Portland Police Quashed Tip on Officer-Testimony Protocols

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Police in Portland, Ore., have no policy in place and received no training on their duty to alert prosecutors about an officer’s potential credibility problems on the witness stand or the need to turn over information that might be favorable to defense attorneys in a case, a city review found, reports the Oregonian. An internal affairs supervisor who tried to draw attention to the problem was transferred and passed over for promotion by former chiefs. The Police Bureau has had an “ad hoc” approach at best to following the 54-year-old landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland, which requires such disclosures, according to the study by the city’s Independent Police Review Division.

In January 2013, Lt. Larry Graham alerted Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill that he believed the bureau wasn’t meeting its obligation to disclose certain internal investigations of officers to prosecutors. He did so after sending a memo to the chief days earlier citing his concerns. Instead of applauding Graham for highlighting a significant gap in bureau practices, then-Police Chief Mike Reese and his assistants, Director of Services Mike Kuykendall and Assistant Chief Eric Hendricks, were “perplexed and frustrated” by Graham’s actions, the report said. They seemed more disturbed that the lieutenant had raised the issue with the DA without their permission than working to fix the problem, the report said.

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