The Independent Community Police Oversight Commission met Tuesday night to discuss the need to standardize the police complaints procedure and to keep their current budget. 

Commissioner and Chair Lisa Jackson started the meeting by introducing LSA freshman Makiah Shipp,a new commissioner who will represent the perspective of young people in ICPOC. Shipp has led youth voting events and was featured on a NBC segment on first-time voters. 

“I’m super excited to be here,” Shipp said. “I definitely plan to follow through with the type of work that I’m put towards. I’m definitely going to be consistent. I have a lot to offer and different perspectives.”

Jackson discussed the importance of training and urged commissioners to report the training they’ve done in 2020. As an example of a type of a training event, Jackson recommended a bystander training hosted by Georgetown University. Their training discussed the importance of police officers not being afraid of pointing out faults of senior officers. 

In one instance, an individual was not properly cuffed and searched by a senior officer, which resulted in the individual breaking free and killing a police officer. Jackson highlighted the applicability of this scenario to the Ann Arbor police department. 

“If you step in when you see an officer or your fellow officer doing something inappropriate, you are helping the officer,” Jackson said. “It’s not that you are being disloyal — you are actually being more loyal because you are potentially saving them from getting fired, saving them from getting killed.”

Commissioner Frances Todoro-Hargreaves brought up the importance of formalizing a process of reviewing complaints of police misconduct. Previous systems that were in place, such as spreadsheets summarizing complaints, were interrupted by the pandemic. 

Furthermore, Todoro-Hargreaves stated that  police officers were not asked to send reports during quarantine, so the spreadsheets from that time period missed information. According to Todoro-Hargreaves, ICPOC has also not reviewed any cases from September to December.

Commissioner Anan Ameri said she thinks the current system they have is insufficient and ridiculous. 

“If somebody asks me (about police misconduct reports), my answer would be I don’t know,” Ameri said.  “It doesn’t make sense. You are the police oversight commissioner and you have no idea how many complaints for a whole year, what are their nature. I mean, there’s something missing.”

In light of these setbacks, Todoro-Hargreaves noted the importance of creating a process for reviewing complaints that every city organization will use.

“There’s never been a process that everybody follows,” Todoro-Hargreaves said. “Personnel change, and somebody would interpret something differently, and we would hit a roadblock again. So right now what we are trying to do is to come up with a process that is agreed upon by the city, the police, the city attorney’s office and ICPOC, that is going to be in place.” 

Jackson agreed with the importance of properly identifying the frequency and types of police misconduct. 

“So that we can look at patterns in practice, and that is very important for us to look at,” Jackson said. “That’s why everybody needs to be able to know what all the complaints are about, even if you are not reviewing the details of each case.”

Todoro-Hargreaves is working on writing up a standard procedure for reviewing cases, hoping to have teams of commissioners. Each team will have three information managers who will see everything related to the report, such as the names of the police officers involved, while the others will only be able to see the badge numbers. 

Jackson also mentioned a possible budget cut for the 2021-2022 budget cycle. Commissioner Jude Walton is in charge of writing an impact report on what would happen if the budget was cut by 5%. 

“Our budget is $150,000, but only $50,000 of that is really in any way within our control because the rest of it is shared city cost,” Walton said. “If we were going to try and come up with a $7,500 cut within that budget, we’d be really taking a hit of 15% of our budget.”

Jackson noted ICPOC had to scale back their budget due to the pandemic. 

To continue growing and attend training sessions, Jackson emphasized the importance of keeping their budget.

“What’s going to happen is now that we may be able to do more training hopefully in 2021, and this budget we are talking about is for 2021 to 2022, … it’s not for this budget cycle,” Jackson said. “Hopefully that will include vaccines for the entire world, and we’ll be able to do what we need to do in terms of training but also outreach. We expect, probably, that we’ll use all our budget and that we might spend more than we have spent in the past, because there’s a bunch of things we need to make up for.”

Daily Staff Reporter Caroline Wang can be reached at

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