City Government

Office Of Police Oversight AWOL

Boise’s new Director of Police Oversight (ombudsman) has gotten off to a rocky start after failing to respond to the scene of a “critical incident” involving a police shooting near the Depot early this week. She told legacy media neither she nor an investigator responded. She said she is kept “apprised” of details. As we see it the only “apprisers” are coppers–no one representing the citizens.

The civilian review position was established after a series of police shootings more than 10 years ago led to a lack of confidence in the department on the part of citizens. Pierce Murphy served as the Community Ombudsman for about 10 years and made no bones about working on behalf of citizens as an independent investigator and judge with regard to police conduct. He left two years ago to accept a similar position in Seattle–a city rocked by police misconduct.
Boise elected officials refused to fill the post for more than two years and only recently hired Natalie Camacho Mendoza, a lawyer, to fill the post which was reduced to a part time position.

Boise City Code 2-22-04
H. Critical Incidents
In the event that an officer or employee of the Boise Police Department is involved in a
critical incident, defined below, as a principal, victim, witness or custodial officer, the
Office of Police Oversight shall be notified immediately and shall act as an observer to any criminal, administrative or civil investigation conducted by or on behalf of such
Hard to act as “an observer” when you are absent.

Failure to respond or have an investigator on the scene of a critical incident is like calling balls and strikes at a baseball game based on a radio broadcast. Ms Comacho Mendoza needs to be there to represent the citizens if she is to “oversee” police conduct. The days of judging police conduct based on the reports of coppers has long passed.

If she wants her work to be trusted, she needs to change tactics pronto. She let us down on her first critical incident.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Bieter begone
    Oct 29, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Clearly the shooting was on the part of the time she wasn’t on the job.

  2. Maybe when this faux ombudsman leaves we can save even more money by off-shoring the job to China, or maybe just get a monkey with a large rubber stamp with “JUSTIFIED SHOOTING” on it. This atrocity matches nicely with the new Boise City Police cars designed by Darth Vader.

  3. Trevor D Hitchin
    Oct 29, 2015, 2:51 pm


    I reported Adam Crist to Dave Bieter.
    Nothing was done.
    I have contacted CITF.

    Thank you Guardian.
    Got this dead on. Bullseye.

  4. Adam Crist

  5. modern columbo
    Oct 29, 2015, 6:07 pm

    Oversight: “The act of Overseeing, Supervision”

    Perhaps the office should have been called the Office of Police Review.

  6. She just wants the paycheck she was promised and not have to do anything work. Her part time job is soooo stressful and she is soooooo overworked she was likely too tired to get out of the house or the office.

    Another great Team Dave member.

  7. Okay, Her bad.

    “shall be notified immediately”

    Who is responsible for CALLING her?
    It happened about midnight.

    Sounds like either the Chief (or his designated representative- in which case it comes back to him) is also at fault for timelyness.

    That ordinance was amended 7/7/15.

    “Hmmm… should we make sure someone knows to “NOTIFY” the Director?”

    “Nah. They’ll figure it out”

    EDITOR NOTE–She reported in legacy media that she was indeed notified, but decided to not respond.

  8. Oooooh.
    Legacy media- who reads that?

    The “legacy” Statesman:
    ” said she was notified about the shooting just after midnight but did not go to the scene.

    “In the past, the previous ombudsman or an investigator may have gone out. It’s at the discretion of the director,” she said. “We investigate the actions of law enforcement. We don’t necessarily participate in their police investigation

  9. I think they were watching the guy and knew he was in the car before finding a reason for the traffic stop… did they have a real reason or a pretend one for the stop? Sounds like good police work overall. Love how BPD makes life miserable for petty criminals too.

    What was the race and prior criminal record of the nitwit that got shot? Does this play a role in our oversight person’s choice to become more involved? A White guy getting shot is not controversial at all… so why investigate? Perhaps get a transcript of the phone call giving her notification of the shooting. I’d like to know the details of that conversation which helped her choose to stay away. What questions did she ask… what did she find important information to know at that moment?

    Lastly, can we pass a local law right now to make sure nobody invites Al Sharpton to Boise.

  10. Foothills Rider
    Oct 30, 2015, 8:32 am

    Camacho Mendoza is involved in multiple projects and boards per her Linked In page, and most focus on rights of Latino and Indians. (in fact, with all of the activitiy, how does she have time for an additional 20 hours weekly with Team Dave?) The guy shot was white. If he had been other, would the response be different? Also who chases the passenger from a “traffic stop?” I thought it was always the driver that was the focus, even if a passenger ran. Zippo is correct. The guy/passenger was always the intended. There is more not known.

    EDITOR NOTE–We will allow the comment, but the “race card” is totally inappropriate at this point.

  11. They don’t need untrained personnel tromping around a crime scene. What good is having her there. To watch the cops? Makes no sense.

    EDITOR NOTE: “Watch the cops,” seems like the definition of “oversight.” A trained investigator stays out of the way and observes…light conditions, weather, the direction of the police (open or cover up), note the ID of all officers present, observe things as simple as bullet holes. Past investigators were hardly untrained as you erroneously state. They include retired FBI agent, former police and District Attorney detective from L.A. County, and other trained investigators. FYI, BPD command welcomes the transparency oversight provides. It also lends credibility to conclusions made by coppers…or reveals misdeeds like the infamous “taser in the butt” case that cost taxpayers $150,000 to settle.

  12. Fred Garvin
    Nov 1, 2015, 2:06 am

    She’s a seat filler. Another reason to up taxes. What a joke.

    However…she does what she’s told.

  13. Rod in SE Boise
    Nov 1, 2015, 11:45 am

    Another example of local government behaving badly.

  14. sounds like just one more layer of rubber stamping on the part of LE… Cops.. all over need adult supervision.. too bad they never get any.

  15. We do not know the specifics of her employment requirements. Could have been on a cruise ship for all we know. Transcripts and fact finding please.

    This is an issue for the police chief and mayor to fully define policy.

    We are experiencing an influx of trouble makers from California and other countries. Shootings are more likely because of it. It’s just a matter of time before Boise valley LE makes the national headlines for capping someone in a questionable situation. So, for the good of the community this needs to be a high priority position. When that day comes it will be nice if police can show, by independent investigation/review, a history of having been found exemplary with use of force by her INDEPENDENT and expert office.

  16. I think video cameras as standard equipment for the police will do a lot in curbing police violence – IF THEY DON’T SELECTIVELY USE IT. The Mayor’s Office was smart in hiring a lawyer. Ms. Camacho Mendoza is trained to spot issues and will be a good liaison between the parties. In the future I am hopeful that the position of Ombudsman will be independent of any politics and be able to call honest, no-holds-barred, shots!

  17. I think a lot must be done to redefine basic terminology in the police vocabulary. The common sense use of a term is very different in police lingo. For example, police car chasing a car sounds like “pursuit” However, it is not considered a “pursuit” unless some very narrow criteria are met. Therefore when the police chase a car, and the car crashes, it’s entirely possible that they won’t call it a “pursuit”. There are hundreds of other ways to warp the statistics and written police reports. Therefore, I agree with the above poster… cameras and the court of public opinion will force a clean up.

  18. Oh look, a carefully crafted lawyer’s excuse for not coming to work. Good scoop editor!

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