November 23rd, 2009 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts

Sizer Sends Email Apology on Eve of No-Confidence Vote


A day before cops are set to rally Tuesday morning and collect ballots in a no-confidence vote on her leadership, Police Chief Rosie Sizer sent an email to the entire Police Bureau.

In the email, Sizer apologizes for saying she was "troubled" by a video of Officer Christopher Humphreys bean-bagging a 12-year-old girl at a MAX stop. She also praises rank-and-file officers, who will cast ballots tomorrow of no-confidence toward her and Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

The results of the vote are due Friday Monday. Here is the email in full:
From: Sizer, Rosie
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 4:30 PM
To: AllPPBUsers
Subject: Recent Events

About recent events…

I have been told by various people inside the Police Bureau that my comment in last Thursday's press conference that I was “troubled” by the video made the situation more difficult. For that, you have my apologies. It was clearly not my intent.

I think it is crucial at this point that I explain my comment. We have worked hard as an organization on force issues over the last three years. Clearly that work has paid off—force complaints are down almost sixty percent over the last four years and use of force is down along with injury to officers and suspects.

These results have been achieved by a mature organization that has been willing to challenge itself on the issue of not what is just allowable by law but what are the best options when it comes to using force in often chaotic and fast-moving circumstances. These results have been achieved by a mature organization that has been willing to look beyond the narrower perspective of suspect resistance and officer reaction to the totality of the circumstances in a given situation—including seriousness of the crime, opportunity for the suspect to escape, availability of cover, and a myriad of other factors. We factor those matters into our decision making not just because the Supreme Court requires us to do, but also because it's the right thing to do.

It is through this lens that I viewed the video and decided to initiate an investigation into the entire use of force during the arrest on the 148th Avenue platform under the totality of the circumstances.

I believe that the investigation will reveal more information than is currently available in the video and police reports. At the present, the reports are not releasable under public records law because they are in the custody of the Juvenile Court. We are petitioning the Court to allow us to release the reports in a redacted form.

The case has already been assigned to an IAD investigator and I expect that the investigation will be completed as rapidly and thoroughly as possible. After this investigation is completed, I will decide if the use of force was consistent with policy and training doctrine. We will also use this case to assess our policy and training.

These have been trying times for the Police Bureau. You have made many changes over a short period of time. You have suffered budget cuts that have in some cases taken your precincts away that you considered home. You have had to endure the stresses of a new payroll system. And finally, as individuals and as an organization, we have sustained criticism that often fails to acknowledge the inherent difficulties of the job or the progress we have made.

I want all of you to know that I value the men and women of this organization and believe in the job you do every day.

Rosie Sizer
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