in which officers agree to voluntary interviews, those voluntary interviews similarly do not occur on the date of the incident.  The "48-hour rule" dictated by the current  Bureau labor contracts continues to impede the Bureau from obtaining even a compelled timely version of what occurred from the involved officers. 

As for the thirteen actual recommendations, the police chief Michael Reese responded promptly that he agrees with the vast majority of the recommendations and that some are already in place, though sometimes it's unclear how. From the chief's response:

6. PPB should consider developing protocols for how Cadets are to be interviewed in future critical incidents.
Agree.  This is our current protocol. The Portland Police Bureau Detective Division conducts interviews of all witnesses to a critical incident, such as an officer involved shooting. These interviews are initiated during the early stages of an investigation and oftentimes may continue in the days and weeks following the incident. As cadets are not sworn police officers, they are interviewed in the same manner as any other witness to a critical incident and do not have any special restrictions or limitations because of their status as a cadet.

As reiterated by the police chief, the report commended the Portland Police Bureau for being "superior to most comparable law enforcement agencies in the way in which it reviews  critical incidents" and for "the Bureau's history of opening itself to outside review and acceptance of recommendations from independent sources [which] likewise sets it apart from many agencies." 

This is the sixth such review of officer shootings or deaths in custody since the division was established in 2001. OPB News reports a seventh review of six additional cases from the same time period as these seven is expected in a year and a half.

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  1. In addition, the trend in more recent fatal shootings is for officers, upon advice of counsel, to decline to provide voluntary statements to detectives.

    That is why you should NEVER talk to cops. They know that when your adrenalin is up and you are still emotional you will say things that can use to nail your ass.

    1. And from Mr. James Duane I give you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik. There are plenty of reason to never talk to the police, and if you must make sure you have an attorney.

      1. Great video. I watch it every so often just to remind me I am not just paranoid. Arrest-Proof Yourself by Dale Carson is also a good book to read.

        1. Get wrongfully arrested and tossed in the clink for something you didn't do. I absolutely guarantee you'll never need a paranoia refresher ever again.

      2. I got the same advice from an ex-FBI agent. You may have just been a witness (or think you were) but the officers may be hoping to trap you or, should their case against the real perp fall through, have you take the fall for "obstructing justice" by giving them some innocent but erroneous statement.

    2. I wish I could tell my employer to fuck off when he asks me to explain my job performance.

  2. So cops don't have to give a statement if they roll up on someone and shoot them in cold blood? And the union contract allows for this?

    How do the citizens of Portland vote for assholes that would allow CB to dictate anything other than compensation?

    And fuck dunphy and his ilk that support CB for cops. It's clearly not to ensure equality under the law, but rather it is designed to create two classes of people: cops and "civilians."

    1. Simple. Portland is governed by a lower level of apes than most cities. Spend a couple days there watching the evening news, and that becomes readily apparent.

  3. I'm not a legal scholar or lawyer (which probably means I have a better sense of what justice truly is), but it has always seemed to me that suing the cities (taxpayers) for police abuse doesn't change things. Why not sue the unions? Fuck with their pension pool and maybe the good officers will have more incentive to correct their "brother officers" when they see them doing something wrong.

    1. Why not sue the unions?

      Principal/agent issues. The cops work for the city, not the pension fund. I do like how you think though.

    2. Because the city is the only one you are allowed to go after. The blame for suing the city not changing things lays on the voter's shoulders.

      1. What can the voters do?

        They can only vote for people who seek office, and as a general rule people who seek office are power hungry need-to-die scum.

        1. And yet no-one supports my execute-election-winners policy.

          1. no, sorry, not winners. anyone who even seeks candidacy.

            Limited Gov't By Death Penalty.

            1. I honestly believe we would be better served by lotteries than elections.

              1. I honestly believe we would be better served by lotteries than elections.

                Sounds Greek to me.

              2. I also like the random selection idea.

                I want people in power who just want to get back to their chosen careers.

                "Here's you agenda today Mr. President."

                "Ok, let's see...No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Ok, that's it, can I go home now?"

  4. Well now that looks like it might jsut work. I like the sound of that.


    1. I like the sound of that.

      Only because it hastens the takeover by the machines.

  5. New, fashionable uniforms would solve all their problems.

  6. imagine if this worked the other way - cops had to wait 48 hours prior to questioning regular people involved in a shooting, as in person-A shoots person-B. They would be against it and for very simple reason - eyewitness testimony becomes less reliable as times goes on; witnesses have time to embellish/delete portions of their story; or, they lawyer up and say nothing.

    The third is the least troubling but if the other two are applicable to the rest of us, why not cops. Never mind; I know the answer to that one - fuck me, that's why.

  7. Open to recommendations? Seriously? Maybe Ed should check out the story in the Oregonian. Headline: "Portland police fail to learn from past mistakes in officer-involved shootings, review says" and include these snippets:

    "consultants also reported significant delays in police providing medical care to people wounded by officers"

    "faulted the bureau for not following one of its own recommendations"

    "overall "reluctance to second guess an officer's split-second decisions in the field" in the analyses of shootings by the bureau's training division"


    1. And here another one from two weeks ago:

      "Portland city audit shows police bureau still years behind on many plans for improvement"


      PPB has serious problems. The 48 hour questioning is just the tip.

  8. However, unions justify their existence by telling us that they are responsible for training and delivering skilled workers in whatever profession they are involved in... therefore wouldn't bad policing be their fault if they want to claim that? Therefore, they're responsible not the city.

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