Meeting Minutes – June 2014 Minutes

Published on 14 July 2014 by in Past Minutes

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ATLANTA CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD
JUNE MEETING MINUTES
City of Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Committee Room Two
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
June 12, 2014
6:00 p.m.

 The June 12, 2014 meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Price at 6:15 p.m. pending the arrival of Chair Harrison.

A G E N D A

ROLL CALL
(Eight Members of the Board)
ACTIVE MEMBERS PRESENT
WILLIAM HARRISON (Chair/Harrison)              RUTH PRICE (Vice Chair/Price)                   PAUL BARTELS (Secretary/Bartels)                                   
MACEO C. WILLIAMS, SR. (Williams)             ALAN MORRIS
(Morris)                               BILL BOZARTH (Bozarth)
GERALD SOUDER (Souder)                                    SHERRY WILLIAMS (Williams)

ACTIVE MEMBERS ABSENT
OSA BENSON (Benson)

VACANT BOARD SEATS
Office of the Mayor (vacant 10 months)
Atlanta Business League (vacant 24 months)

 

STAFF ATTENDEES
MYOLA SMITH (Smith), Transcriber; SAUL SCHULTZ, COA Department of Law, Appointed Counsel for ACRB, ROBIN LOLAR, Investigator; CRYSTAL BYRD, Community Outreach Specialist.

Guest Attendees:  LIEUTENANT WEBB; OPS, Atlanta Police Department

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING, MAY 8, 2014

Vice Chair Price directed the Board’s attention to the minutes for May 8, 2014.  The floor was opened for discussion and corrections to the minutes.  

Bartels moved to approve the minutes as prepared by staff.  Souder seconded.  Hearing no further discussion, the motion was approved by all.

SPECIAL NOTES:

  • Vice Chair Price relinquished presiding authority to Chair Harrison upon his arrival at approximately 6:23 p.m.  It should be noted that Harrison informed Director Reid that he would be arriving late.
  • AGENDA NoteThe Ethics Training was postponed until the July board meeting.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

  • New Staff Hires - Reid introduced two new ACRB staff members, Crystal Byrd, Community Outreach Investigator, and Robin Lolar, Investigator.
    • Byrd was raised in the San Francisco Bay area and relocated to Atlanta to attend Clark-Atlanta University, graduating in 2004.  Since graduation, she has worked in radio, grass roots promotional companies, marketing companies and non-profit industries.  She returned to Atlanta and worked freelance, mostly in marketing and social media marketing, activism and philanthropy. She looks forward to building an online presence and to help bring ACRB into a more modern look with the website, and help bridge the gap between ACRB and the community.
    • Lolar is former native of Toledo, Ohio.  She was a sergeant in the Toledo Police Department for eight years.  As a police officer, she was proactive, working closely with the chief and community leaders and addressing citizen concerns. In 1990 she relocated to Minnesota and in1991, she was hired as an investigator for the city of Minneapolis Citizen’s Review Board, formerly the CRA.  She is a founder and active member with the National Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).  She retired after twenty-two plus years as an oversight investigator.
    • Training - Reid announced that the Rodricus Reachell case will be discussed in July. An email regarding Case Review Training was sent to the Board last week.  The dates for consideration are June 25th (Wednesday) and June 26th (Thursday).  Reid noted that the training documents have been updated to include a mock case and a case review/Matrix discussion. Members were asked to add their names to the date and time most convenient for them to attend.
    • Mediation - Mediation is still in the works, and there are hopes to have follow-up talks again soon.
    • Ethics - The Board was invited to submit questions or concerns on ethics.  Reid will share the information with the Ethics Department in preparation for next month’s training.
    • Budget –The FY 15 budget vote by the City Council is scheduled to take place Monday, June 16, and the ACRB will know the outcome of the requested two positions.   

Discussion questions…

  1. Since there were no new cases distributed at the last board meeting, Bozarth asked if there had been a slowdown in the number of complaints received by the office.  
  2. Reid said the reason why the Board didn’t have cases for this month, is because the cases from last month were reset or tabled.  “One of the cases, (Kelley Rodriguez dog case), was never discussed.”  Also, the penalty phase of the Tara Jackson case still has to be determined.  These two cases will be discussed at this meeting tonight. I sent an email to you about this.  If a new case would have been distributed at the last meeting, it won’t be read until August.  That means the cases would have been sitting around for sixty days.  We were trying to keep it simple and cut down on the confusion of so many cases for you to review at one time. It’s better to keep it simple.”  
  3. Bozarth: “My only question was this…I don’t think I can remember when there was not a new case given to us at a board meeting.”
  4. Reid: “You got the new case in May.”
  5. Bozarth:  Right, but nothing has been processed in the last thirty days and that is unusual.  I’m just asking is there something behind that?”
  6. Reid:  “No and that is not correct that nothing has been processed.  There is no need to give you another case, and you already have two that still require discussion and a determination vote.”
  7. Harrison went on to explain that last month when Bozarth was absent, there were two cases that weren’t resolved. One of them was not discussed at all, and the other one was partially resolved.  A consensus was made to take a look at the one case that seems to need a little more in-depth research and discussion. It was then decided to forward the cases to this month, and any new cases be postponed until the two cases given in May are resolved.

INTAKE REPORT FOR MAY 2014

A total of eleven (11) complaints were received for the month of May.  Investigator Lolar gave the following report:

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-032, Brandon Parrott alleging False Arrest,  Excessive Force & Abusive Language

Mr. Parrott alleges that on February 7, 2014, Officer Denis Joseph falsely arrested him.  He further alleges that Officer Joseph engaged in excessive force and subjected him to abusive language during said incident. Recommend investigation as an excessive force, abusive language, and possibly a false arrest complaint.  Preliminary investigation revealed that Mr. Parrott’s criminal case is pending adjudication in the Fulton County Superior Court, and the investigation into the false arrest allegation will depend on its outcome.  Therefore, recommend suspension of the investigation pending the adjudication.

Complaint Number:  ACRB No.14-033, Alyssa Dibgy alleging Rude Behavior

Ms. Digby alleges that on May 1, 2014, an APD officer was rude towards her. Ms. Digby was referred to OPS.  Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.     

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-034, Dennis Horion alleging Animal Cruelty

Mr. Horion alleges that APD is overworking and abusing their horses. Mr. Horion was referred to OPS.

Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction. 

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-035, Caroline Branch alleging Rude Behavior

Ms. Caroline Branch stated that on May 8, 2014, her car was stolen from a parking garage located at 1409 Peachtree Street. She alleges that the responding APD Officer J. Davis, was rude towards her and appeared not to be concerned.  Ms. Branch was referred to OPS.

Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.  

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-036, Anonymous alleging Unethical Practices

On May 14, 2014, an unidentified white male came to the ACRB office and dropped off a letter, accusing APD Office of Professional Standards of engaging in unethical practices while conducting their investigations. The matter was referred to the Law Department’s Compliance Unit.

Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-037, Tameca Fallen alleging Improperly Detained

Ms. Fallen alleged that on May 14, 2014, she was improperly detained by two APD officers while at the Citgo gas station located at 1326 Boulevard.  Staff is awaiting a signed complaint.  If signed complaint is received within the next few weeks, then recommend investigation as a false imprisonment complaint.   However, if the signed complaint is not received then recommend dismissal.

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-038, Robert Ross alleging Harassment

Mr. Ross alleges that on May 2, 2014, an officer employed by the Georgia World Congress Center Public Safety Department harassed him when the officer issued him a criminal trespass notice, barring him from the Centennial Park. Mr. Ross was referred to the GWCC Public Safety Department.   

Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-039, Sir Maejor alleging Police Misconduct

On May 15, 2014, Mr. Maejor alleges that Marta Police Officers are engaging in acts of misconduct. 

Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction. 

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-040, Reginald Anderson  alleging False Arrest

Mr. Anderson alleges that he was falsely arrested by APD officers in 2012.  He further alleges that he filed a complaint with OPS, and was not satisfied with the way they handled his complaint. 

Recommend dismissal because complaint is time barred.

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-041, Steve Reed alleging Inadequate Investigation

Mr. Reed alleges that APD Officer, Carl Wolcott, is conducting an inadequate investigation into his hit and run accident that occurred in 2011.  He further alleges that the officer is trying to cover up for the person that hit him.  Mr. Reed was referred to OPS and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

Complaint Number:  ACRB No. 14-042, Lachelle Jackson alleging Rude Behavior

Ms. Jackson alleges that an APD officer was rude towards her during a traffic stop on April 25, 2014.  Ms. Jackson was referred to OPS.  Recommend dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

Reconsideration of ACRB Complaint Number 14-025, Michael Robinson alleging False Arrest

Mr. Robinson filed a false arrest complaint against APD Officer Angel Massol, pertaining to an incident that occurred on April 12, 2014.  Numerous attempts to contact Mr. Robinson in order to obtain additional information concerning his complaint were unsuccessful.

Recommend dismissal for lack of cooperation. 

Discussion Question…

  1. S. Williams inquired about ACRB Complaint No. 14-042 Lachelle Jackson’s rude behavior allegation and why it was referred to OPS.
  2. Reid explained that rude behavior is a common allegation that the ACRB can’t investigate, and has to be passed along to a department that does handle it. If a person does not allege behavior that would include cursing, indecent language, harassment, etc., then it must be dismissed.  “That is one of the issues that we hope to address with the ordinance change.”

Following the report, it was moved by M. Williams to accept the Intake Report of May, 2014.  The motion was seconded by Bartels.  The motion was approved by all.

REVIEW OF COMPLAINT

CASE NO. 13-97, TARA JACKSON

It should be noted that Ms. Jackson allegation of excessive force was sustained at the last meeting.  The penalty recommendation was tabled for additional information regarding two excessive force complaints previously made against Officer Antwan Denson.

Discussion…

  1. Referring to Investigator Robertson’s June 12th memo, Bozarth asked if the two prior complaints against the officers were investigated and no penalty was applied, was the complaint elevated to a category ‘C’ offense because there were previous complaints, even though they weren’t sustained.
  2. Reid:  “Because of the excessive force allegation that was used is what bumped it up to a category ‘C’.”
  3. Price recommended training and a written reprimand.  “At the last meeting, if I recall, a boardmember recommended a 14 day suspension, the maximum, which is as high as it can go.  That is why the penalty was tabled so that we could discuss it more.  I think that 14 days is off the chain as far as I am concerned.  You need to understand that a high percentage of decisions that officers make are discretionary.  You can’t underestimate what children have out there.”
  4. M. Williams responded to Price that you have to look at the other side of the equation, that the citizen has the right also.  “Besides that is the invisible bullet…the Taser.”
  5. Bartels said that there are cases where police officers are injured, but there are also cases where people are tase, have fallen to the ground, hit their heads, and in some instances died. “The officer obviously needs to do what they can do to get home safe, but there’s also the “protect and serve” part.  It’s always a delicate balance.”
  6. Price said that in the report, the police at the academy said that the officer had not been trained.  “If he hasn’t been trained, it shouldn’t be looked at as harshly and be given a suspension.”
  7. M. Williams: “It’s the academy’s fault or APD’s fault if the person hasn’t been trained, ok?”
  8. Reid:  “Just so we don’t get confused, the officer is trained using the Taser under the Use of Force Policy, which really is applied to all situations. As far as it relates to this school setting, the police department could have a policy, I guess, to make some additional restrictions or whatever, but there is the training in the policy that relates to that use of the Taser. So, you’ll only really need to be focused on whether the force was justified at that time, with everything else that was going around for the officer to use the Taser, as a means of getting this individual under control and taking care of the situation?”
  9. Harrison said the allegation has been sustained and now the Board has to determine from a category ‘C’ where he falls.
  10. Bartels, “If it’s limited to a reprimand/ training, to me that is the sort of sanction that would be done for indecent language, or an officer detaining someone for a few minutes. When it gets to the point of physical force, having the potential to injure or even kill someone, I think more than that is indicated.”
  11. M. Williams, “I agree with you totally.  Going back to the first case that was heard which is out in Gwinnett County, Frederick Williams, who after being tased so many times, died in jail.  A Taser is just as lethal as a gun, and I think the punishment should be just as lethal as the Taser itself.”
  12. Souder, “I agreed last time that the fifteen days is too severe, however, looking at the investigator’s report, the officer’s statement, not only did this person get tased but another person got tased in the ear and the fact that the statements that were made was that he had a clear path to the student so it wasn’t like he couldn’t get to him without doing it.  I think he deserved more than just training, although I believe the academy needs to do what they said in the report. They are developing training in student situations, but I believe it has to be more than just training.”
  13. S. Williams didn’t agree that it should be a two week suspension, but at the same time she felt that the allegation was serious and the officer deserves more than a slap on the wrist. 
  14. Price reminded the Board to consider the officers entire career since he had no prior suspensions or complaints against him since he joined the force in 2007.

EXCESSIVE FORCE DISPLINARY RECOMMENDATION BY THE BOARD

1st Motion:    Price made a motion for Officer Denson to receive a written reprimand and training.  The motion did not receive a second.  The motion failed.

2nd Motion:   Bartels motioned to recommend a five day suspension and additional training on Tasers on juveniles.  Morris seconded. M. Williams recommended an amendment to not only include Taser training for juveniles, but also receive fourth amendment training. The vote was called and the motion failed with four (4) nays: Price, Souder, Bozarth and S. Williams.

3rd Motion:   S. Williams motioned to recommend a three day suspension, Taser training for juveniles and fourth amendment training. Morris seconded.

Discussion…

  1. Bozarth said, “For the record, I would have been in favor of a longer suspension.  It doesn’t have to be 14 days but more than five.  So for the record, I am voting against this motion as well.  If we reintroduce the five days, I would support it.  I just want to make that clear.”
  2. S. Williams withdrew her motion.

4th Motion:   Souder motioned for the penalty phase to be a four day suspension, training on the use of Tasers on juveniles, as well as fourth amendment rights training.  S. Williams seconded. Calling for the vote, the motion was approved with two people voting nay: Price and Bozarth.

CASE NO. 13-122, KELLEY RODRIGUEZ

EXCESSIVE FORCE ALLEGATION

Ms. Rodriguez             alleges that on November, 2013, Atlanta Police Officer Brian Carswell engaged in unnecessary excessive force when he shot and killed the complainant’s dog.  

APD S.O.P 30-10, section 5.6-Use of Force states that an officer’s use of force must be examined at the time that the force was administered.  Here, the offers were responding to a fight call.  The force was administered while the dog was charging towards Officer Carswell as he stumbled backwards.  While less force options may have been available prior to the encounter of the dog, Officer Carswell was not required to exhaust all less than reasonable force options at the time the force was used before using his firearm.  Based on the testimonial and documentary evidence obtained during the course of the investigation, the ACRB staff determine that Officer Carswell’ s use of firearm was reasonable, and necessary.

Discussion…

  1. Bartels said the issue is whether shooting the dog was reasonable, and it would depend on the actions of the dog. Unfortunately, we can’t really know for certain because part of it was caught on tape, specifically the officer at the edge of the dashboard camera that shows some stumbling backwards. “We’ll never know for sure if the nature of the interaction, you know, what exact behavior was the dog giving off, and, you know, to me, you know, the evidence does not show that the officer acted improperly, but through clear and convincing evidence.” “I would be inclined to follow staff’s recommendation. This was a difficult case for me as an animal lover, I think for all of us it was.”
  2. Harrison said, “One of the reasons why I had requested the additional information is because the case presents a void in the policy. There is no policy, and part of my job would be to recommend policy, and so what I would like to do is if the Board sees fit to not only address, you know, this particular complaint, but to also recommend some sort of policy change to APD, at the same time that we try to assess, you know, how we will stand on this particular complaint, and I think we can do that, right, Mr. Reid?
  3. Reid: “When you’re making policy recommendations, you definitely want to be able to base it on best practices and the research that you’ve done.  So, the question is, are we at that point yet?  If the Board believes you’re at that point and you have some good recommendations that you can make, then certainly.”
  4. Harrison said that dogs are family members and where there is no policy against another family member or the excessive force against another family member, it becomes the Board’s job to suggest that.
  5. Reid: “Make sure it’s a reasonable policy recommendation that you can support and be successful.”
  6. M. Williams: “There are also the neighbors who have stated that the dogs have a tendency to run out once the door is opened.  “I ain’t got no kinfolks that’s dogs.  None.”  “Personally, I don’t look at dogs as being a citizen.” 
  7. Bozarth said it’s unfortunate that the dog died and hearing the 9-1-1 call, the officers probably didn’t need to be on the scene in the first place.  It was a series of events that lead to the tragic conclusion.  He agreed with the Board that he doesn’t think that the Board can hold it against the officer for the action that he took. “I think in the same situation I might have done the same thing.”
  8. Souder said listening to the 9-1-1 call and reading the transcripts, the officers should never have been dispatched that he agrees with the investigator.
  9. M. Williams: “Dogs get more credibility than human beings nowadays sometimes.”

Bartels made a motion to accept staff’s recommendation that this is a policy training failure.  The alleged acts occurred within the policies and procedures, which are lacking.  The motion also includes the following five (5) recommendations:

  1. Provide all officers with training, and identifying assessing potentially dangerous dogs, as well as instruction on how to use their existing equipment more safely and effectively in situations with potentially dangerous dogs. 
  2. Provide officers with additional up-to-date equipment that can be used as an alternative to lethal force and proper training on this use.
  3. Establish contingency plans on how to deal with aggressive dogs with less lethal means.
  4. Reasonable attempts must be made to ensure that the injured animal receives immediate care for its injuries.
  5. When lethal force must be used, officer should be trained on how to do so humanely to prevent or quickly end suffering.

S. Williams seconded.  No further discussion, the vote was called and the motion was approved without opposition.

OLD BUSINESS

BY LAWS

Committee Chair Bartels reported that five bylaws have been proposed.  Four were submitted a couple months ago by the Bylaws Committee, and one was submitted by the Community Outreach Committee.  A vote on the proposed bylaws did not occur at the last meeting, because the required number of members needed to approve changes were not present.  Any bylaw changes must be approved by seven (7) board members.  Bartels indicated that since eight people are present, the vote can move forward to night.

Reid noted one correction on the bylaws by the Policy Committee that the number on the last line should be corrected from #2-2208 to read as. 2-2206.   Bartels read the following proposed changes:

1st Proposed Supplement/Change  to 3-A

Boardmembers shall follow the City of Atlanta policies and procedures regarding expense reimbursement and travel reconciliation.”

The vote was called by Chair Harrison and the Board approved the change unanimously

2nd Proposed Supplement/Change to Section 4

“Board members shall participate in meetings in a professional and courteous manner.  Members shall refrain from public statements, which are derogatory towards another person or which are untrue.”

The vote was called by the Chair Harrison and the Board approved the change unanimously.

3rd Proposed Supplement/Change regarding Section 8– Duties of the Chair

“The Chair, along with the Board Executive Director, will serve as a spokesperson for the Board and publicly commenting on Board activities.  The Chair and Executive Director may designate another Boardmember to publicly comment on Board activities.”

Discussion…

  1. Souder expressed a concern about the role of the Boardmember giving feedback to their appointed boards in community meetings.
  2. M. Williams also expressed a similar concern about the role of the Community Outreach person attending functions, speaking on behalf of the Board.
  3. Harrison said that the intent was really about the media.
  4. Bartels agreed with the Chair.  “It was more with dealing with the media, and being perceived as the official spokesperson, rather than just comments people make as part of the outreach. 

The final corrected version of third proposed change/supplement reads:

“The Chair, along with the Board Executive Director will serve as a spokesperson for the Board, in publicly commenting on Board activities to the news media.  The Chair and Executive Director may designate another Boardmember to publicly comment on Board activities to the news media.”

The Chair called for the vote and the Board approved the change with corrections unanimously.

4th Proposed Supplement/Change: Removal of Board Members

“Any Boardmember who fails to regularly attend meetings and review board proceedings without good cause, who regularly fails to perform his or her duties or who regularly fails to follow the Board’s bylaws, may be recommended for removal from the Board upon a vote of seven members of the Board. Any vacancy, which results from removal from the Board, shall be filed in accordance with article 16, division 11, sections 2-2202 and 2-2206 of the Code of Ordinance of the City of Atlanta.”

Discussion…

  1. M. Williams questioned the definition of “regularly” as in “regularly attend meetings, and what was meant by “regularly fails to perform his or her duties.” For the record, M. Williams stated several times that no one wants to step up to the plate and participate in outreach.
  2. Bartels said it includes any duties, executive and all other members. The one thing that doesn’t change is the number of members to vote to recommend a removal. The statement “attending regular meetings” does leave it open.  By “duties” he was thinking of regularly attending meetings, becoming familiar with the cases, giving each case careful consideration and attending training.

The vote was called by the Chair Harrison and the Board approved the change unanimously. All were in favor except M. Williams who opposed.

5th Proposed Supplement/Change: Removal of Board Members

M. Williams proposed a motion to change the recommended number of events mandate for each boardmember to attend.  He said each member on the board has to participate in a community outreach event. It doesn’t have to be one per quarter, but four in the course of the year. Failure to participate would mean recommending to the Council for the person to be removal.

The vote was called by Chair Harrison regarding Williams proposed changes.  The motion failed with five (5) members opposing: Morris, Price, Bartels, Harrison and Bozarth. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

COMPENSATION COMMITTEE

Price was to report on the Compensation Committee but requested an extension to be rendered at a later date.

Discussion…

  1. Harrison said that at the last meeting it wasn’t fully explained exactly what the Compensation Committee was established to do.
  2. M. Williams: “There’s a compensation committee to be formed, which to me means that you want to get paid for coming here, and in regards, you don’t want to do any work as far as community outreach.  Communities needs to know there’s a problem there, that people want to come here and spend two hours per month to adjudicate different cases on behalf of the citizens, and want to get paid for it, yet still don’t want to do anything for the citizens or extend kin-ship to the citizens for outreach.  Thank you.”
  3. Harrison said Ms. Price will outline what the Board wants to accomplish with the Compensation Committee at the next meeting when she gives her report.

B.  COMMUNITY OUTREACH REPORT

M. Williams said the Community Outreach attended budget hearings to support the staff and wanted to let members of the budget hearings know that the Board needs more money allocated to do the things needed to improve the board.  

The Chair proposed that the Board receive weekly emails of upcoming events and events ACRB intends to attend. 

Smith “We plan to put out a monthly calendar with weekly updates, but you will need to contact us in a timely fashion to let us know when there’s an event that you want to add to the calendar.  Advance notice is really important if we expect anyone to participate.”

NEW BUSINESS

Harrison announced that the NACOLE Conference is coming up.  This year’s conference will be held in Kansas City September 14th through the 18th.  “Anyone who has an interest in going to the conference is asked to send me an email and then the Board will decide.”  Three board members and one staff person are expected to attend the conference.”

Discussion…

  1. Price expressed concern about using funds for the NACOLE conference and the number of people attending.  She asked if the number of attendants could be reduced.  
  2. Harrison said, “Going forward next year, we can consider that but probably not this year because it’s already been set into motion for this year. 
  3. M. Williams, speaking to Price, “Well, you didn’t say anything when you went to San Diego, Ms. Price, you know, and when you was doing, going to the zoo and everything.”
  4. Smith said the new fiscal year starts July 1st and the deadline to notify the staff is by the close of business tomorrow (June 13th).
  5. Harrison, “I will let you know tomorrow who exactly will be attending by the close of business tomorrow.”

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Harrison reminded the speakers that individual comments are limited to three minutes.  He also stated that the Board has a policy that doesn’t allow for members to directly address specific comments made during public comments.

1st Speaker:  Irene Ratliff: 

“Good evening Board members and thank you for having this panel.  With regards to the police officer and the dog, had they considered maybe replacing the dog?  That would be nice, a trained dog.  Also in situations like that, normally the dispatchers ask, “Are there any pets in the area?,” so that right there would be something ideal for the dispatchers to automatically ask on outgoing calls, “Do you have any pets?  And replacing the dog, a trained dog that would be good because a lot of people do like their pets, but if the dog’s charging at you, then I understand safety comes first.

Regarding the officer use of the Taser, there is some confirmation on whether the Taser should be used because when you look at the radiation of the Taser, there are different levels, and I was just wondering what levels are these Tasers?  And for the officer, actually my students are expelled or suspended whenever rules are violated.  In the time that he’s being suspended, that would’ve been the time that he would’ve have been allocated that training. So, you go for the taster training. You also go for, I guess, psychoanalysis and how you’re relating to the public.  I mean, those are things that really are important when dealing with the public and I guess at the school.  Thank you very much. Thank you.  

2nd Speaker: Kelley Rodriguez:  Thank you for allowing me to speak to you.  I’m a little nervous.  This is very emotional for me to talk about, but I want to get up here and contest the fact that the complaint against Officer Carswell, was found not sustained but Jane’s death is going to mean something.  I’m very thankful that this recommendation of all this training were put forth, and I just implore that when this recommendation is made to APD, that it comes to fruition, because this isn’t a singular problem.  I mean, if you had asked me November 9th if officers shoot dogs, I would’ve looked at you and I would have been flabbergasted, but it’s an epidemic.  It happens every ninety-eight minutes in the U.S.A.  250,000 dogs are shot per year.  In Atlanta alone, which I’m sure you guys have read, a 100 dogs were shot between 2010 and 2012, so it’s a problem, and you guys hit the nail on the head when you said that the problem is evident in the S.O.P., and that there is no S.O.P. for use of force on animals.  The only S.O.P. is what you do if you shoot a dog. That in and of itself says if you see a dog, you shoot.  I mean honestly, I love the thought process that even remedial training will probably be enough, so that’s not that big of a budget issue.  I know that that’s a big thing.  We are trying to get legislation passed at the state level, but the biggest question is, you know, the funding so my point is that even remedial training is something.  For example, I don’t know how many of guys know this, but a dog running toward you is usually a happy dog.  It’s a dog backing away in fear, that is one to fear, to be afraid of, and you know. I don’t think Carswell came to my house to shoot a dog that day. I think he made a very poor choice.  So while I am disappointed that, you know, justice wasn’t necessary served to Carswell, I am very glad that the said recommendation was sustained, and I’m just floored that you, you know asked when, how, what, when, why and that’s all.  Thank you.

ADJOURNMENT

The M. Williams entertained a motion to end the meeting. Bartels seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

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