Archives for 2007

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on December 4, 2007

Ms. Pittinger invited Board Members to participate in the annual Black and White Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2008 8am – 4pm at East Liberty Presbyterian Church; On November 20, 2007, Ms. Pittinger gave a presentation at the Citizen Police Academy (CPA) at Police Headquarters on the North Side, as well as several other meetings; Officer Bradley Walker’s domestic violence incident on November 24, 2007 opened an Executive Director inquiry; A Public Hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19 and 20 (if needed) for CPRB Case #: 59-07 (Bennett v. Abel); On January 7, 2008, three new members will be installed to City Council.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on October 23, 2007

Ms. Hinton called a Press Conference at 5:30 pm, prior to the Board Meeting and made a statement regarding the issue of Officer Involved Domestic Violence (OIDV) and the policies if the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; Pittinger reported that at least 35 Pittsburgh Police Officers have been subjects of PFA’s in recent years; A public hearing was held on 9/10/07 on the problem of Officer Involved Domestic Violence; Discussion on the proposal regarding Private Picketing or Retaliation for Public Acts was deferred until December; Ms. Pittinger attended the local observance of the National Protest against Police Brutality led by Celeste Taylor, B-PEP member, at Freedom Corner on October 22; B-PEP and the Black and White Reunion have renewed the effort to have certain standards taken from the former consent decree codified into city law; The Black and White Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2008; The CPRB sponsored its first of eight forum workshops related to Pittsburgh Politics, Policing, and Public Perceptions, on October 9, 2007; The terms of three CPRB Board members will expire on October 31, 2007; Investigators Gamble and Lefcowitz attended the NACOLE annual training conference in San Jose, CA 9/24 – 9/29/07.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on September 25, 2007

Ms. Hinton noted the cancellation of the July meeting due to the quorum necessary to conduct a regular business meeting; Ms. Hinton acknowledged Mr. Fred Thieman’s resignation effective September 1, 2007 as the Solicitor for the CPRB; The CPRB is in receipt of 328 complaints as of 9-25-07; A motion for the Executive Director to remain authorized and directed to initiate inquiries and issue subpoenas on behalf of the Citizen Police Review Board via the review of documents by Board Members was approved unanimously; Mr. Bingler asked Ms. Pittinger to prepare a memo discussing the possible restraint of the Private Picketing for Public Acts legislation; Ms. Pittinger reported on Executive Director Inquiry CPRB #283-07, a case which alleged gender discrimination related to secondary details involving security for the Pittsburgh Steelers; Ms. Pittinger provided Board Members with a copy of material presented to City Council on the Domestic Violence public hearing on September 10, 2007; Ms. Pittinger attended a community meeting regarding police relations in the Hispanic community and CPRB was present at various other community events; A copy of the CPRB budget for 2008 was provided to the Board at the meeting; The CPRB will sponsor a series of workshops related to Politics, Policing, and Public Perceptions; An update of the Solicitor transition was reported to the Board.

Briefing on Police Pursuit: Nationwide Trends and Policy Recommendations

September 1st, 2007

Much of the work done on police chases is derived from a 1997 National Institute of Justice Study. The Study was conducted by Geoffrey P. Albert and focused on police pursuit policy and the effects of either restrictive vs. permissive policies on pursuit. The NIJ study, along with subsequent studies first view national pursuit policy in abroad categorical way, deriving statistics from analysis of over 737 law enforcement agencies.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on June 26, 2007

Ms. Hinton acknowledged Pittsburgh Police Officer Steve Mescan and announced that he would be presenting a presentation on the SWAT team; The CPRB is in receipt of 203 complaints since January; Ms. Pittinger announced the impending departure of Mr. Thieman from his private practice of law to assume Presidency of the Buhl Foundation; The Board agreed to move discussion of a proposal to submit legislation to Council and the administration to prohibit focused residential picketing in retaliation for public acts taken by public officials, including police officers; Ms. Pittinger reported that several recommendations were made to City Council on behalf of the Board, B-PEP, and other interested parties related to codification of consent decree standards; Ms. Hinton inquired as to the status of police promotions that initiated great controversy due to the association of some of those officers to histories of domestic violence; Pittinger reported to the Board a police initiative to permit officers to work four 10-hour days a week.

Briefing: “Candlelight vigil” outside of a police officer’s residence, the personalized reaction to a public action, and potentially applicable laws

May 25th, 2007

Facts: An anti-war demonstration occurred in Shadyside. Several officers and a Sergeant from Zone 4 were on-scene for crowd control. The nature of the protest changed, and a window of a Marine office was broken. The Sergeant confronted a person who was taking pictures with a cellular phone, during the confrontation the phone was knocked out of the photographer’s hand. The photographer was cited for disorderly conduct. Allegedly, The Pittsburgh Organizing Group (POG) organized and conducted a “candlelight vigil” in front of the Sergeant’s residence. Although the vigil was orderly and there were no arrests, the Sergeant, his family, and neighbors were inconvenienced by the “vigil”.

City Council Proclamation on 10th Anniversary of CPRB

May 22nd, 2007

WHEREAS, on May 20, 1997, the voters of the City of Pittsburgh overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Home Rule Charter and changed the system for investigating and disposing of complaints related to police conduct to create an independent Citizen Police Review Board…

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on April 24, 2007

Mr. Carrington acknowledged a recent article published in the Chicago Defender featuring the CPRB and conveyed compliments on behalf of the Board to the staff for a job well done; CPRB Interns – 3 law students from the University of Pittsburgh School Of Law are tentatively scheduled to join our staff in mid-May.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on March 27, 2007

78 complaints have been received as of 3/23/07; Police Commander Catherine McNeilly filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit against Mayor Ravenstahl, Chief Harper, and the City, protesting that an alleged disciplinary demotion was actually a retaliatory act for her public opposition to the nomination of Dennis Regan for appointment as Public Safety Director; Police Commander RaShall Brackney is under investigation by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office for her actions at the scene of an accident involving a friend; The City Paper featured a story on March 22 entitled “Military Police Military-style police tactics reflect — and arguably worsen — distrust between black neighborhoods and police” written by Charlie Deitch; CPRB Interns – 3 law students from the University of Pittsburgh School Of Law are tentatively scheduled to join our staff in mid-May; Investigators observed a protest at CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville sponsored by the Pittsburgh Organization Group (POG); The Citizen Police Academy will open on Tuesday, April 3, 2007; Preparation for a CPRB Discussion Series is underway with the topic of the first discussion focused on the Jerry Jackson Homicide Investigation; On March 27, 2007, a bill was introduced for City Council’s consideration authorizing the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to received police officers from the Housing Authority of Pittsburgh as probationary officers.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on February 27, 2007

Ms. Pittinger sent a letter to Barbara L. Trant, Director, City of Pittsburgh Department of Personnel & Civil Service seeking clarification of the rumored plan for the PBP to absorb Housing Authority police officers; Ms. Pittinger reported that she is preparing a formal proposal to City Council seeking codification of certain standards affecting police conduct that were adopted during the consent decree between the City of Pittsburgh and the US Department of Justice; 2006 Total Intake was 783 allegations contained in 450 complaints; In 2007, 53 complaints have been received as of 2/27/07; The Intake Coordinator recruitment process has concluded with 109 applicants are on the eligibility list; The Republic of Albania has requested a global videoconference with Ms. Pittinger and available Board Members to discuss the civilian police review process; Ms. Pittinger asked permission of the Board to arrange an academic seminar focused on the Jackson/Charmo homicide case, irregularities in the police investigation and the continuing effort to obtain an independent criminal investigation into the questionable police conduct; Ms. Pittinger noted the upcoming tenth anniversary of the Board’s creation, 5/20/07.