Board of Police Commissioners

Detroit Board of Police Commissioners
Criminal Justice

Thursday, June 6, 2024
3:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m. EDT

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Reporting

Edited and summarized by the Detroit - MI Documenters Team

Live reporting by Carole Hawke

BOPC investigators struggle to keep up with the flood of incoming complaints, while the city suffers a recent string of shootings.

Carole Hawke @hawke48223
Hello, Detroit Documenters! I will be live-tweeting for the weekly meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners for DETdocumenters @DetDocumenters media partners: @BridgeDet313 @chalkbeatDET @freep @metrotimes @michigan_public @media_outlier @PlanetDetroit @wdet @wxyzdetroit.

01:57 PM Jun 6, 2024 CDT

Carole Hawke @hawke48223 2/101
Today’s meeting will be held at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters, Skylar Herbert Room. Zoom link at website at
detroitmi.gov/government/boa…
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 3/101
Meeting starts at 3:00. We will hear the April budget report and community impact report.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 4/101
If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, email documenters@outliermedia.org with "Correction Request" subject line.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 5/101
Notes, twitter threads, and transcripts from previous meetings can be found at
detroit.documenters.org/reporting/?age…
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 6/101
Also, Outlier Media issues regular BOPC Watch which can be found at
outliermedia.org/category/syste…
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 7/101
Meeting is starting-- no quorum yet, but starting with an invocation.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 8/101
Acting Secretary Brown reading announcements. Next community meeting will be 6:30 on June 13th at 1903 Wilkins Street. Policy committee and citizens' complaint meetings also upcoming at Public Safety Headquarters.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 9/101
Still no quorum. Six speakers will be speaking, and starting with these until there is a quorum.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 10/101
First speaker is 92 years old. She wants to discuss overall crime, youth gangs and guns. Families need to communicate.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 11/101
A quorum has now arrived, so moving onto official agenda.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 12/101
A quorum has now arrived, so moving onto official agenda.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 13/101
Present: Pressley, Smith, Banks, Bell, Burton, Hernandez are present. Woods is en route. Bernard and Moore have excused absence.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 14/101
Just lost quorum--?? So returning to comments.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 15/101
Commenter objects that the BOPC is not doing its job in protecting citizens' constitutional rights.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 16/101
Next commenter is Minister Eric Blunt of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Wants to talk about why the BOPC does not cover the final fate of a police officer when they are suspended. Suspensions may not stick-- what is the final outcome?
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 17/101
Next commenter sent emails yesterday to BOPC members to ask for a list of her complaints that she has filed. Feels that the BOPC does not respond to her when she sends them requests. Dissatisfied with OCI and with the board. Feels that they are lying to her.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 18/101
Board member (can't see who) responding to the commenter that he has nothing in his email. Can the commenter send this to the BOPC email, and he will respond.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 19/101
Zoom comments now. Commenter wants to know about when there will be follow-up on missing person Shelby Smith. (?) He says this person was beaten by a commissioner who was then promoted. Commenter also concerned about lack of quorum which happens regularly at meeting.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 20/101
Next zoom commenter is former Commissioner William Davis. He wants to point out that when he was a commissioner, he would vote agains some people being promoted who had a bad record. He also is disappointed in the attendance of commissioners.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 21/101
Next zoom commenter wants to talk about fraudulent election results and lies by city clerk. Wants to talk about voter trap houses. Also has it in for Willie Bell.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 22/101
Commissioners Woods and Carter have arrived, so there is now a quorum and can continue to official agenda. Will finalize public comments later.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 23/101
Approval of minutes for May 30, 2024. Approval of closed session minutes regarding Jared Shaw and regarding Lt. Brandon Cole. All minutes approved.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 24/101
Officers' report. There will be elections for board leadership in June. Pressley will be chair only for a few more meetings. Voting will be at final meeting in June for 2024-2025 leadership for BOPC.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 25/101
Personnel and training committee report from Comm. Hernandez. Carter and Hernandez were at the most recent meeting with attorney LaBelle. Looked at job posting and summary and made adjustments.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 26/101
Attorney Stephanie LaBelle explaining that she made edits to job description to make posting consistent with charter. Hernandez explaining that did due diligence and job post will be posted Monday for a 2 week period.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 27/101
Hernandez says hoping to expand the pool of applicants, including through social media (LinkedIn) and community partners-- schools and churches.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 28/101
Hernandez clarified that some qualifications moved from 'required' to 'preferred' to not deter candidates. This includes a qualification to have a juris doctor or a PhD.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 29/101
Pressley encourages BOPC members to be deliberate about whom they share the job post with. Really need someone who is effective, so share with people who meet qualifications or would be high quality.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 30/101
Clarification from board members that the board leadership elections are being moved up from the last week of June.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 31/101
Moving to impact report.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 32/101
Chief Investigator Jerome Warfield speaking.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 33/101
We are outpacing (by over 100 cases) the large number of allegations and complaints being received from this time last year. And last year was a record for complaints received.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 34/101
Have 5 new investigators in training.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 35/101
Investigated or closed over 189 cases in May.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 36/101
However, there are a lot of cases still waiting. At end of May there were 2031 open cases. Of these 442 are less than 90 days and 1589 are backlogged (over 90 days ole).
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 37/101
*old*
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 38/101
There are 1838 allegations which have been investigated so far Jan-May 2024. Almost 70% of these fall into demeanor, procedure, and service.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 39/101
(Back to complaints-- there were 196 new complaints which came into the BOPC in May.)
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 40/101
Warfield talking about the work of the investigators. Some of them have done an excellent job of making a dent in the backlog of cases to investigate.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 41/101
Commissioner Bell wants some context on what are "procedure" complaints. Warfield responds that almost all of these have to do with body worn cameras-- off too soon, on too late, not on at all.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 42/101
Another trend line for "procedure" is that a number of traffic stops have officers taking citizens out of cars and putting them in handcuffs. Why? Officers say for safety, but citizens don't appear to be dangerous. Investigators are seeking clarification from DPD on policy.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 43/101
Commissioner Carter asked for clarification on backlog. Warfield says that around 12% of complaints sustained.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 44/101
(I think I caught this correctly... corrections welcomed!)
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 45/101
Commissioner Woods asking for projection on backlog. Warfield responds that the new investigators are ramped up slowly to ensure they understand procedures. But now starting to close cases. The two who started in January are above average in cases closed.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 46/101
Warfield: Investigators in training expected to start closing cases soon, as well. Also seeking training on how to have a system to direct cases to appropriate investigators. With this, anticipate being able to close 120+ cases per month.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 47/101
Warfield: Current system is that when investigators complete a case, it still to supervising investigator to watch videos and interviews. Then goes to quality supervisor (?) before it comes to the board. Sometimes send cases back. Robust system.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 48/101
Comm Banks: Why are officers taking residents out of car when they are pulled over?
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 49/101
Warfield: In some cases, it is necessary for safety. But our issue is that sometimes we see video and don't understand why the person is detained. Don't want to override officers' discretion, but we need more training to understand the policy.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 50/101
Q: What did you learn from the training (in Atlanta)? Warfield: Some cities say they had a bumper year of complaints coming in-- 210. But look at our numbers! We shared with them our automated form and our triage program which have helped our investigators.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 51/101
Pressley: How can we maintain engagement with complaintant when we must close a case due to lack of information? Some of these complaints are very disturbing.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 52/101
Pressley: Never made the promise to eliminate the backlog but rather to be fully staffed. Are moving toward full staffing. However, we are moving in the wrong direction in terms of the backlog growing rather than shrinking, due to so many complaints coming in.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 53/101
Appreciate work of OCI, and hope some systems streamlining will help. However, when board came on there were 1200 cases, then 1500, now over 2000. This is the wrong direction.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 54/101
Warfield responds that with 23 investigators on board, believes that things will change.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 55/101
Commissioner Woods believes this needs to be communicated to the public. On website, updated monthly. How many cases closed? How many sustained, not sustained? The public deserves a report card of sorts.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 56/101
Commissioner Bell recalls that we were fined a lot per day for backlogged cases. (Consent agreement?) Need to move this forward.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 57/101
Commissioner Banks says that when Warfield came on around a year ago, he was down 15 investigators. Now they are moving toward full staffing, so the BOPC can sit back and relax and allow the investigators to do their work.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 58/101
Pressley pushes back that the BOPC needs to have urgency. A few years for a case to be closed is too long. And commissioners need to do their job to read the cases that they receive and close them. This impacts the pace at which cases can be closed.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 59/101
Pressley: Some commissioners are doing this, but some are not, and some are doing this very slowly.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 60/101
Pressley: No criticism of OCI or the investigators, just an acknowledgement that there is a substantial backlog, and it is urgent.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 61/101
Moving past Community Impact Report and onto Deputy Chief Tiffany Stewart for the department's report.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 62/101
Reduction in year to date carjackings, homicides, non fatal shootings, robberies.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 63/101
Stats for block party responses, drag racing.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 64/101
Mental health = 340 calls in last 7 days. Last year 6907 YTD, and this year over 7000 YTD.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 65/101
On Saturday 6/1, 8th precinct call in area of Trinity and Florence. There were people shot in the backyard. An officer fired shots at an armed suspect. Three females were shot in yard and one male inside the home. Officers provided medical assistance until taken to hospital.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 66/101
Investigation ongoing.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 67/101
Same night, 5 people shot at W Warren and W Grand Blvd. (3rd precinct) 2 victims in street with gunshot wound and taken by officers to hospital. Another 3 taken in private vehicles.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 68/101
Victims had been sitting in silver minivan. Person in white SUV drove by and fired shots. Investigation still ongoing.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 69/101
Fatal shooting in 4th precinct on Sunday 6/2.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 70/101
Another fatal shooting on Tue 6/4 in 2nd precinct. Victim had been parked at location in running car for 6 hours before neighbors called 911. Victim was in car with fatal gunshot wounds to the head.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 71/101
In 8th precinct this week, male shooting at people inside O'Hare Park. Responding officers searched area for gray jeep which matched the description.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 72/101
At 3:10pm, at W 7 Mile and Bentler, police officer fired a round as car came toward him. Driver raised AR-style long gun. Flat tire stopped car and drivers fled on foot.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 73/101
One of the people was wounded and treated at hospital. Incident is now being investigated as a possible officer involved shooting and turned over to homicide task force with the Michigan State Police taking the lead.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 74/101
(I may have gotten some details on that wrong. It has not yet been released to the media, and this was the first public description of it, per Deputy Chief Stewart.)
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 75/101
If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, email documenters@outliermedia.org with "Correction Request" subject line.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 76/101
Stewart mentioned some positive events which DPD is sponsoring.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 77/101
Release date for statement regarding officer involved shooting this week is today/ June 6th.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 78/101
Chief is committed to 45 day critical incident debrief. Pressley asked for clarity regarding whether there will chance for BOPC to see the videos of incidents before released to public.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 79/101
Commissioner Smith asked whether the 7 Mile and Bentler incident was the same one reported on social media yesterday which involved a 14 year old. Stewart indicated that it was. Smith asked whether the family has been provided services.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 80/101
Commissioner asked if it was all juveniles involved in this incident. Smith thought that it might have been some juveniles and some young adults but wasn't certain.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 81/101
Pressley concerned about having had such a violent week in kicking off block party season. What is the strategy for keeping these safe?
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 82/101
Stewart encouraged neighbors to get a permit. Will be responding to problematic parties with trespassing on neighbors' property, violence, etc.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 83/101
Speaker from DPD regarding body worn cameras. Chief White brought body worn cameras and policy to department, so he is committed.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 84/101
When White came back from Office of Civil Rights (?) he did an audit of cameras and how they are being used. He expanded this so that now there are cameras issued to all officers. He wants to assure BOPC that he will do another audit to see compliance rate.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 85/101
Pressley asks that there is clarity about what is a critical incident in which body worn camera is absolutely expected to be turned on by officers.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 86/101
Back to public comment.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 87/101
In person commenter says she went to 7th precinct with her service animal and was refused entry. They required papers that she doesn't have to have. This felt like slavery, being asked by a white man to produce papers.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 88/101
She took this complaint to a meeting, asking for an apology, and was told that the meeting wasn't for this form of complaint. Well then what was the meeting for?
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 89/101
Pressley asked for policy regarding service animals. Stewart not sure. Commenter interrupted to shout that this is an ADA right. Pressley informed that her time is up.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 90/101
Stewart said she will set up a meeting between commenter and 7th precinct. Pressley asked for timeframe, because BOPC is not able to ensure that there is follow-up. Stewart said it will be within two weeks.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 91/101
Next commenter believes that if there is so much violence, there needs to be an end to block parties. Also, 700 complaints since January? What? Understand officers are under stress, but there is no need for disrespectful treatment of residents.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 92/101
Same commenter speaking about an incident in which a mother called looking for her son, and police told her they were busy with NFL Draft. Son was later found dead. This was not an acceptable response from police.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 93/101
Have again lost the quorum. However, can still do staff reports.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 94/101
First is BOPC Budget Actuals for April.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 95/101
April, have 87% utilization of salary and wages budget, which is the highest of the year. This is because OCI has hired more investigators.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 96/101
Executive manager for policy, secretary to the board, and attorney positions are still vacant.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 97/101
Pressley clarifying that there can still be questions for reports even without a quorum. Answer: yes, questions, but no motions.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 98/101
Woods: Question related how to fill the positions which are vacant while still compensating the current employees in a way which is equitable.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 99/101
Pressley: Agreed, and are looking at these questions through two committees-- budget committee and personnel & training committee. It is the chair's discernment how to use the standard committees to address this conundrum.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 100/101
Meeting adjourned at 4:48.
Carole Hawke @hawke48223 101/101
This concludes my live-tweeting from Board of Police Commissioners meeting for June 6, 2024. For more information, including transcripts of the meeting, go to
detroit.documenters.org/reporting/

Agency Information

Detroit Board of Police Commissioners

The Board of Police Commissioners has supervisory control and oversight of the Police Department, including plenary authority over citizen complaints and the power to appoint fact finders, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of evidence. The Board also appoints a civilian as Director of Police Personnel and approves all promotions made by the Chief. The 11 member board is comprised of 7 elected members from each city council district and 4 members appointed by the Mayor. https://detroitmi.gov/government/boards/board-police-commissioners

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