Challenging Times – Ron Frashour’s Reinstatement Oct. 19, 2012

October 20th, 2012 by
Persevere

 

Today, Officer Ron Frashour was reinstated as a Portland Police officer, and will soon receive full back pay for his unlawful termination. From the beginning, the PPA and the City agreed to a process that has existed for over 50 years−a neutral arbitrator, uninfluenced by either party, would decide this case on its merits and the law, and no more. The process worked. As we move forward to the Oregon Court of Appeals, rest assured that we will not deviate from our course of maintaining the integrity of final and binding arbitration and protecting the rights of our members.


Lieutenant’s Analysis Changed in Frashour Shooting

October 16th, 2012 by
Magnifying Glass - Facts

Portland police training review drafts of Frashour shooting show how lieutenant’s analysis changed

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/10/portland_police_training_revie.html#incart_river_default

Smith Endorsement Withdrawn

October 11th, 2012 by
press-release-design1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

Portland, ORE – October 11, 2012 —

Moving Forward

Today, the Portland Police Association and Portland Fire Fighters Association have withdrawn our endorsements of Portland Mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith. Our members count on us to make recommendations and, at this point in the campaign, we cannot make a strong recommendation for either candidate.

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The City Council Didn’t Do Its Homework

October 5th, 2012 by
press_release1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

The City Council Didn’t Do Its Homework

 

Portland, ORE – October 5, 2012 –

 

On Tuesday, we asked the City Commissioners to do one thing—read the arbitrator’s opinion, which details the facts of Officer Frashour’s conduct and the conduct of other officers on January 29, 2010. After hearing the City Commissioners speak yesterday, it is abundantly clear that, even after spending nearly one million dollars of taxpayer money, they do not understand the facts of this case. For example, we heard from City Commissioners that Officer Frashour was not wearing an earpiece during the incident; in fact, he was using a Bureau-issued lapel microphone per Bureau procedure. We heard from City Commissioners that the incident commander left the scene; in fact, she was ordered away from her post by a late-arriving Bureau command officer. We also heard that a police negotiator instructed Mr. Campbell to come out of his apartment with his hands up; there was no such instruction. The correct facts are clearly laid out in the investigative reports, grand jury testimony, and the arbitrator’s award.

These are but a few examples of the City Commissioner’s misunderstanding of the facts underlying Officer Frashour’s use of force. The result, yesterday, was a brazen and misguided decision by the City Council, unsupported by facts, to appeal Officer Frashour’s reinstatement. We are confident that the Oregon Court of Appeals will uphold the arbitrator’s award and reiterate what six other independent, unbiased bodies have already determined—that Officer Frashour did no wrong.

 

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It’s Time For The City To Focus On The Facts Of Officer Frashour’s Case

October 2nd, 2012 by
the Facts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

Portland, ORE – October 2, 2012 –

 

It’s Time For The City To Focus On The Facts Of Officer Frashour’s Case

Yesterday afternoon, the Portland City Auditor released her review of witness testimony at Officer Frashour’s labor arbitration. We had requested an independent review of testimony of City witness testimony by a third-party. Instead, we received a review from the City’s own Auditor who, prior to issuing her review, met privately with Mayor Adams and Chief Reese, but not with the PPA leadership. In response to the Auditor’s review, Mayor Adams tweeted:  “Based on the Auditor’s findings, I respectfully ask the Portland Police Association to cease their attacks on the character and integrity of members of the Portland Police Bureau, and to start focusing on the facts of this case.”

 

Since the night of January 29, 2010, the PPA has solely focused on the facts. Facts such as every police officer on scene believed that Mr. Campbell was armed with a gun when he emerged from his apartment.  Facts such as every police officer questioned at the 16-day arbitration hearing, when presented with what Officer Frashour knew and perceived, believed that Officer Frashour’s use of force complied with the Bureau’s training and policy. Facts such as when questioned on cross examination by the PPA’s attorney, Lt. King changed his story about Officer Frashour’s justified use of deadly force.

 

The fact is that Arbitrator Wilkinson, a well regarded labor arbitrator hand-selected by the City, agreed that Officer Frashour engaged in no misconduct. The fact is, like Arbitrator Wilkinson, four other independent bodies, including a Multnomah County Grand Jury, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Oregon Employment Department, and the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training also found that Officer Frashour engaged in no misconduct. Another fact worth repeating—the Oregon Employment Relations Board recently found that the City violated State law by refusing to put Officer Frashour back to work.

 

 

 

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The fact is, the PPA has always focused on the facts of Officer Frashour’s use of deadly force. In contrast, the City—and Mayor Adams—have focused on politics, which deprived the community of facts that would allow them to understand why Officer

 

Frashour justifiably used deadly force and why every neutral party that has reviewed this case has agreed in that conclusion.

 

The PPA agrees with Mayor Adams’ request that we should focus on the facts of this case. It is now up to the City to do the same. I ask the City Commissioners to do one thing prior to the City Council meeting this Thursday at which the appeal of Officer Frashour’s case will be considered—read the Arbitrator’s award objectively; ignore the repeated and unjustified attacks on the character and integrity of Officer Frashour and other Portland Police Officers who strive daily to protect our community; and focus on the facts of this case.

 

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Press Conference Statement Regarding Reinstatement of Officer Ron Frashour

September 25th, 2012 by
press conf.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

Press Conference Statement Regarding Reinstatement of Officer Ron Frashour

 

Portland, ORE – September 25, 2012 –

 

Integrity is essential to the believability of information produced during an investigation. The Employment Relations Board ruling in the Officer Frashour case asserts that during their investigation they have reviewed and researched all the information provided to them by both parties. After a thorough investigation that spanned over several months and thousands of pages documents the ERB has ruled that the City of Portland is in violation of ORS243.672(1)(g). Further the ERB has ordered the City to “cease and desist from violating ORS 243.672(1)(g)“ and to reinstate Ronald Frashour as a Portland Police Officer within 30 days.

The ERB is the sixth independent body that has ruled that Officer Ron Frashour committed no misconduct, violation of laws, civil rights violations, or violations of training and policies of the Portland Police Bureau. Yet Mayor Adams snubs his nose at all of them including the U.S. Department of Justice, whom he praised so highly just last week for their findings in regards to their investigation into the patterns of the use of force by the Portland Police Bureau.

Mayor Adams has turned this into a personal vendetta using the hard earned dollars of taxpaying Portlanders as his personal check book to extend this politically motivated witch hunt at the expense of the integrity of a process that protects the very core of collective bargaining.

Throughout this process Mayor Adams has desperately tried to tip the scales of this ill-fated investigation in order to justify his actions and statements made before the evidence and the facts of the Aaron Campbell incident had been presented before a grand jury. We knew how Mayor Adams felt when he marched through the streets of Portland rather than waiting to gather facts. Six independent bodies have reviewed the facts. All six have exonerated Officer Frashour of any misconduct. Mayor Adams stands alone, unsupported by facts. It’s time for him to end this mess, and provide the community with closure.

Press Release – Employment Relations Board Decision

September 24th, 2012 by
press_release1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

The Employment Relations Board Orders Officer Frashour’s Reinstatement.

 

Portland, ORE – September 24, 2012

 

Today, in a unanimous opinion, the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) determined that the City violated State law by refusing to put Officer Ron Frashour back to work. The ERB is the sixth independent body to clear Officer Frashour of misconduct. A Multnomah County Grand Jury; the Oregon Employment Department; the United States Department of Justice; Oregon’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training; a nationally recognized arbitrator hand-selected by the City; and now the ERB have all said the same thing—Officer Frashour acted reasonably and lawfully.

The ERB’s order is compelling given that its three members—one from a management-side labor law background, one neutral, and one from a union background—unanimously agreed that State collective bargaining law requires the City to honor the final and binding arbitration award that ordered Officer Frashour back to work. The ERB’s reasoning is clear:  Officer Frashour engaged in no misconduct and his reinstatement would not violate public policy.

From the beginning, the Portland Police Association has supported Officer Frashour because he followed the training and policies of the Portland Police Bureau on the night of January 29, 2010. The unnecessary battle that the City undertook should now be over. The City has spent over $750,000 of taxpayer funds to keep Officer Frashour fired. That sum is unacceptable in a time where local governments are struggling to provide core services to their communities. That sum is also shocking given that, in the words of the ERB, the City’s actions were “calculated” and in clear disregard of well-established State law.

Now is the time to move forward and provide closure to this incident. For nearly three years, Officer Frashour, Mr. Campbell’s family, and the community have endured the politicizing of a tragedy. No good has come of it. The City asserted that transparency, accountability, and integrity of the process compelled it to seek review of the arbitration award; the ERB has now affirmed that the arbitration award satisfied each of those concepts. The time has come for the City to honor its legal obligations and return Officer Frashour to work.

Press Release in response to USDOJ Findings

September 13th, 2012 by
press_release1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

In response to the USDOJ Findings

 

Portland, ORE – September 13, 2012 –

 

Today, the United States Department of Justice’s report has revealed that Portland Police officers’ use of force was constitutional in over 99.9% of citizen contacts. Like Chief Reese, I disagree with the USDOJ’s conclusion that the Bureau has engaged in a pattern and practice of unreasonable force against the mentally ill; a careful review of the USDOJ’s report yields no evidence of such a pattern or practice. As Chief Reese has said, the officers “are not to blame.” Nevertheless, we all can take comfort in at least two things—the USDOJ did not find a pattern and practice of unreasonable force against any particular race, nor did the USDOJ find a pattern and practice of unreasonable deadly force.

The USDOJ has also found what our officers have been repeating over the past decade—the State’s mental health infrastructure is broken, leaving officers as the front line responders to the mentally ill. To deal with this reality, the USDOJ has recommended that the Bureau dedicate a number of specially trained crisis intervention officers to interact with the mentally ill. This recommendation can be implemented in only one way—the hiring of additional police officers. Assistant Attorney General Perez has pointed to the LAPD as a model of best practices. The LAPD is staffed with 2.5 officers per thousand citizens. In contrast, the Portland Police Bureau is staffed with only 1.7 officers per thousand citizens. The equation is simple; we need more officers to help address the increased demands placed on them by a broken mental health infrastructure.

The USDOJ’s report has revealed that our officers handle volatile situations with professionalism and compassion. We look forward to working with the Bureau to ensure that our officers have the tools, training, and resources necessary to continue their service, hard work and dedication to the community, especially those suffering from mental illness.

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Chief Statement 9.13.12

 

Press Release Humpreys / Nice Arbitration Decision 7.12.12

July 12th, 2012 by
ppa_news

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

Portland, ORE – July 12, 2012 – Sgt. Nice and Ofc. Humphreys Arbitration Decision

 

On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, the Portland Police Association and the City of Portland received Arbitrator Williams’ decision to reverse the discipline imposed by the Portland Police Bureau on Sergeant Kyle Nice and Officer Chris Humphreys. Arbitrator Williams is a nationally-recognized arbitrator who was hand-selected by the City and the PPA. His decision was particularly thorough. He presided over five days of hearings in which several witnesses testified, including expert witnesses for both the City and the PPA. He reviewed thousands of pages of exhibits, including the Bureau’s complete investigation, and heard directly from former Police Chief Rosie Sizer and former Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

In finding that Sergeant Nice and Officer Humphreys violated no Bureau rules, Arbitrator Williams relied upon the facts, not media supposition or rumors. As the Arbitrator put it, “the facts of the case do not support a conclusion that the policy was violated particularly in light of the fact that competent medical personnel approved or directed the transportation of Mr. Chasse by police car.” Sergeant Nice and Officer Humphreys were trained to police. They are not paramedics or nurses; they rely on paramedics and nurses for medical advice. That is what they did on September 17, 2006. Had they been told by the paramedics or the jail nurses that Mr. Chasse needed immediate medical attention, Sergeant Nice and Officer Humphreys would have ensured that Mr. Chasse was rushed to a hospital by ambulance. But at no point did the paramedics and nurses who examined Mr. Chasse determine that he needed immediate medical attention. As the Arbitrator ultimately determined, it was reasonable for the officers to rely on the medical personnel who examined Mr. Chasse. Indeed, that is what they were trained to do.

Mr. Chasse’s death was a terrible, tragic accident. However, as the City has asserted all along, neither Sergeant Nice nor Officer Humphreys “acted maliciously or with any

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intent to harm Mr. Chasse.” Yet, the City continued to mix the tragic outcome of this incident with the good faith, reasonable conduct of the officers who were, as Chief Sizer put it, “unfairly demonized.”

As a fair, neutral arbitrator has now determined, Sergeant Nice and Officer Humphreys acted consistent with Police Bureau policy and training. Hopefully, the Arbitrator’s award will bring closure to the Chasse family and vindication and redemption to Sergeant Nice and Officer Humphreys.

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Portland Public Safety Backs Jefferson Smith for Mayor Experience Budgeting Through Tough Times Cited

April 23rd, 2012 by
press_release_distribution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

PORTLAND, ORE – April 23, 2012 —

Portland Public Safety Backs Jefferson Smith for Mayor
Experience Budgeting Through Tough Times Cited

This morning Portland Firefighters’ Association, Local 43 and the Portland Police Association announced a potential game-changing endorsement of Representative Jefferson Smith for Portland Mayor.

PFFA has nearly seven hundred sworn personnel working for Portland Fire and Rescue and for the Port of Portland at the International Portland Airport. The Portland Police Association represents nine hundred police officers, sergeants, detectives and criminalists who work for the Portland Police Bureau.

“Jefferson Smith has actual, recent experience working with public budgets in these constrained times,” said Jim Forque, president of PFFA. “We trust Jefferson to manage the city. He is the candidate showing the discipline to protect the general fund who hasn’t promised tax breaks or big projects our city budget can’t afford.

“He’s been an effective leader for East Portland, and he prioritizes our community’s safety.” added Daryl Turner, President of PPA. “He has shown leadership on human trafficking reforms and community efforts to improve safety on the Max line.”

“I am honored to have the support of the men and women who protect our lives and homes,” said Smith. “I will work hard to ensure Portland is a better, and safer city for all of us.”

Smith has demonstrated experience managing public budgets in tight economic time. As a legislator, he sits on the General Government budget committee that oversaw $8.9 billion in the last budget cycle, including the offices of the State Treasurer, the Governor, and the Secretary of State. He also carried a bill in the legislature to prioritize front line workers over middle management, setting the state goal at eleven staff for each manager. Right now the city of Portland auditor says their average is six to one. Smith has called for reducing middle management before cutting basic services.

The late endorsements are meaningful for Smith’s campaign and comes right as the campaign is building momentum. Last week, despite entering four and five months after their key opponents, they reached 2000 individual contributors, apparently faster than any campaign in city history not running under the public financing system. On Sunday, 100 volunteers knocked on ## doors for Smith.

The firefighters and police endorsements add to Smith’s list of major endorsements including Portland Association of Teachers, AFSCME, Communication Workers of America, Bike Walk Vote, Portland Green Party, Independent Party of Oregon, and the Oregon Progressive Party. See endorsements here http://jeffersonsmith.com/supporters/

Stacey Dycus, Jefferson Smith for Mayor 541-350-2781
Jim Forque, Portland Firefighters Association, Local 43, 503-593-8144
Daryl Turner, Portland Police Association 503-757-8401

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Press Release: Appeal of Campbell/Frashour Arbitrators Decision

April 12th, 2012 by
ppa_news

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

 

Appeal of the campbell / frashour arbitrator’s decision

 

Portland, ORE – April 12, 2012 —

Mayor Adams:

On Friday, March 30, 2012, the Portland Police Association and the City of Portland received Arbitrator Jane Wilkinson’s decision to reinstate Officer Ron Frashour as a Portland police officer. Arbitrator Wilkinson’s decision marked the fifth time an independent body has ruled on Officer Frashour’s conduct. Preceding Arbitrator Wilkinson were reviews conducted by a Multnomah County Grand Jury, the Oregon Employment Department, the United States Department of Justice, and Oregon’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. All five of the reviews cleared Officer Frashour of any misconduct.

Arbitrator Wilkinson is a nationally-recognized arbitrator who was hand-selected by the City. Her decision was particularly thorough. She presided over 18 days of hearings in which 30 witnesses testified, including expert witnesses for both the City and the PPA. She reviewed thousands of pages of exhibits, including the Bureau’s complete investigation, and heard directly from Police Chief Mike Reese.

In finding that Officer Frashour violated no Bureau rules, Arbitrator Wilkinson relied upon a large body of case law and the facts, not media supposition or rumors. Arbitrator Wilkinson thoroughly analyzed all of the arguments raised by the City, who was represented in the case by the largest employer-side labor law firm in the country.

Arbitrator Wilkinson’s decision should be the end of this matter. The City and the PPA have agreed to use arbitration instead of the courts to resolve contract disputes, and since the first City-PPA contract more than 40 years ago, have agreed that arbitration is “final and binding.” You have signed one of those agreements and have participated in the negotiations of others. For those many years, the City and the PPA have accepted the results of all arbitration decisions, win or lose. There’s a powerful public interest in arbitration; it is a process that brings quick and inexpensive resolutions to labor disputes, and allows the City, its residents, and the PPA to efficiently resolve labor issues and focus more on the critical issue of fighting crime.

We now know that you want to undo this process, and will “appeal” a decision you have previously agreed would be “final and binding.” We understand your political motivation for doing so. After all, within days of the January 29, 2010, incident at the Sandy Terrace Apartments, you were publicly condemning OfficerFrashour, even though no internal investigation had yet been conducted, a grand jury had not been convened, and the Bureau’s criminal investigation was still ongoing. That the facts subsequently developed by those investigations showed Officer Frashour violated no rules has clearly not shaken your resolve to cling to your previous, hastily-reached and politically motivated judgment.

The path upon which you are embarking is an expensive one. It is expensive monetarily; the $750,000 of taxpayer money you are spending on legal fees in the arbitration process is obscenely high in these budget times and is unprecedented in the City’s history.

Your decision is also expensive in more profound, non-monetary ways. By appealing the Arbitrator’s decision, you are breaking your word that arbitration would be “final and binding.” From the very beginning the Portland Police Association trusted the integrity of the arbitration process. If the Arbitrator had upheld Officer Frashour’s termination,  the Portland Police Association would have honored it.  As a labor organization, we hold honor and integrity as cornerstones of our existence.  As Mayor and the Police Commissioner, honor and integrity should be your cornerstones.   Instead, by appealing the arbitrator’s decision, you have put your own political agenda ahead of the truth-seeking process that is at the heart of the arbitration process.

We all agree that this was a tragic situation. Mr. Campbell convinced family members, eyewitnesses, and responding officers that he was in possession of a gun. Tragically, after saying he wanted to commit “suicide by police,” he sought and succeeded in forcing a deadly confrontation with police. As the Police Commissioner, you had a moral and civic obligation to conduct a full and thorough investigation based on the facts before coming to any conclusion. The snap judgments you expressed to the community and the media immediately after the incident were made without all of the facts and did not serve the best interests of the community.

Your decision to appeal the Arbitrator’s decision continues to harm the community. Just as there could be some sense of closure for everyone involved, you have decided for political reasons, not legal ones, to pour salt into already painful wounds. This is not the sort of leadership we need from our police commissioner.

Daryl Turner

President, PPA

 

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Press Release in Response to Commissioner Saltzman 1.12.12

January 12th, 2012 by

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daryl Turner
503-757-8401 Phone
president@ppavigil.org

In Response to Commission Saltzman’s Proposed Resolution

 

Portland, ORE – January 12, 2012 —

 

The resolution by Commissioner Saltzman to rescind the 1% health and fitness premium that the Portland Police Association negotiated with the City of Portland is just another example of a city official violating the labor agreement reached through the collective bargaining process.  A brief history lesson on the physical fitness test is in order. The Portland Police Association and the City of Portland agreed after long, difficult labor negotiations to an obstacle course based physical fitness test that would be administered on duty, in part, so that officers were insured against injuries sustained while taking the test. The City reneged on that deal. So, the parties ended up back at the negotiating table. The City brought forward the idea of biometrics testing because of its lower administrative costs and its long-term wellness benefits to employees.

Chief Mike Reese and Yvonne Deckard, Portland’s Human Resource Manager, both see the benefits of Biometric screening as an aid to reducing health care costs, sick time usage, and in the line of duty injuries that plague employees. We agreed and entered into a legally binding contract that awards officers a 1% premium if officers take and pass the test annually.  Biometric screening helps to establish baseline numbers to detect serious medical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Again, this paves the way for a long-term wellness plan that will save the City on health care costs, sick time use, and on-the-job injuries. It will also improve the health of our members. This is an excellent plan that benefits the City and its police officers alike. This plan is also a legally binding commitment entered into by the City with full support of Chief Reese and the Police Bureau and Ms. Deckard and the Bureau of Human Resources.

Once again, the City wants to renege on its deal.  Commissioner Saltzman’s knee jerk reaction to the misinformation from a recent article in The Oregonian is symptomatic of the disconnect between the Portland Police Association and Commissioner Saltzman. Commissioner Saltzman has displayed an amazing lack of restraint in publicly pronouncing his desire that the City violate a contract with the PPA. His displaced anger is also surprising. If he feels that high ranking City officials deceived him about this fitness premium, he should take it up with those officials. Instead, he wants to penalize the hard working police officers who have negotiated for a legally binding benefit. That is symptomatic of the failing labor relations in this City and across the country–when all else fails, penalize the worker. That is simply unacceptable. Commissioner Saltzman’s resolution to breach a legally binding agreement is irresponsible. He should stop poisoning the labor relations in this City.

The Portland Police Association bargained in good faith and has adhered to the contract with integrity and that’s what we expect the City of Portland to do.

 

 

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