In a unanimous decision quietly posted this month to the Portland Police Bureau’s website, the city’s newly activated, five-member Police Review Board has decided against any sanctions for the officer who shot Jack Dale Collins, a mentally ill homeless man holding an X-Acto knife, outside Hoyt Arboretum last spring.
READ – Police Review Board Public Report – issued about July 12, 2011
The finding, part of the board’s first-ever city-mandated semiannual report, does not include any personal information, such as the name of the officer who shot Collins, Jason Walters. But the case number in the report (No. 10-23336) matches the one attached to Collins’ case in other police documents. The circumstances described also match the circumstances of Collins’ March 22, 2010, death. The board considered the case May 18.
A final decision on discipline, however, remains in the hands of Police Chief Mike Reese.
The report’s release was just announced tonight by Mary-Beth Baptista, a member of the review board and also the city’s Independent Police Review director, during a meeting of the Citizen Review Committee. IPR officials said after the meeting that posting the report, which apparently happened a week or so ago, was the cops’ job, not theirs. (The bureau turned aside the IPR’s kind suggestion to actually tell someone the report was public.)
The report also included findings in five other cases. Two were unanimous, resulting in short suspensions for officers involved in crashes with their vehicles. The board split 3-2 in favor of officers in a case involving use of force against a combative mentally ill man. And three officers were exonerated of allegations they racially profiled three men they arrested, but were rapped lightly for using profanity.
In the remaining case, the board recommended giving an officer (who also trains and coaches recruits) a talking to, but no discipline, after a recruit reported him using racial epithets. The bureau’s training division also was asked to look into whether the he should be removed as coach. The board also decided the officer’s sergeant should have acted more urgently in response to the complaints, recommending a letter of reprimand be placed in the sergeant’s file.
SEE – Portland Police Review board unanimously rules fatal shooting at Hoyt Arboretum justified, Oregonian, July 13, 2011