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BACKGROUND: Portland Police Boycott of Oversight Meetings Rooted in Dispute Over Videographer

April 25, 2016 (updated May 8, 2016)

On April 20, the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) had to postpone hearing an appeal of misconduct because the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) refused to send any employees to attend. While the decision was presumed to be a result of a community member tossing a cup of water at a CRC member on March 30, public records received by Flying Focus Video Collective (FFVC) reveal that the Bureau was seeking a way out of the meetings for months.

Below is the analysis of selected portions of the public records received by FFVC in trying to determine how the CRC was having discussions about relocating the camera operated by FFVC at their meetings. Dan Handelman of FFVC has been taping police oversight bodies in Portland since 1992, when the board was known as PIIAC. He also attends the meetings on behalf of Portland Copwatch (PCW), a civilian group promoting police accountability, and makes comments on behalf of PCW during public comment periods. Occasionally, CRC members do not seem familiar with their own protocols, and with the staff of the Independent Police Review Division (IPR), which houses CRC, failing to advise the Committee, Mr. Handelman occasionally interjects a point of order to remind them of their rules. This happens maybe 2-3 times a year at monthly or bimonthly meetings. The discussion sometimes broadened out to discuss media in general, but mostly was focused as a personal or political rebuke to FFVC. It is important to know that Flying Focus is a media organization which has produced a number of shows about PIIAC/IPR going back to 1992, most of which are listed at <http://www.flyingfocus.org/ffvc22.html>.

It should be noted that an email exchange between Mr. Handelman and then-CRC Chair Mae Wilson was not included in the original packet but is an important addition to the file. It should also be noted that IPR incorrectly categorized the records request and asked o