Category Archives: Testimony Preparation

Posts that will increase the chances that your testimony will persuade a Federal judge that civil rights deserve better protection than currently being considered.

31 Jan Milestone – Preference to Those Notifying Court of Intent to Testify

While the Court will accept written and video submissions until the conclusion of the Federal Hearing on 18 February, the Court ‘encourages’ everyone wishing to provide written testimony or speak at the Fairness Hearing to submit this Testimony Form by 31 January 2014.

If the several ‘turn out the testimony’ campaigns generate any sort of public response, those who’ve not submitted forms will not be heard. ‘Insiders’ – those indicating their lawyers will be in court – will likely be given specific time slots ahead of time. We’ll be prepared to help you navigate this document and participate in a way most likely to convey The People’s perspective on the adequacy and reasonableness of the proposed agreement.

This group understands the US Attorney for Oregon has worked diligently to narrow public input. We assume Judge Simon will forward these forms to Amanda Marshall’s office, so she and the City can prepare to refute your testimony.

If anyone is unable personally to attend the scheduled hearing and would like to provide oral testimony, he or she may present oral testimony by video and submit such testimony on a DVD attached to his or her written submission. We’ll keep you updated on a plan to record your testimony.

 

Also posted here: “Those who previously provided a written submission requesting oral testimony will be given priority. Those who did not provide advance notice of their intent to testify may testify, at the Court’s discretion and if time permits. The Court will determine the order of the individuals providing testimony. Each member of the public will be provided five (5) minutes to testify. Organizations will be limited to presenting three (3) representatives and each representative will have ten (10) minutes to testify. The Court may extend time for testimony for good cause. Only testimony that is relevant, as determined by the Court, will be allowed at the hearing.”

Submissions may be made to the Clerk of the Court in person or via first class mail to Clerk of the Court, Civil Intake, Fairness Hearing Comments, 1000 S.W. Third Avenue, Suite 700, Portland, OR 97204, or via email to Mary_Austad@ord.uscourts.gov. These submissions will be retained by the Court until the close of the case, but will not be part of the public record unless the Court orders otherwise.

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Support the ‘Fred Bryant Clause’

The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability have posted an analysis of a proposed settlement agreement now before the U.S. District Court for Oregon. For your distribution, we re-post the document here.

The AMA calls upon parties (U.S. Dept. of Justice & City of Portland) to institute a ‘Fred Bryant Clause‘ into the Agreement. In a section demonstrating where the agreement actively inhibits police accountability, the group narrows in on a new clause which prohibits appeals to the Citizen Review Committee, stating:

“The late father of Keaton Otis was denied such an appeal.”

This group is aware that Fred Bryant’s pursuit of justice, as well as evidence in the case of police self-exoneration in the death of his son Keaton, provide excellent grounds for The People to make a case that the proposed agreement is neither fair, adequate, or reasonable.

Contact us, if you’d like to help with this work.

Federal Fairness Hearing, to determine whether The People concur with this proposal, to end civil rights violations by Portland Police, is “fair, adequate and reasonable,” is scheduled for 18 February.

Justice for Keaton Otis & Fred Bryant

December 17, 2013

UPDATE: Fairness Hearing scheduled for 18 February, 9am.

On Thursday, 19 December, at 1pm, Federal Judge Michael Simon will set a date for a public hearing on the proposed settlement agreement between the City of Portland and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Simon will make his announcement in the Mark O Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.

This past January, Amanda Marshall, U.S. Attorney for Oregon, in consultation with the defendant (City of Portland), developed these proposals for a hearing they then hoped to rush into. The DoJ took the positions the Agreement should be reviewed as “whole, rather than the individual component parts.” In other words, the Court cannot “delete, modify or substitute certain provisions;” the Agreement “must stand or fall in its entirety.”

Marshall proposed a plan where the public would submit written comments within 30 days of the hearing’s announcement. The DoJ and perpetrators (City, Police, et al) would confer, then – two weeks before the hearing – take positions on the relevancy of individual public comments.

Any member of the public, or organization, who desires to be heard at the evidentiary hearing, must have previously presented written comments, and requested to provide oral testimony. Only testimony and other evidence that is relevant, as determined by the Court, will be allowed at the hearing. The Court will determine the order of the individuals providing testimony. Each member of the public will be provided three (3) minutes to provide oral testimony. Organizations providing testimony will be limited to presenting three (3) representatives of their organization. Each representative will have three (3) minutes to testify. The Court may extend time for testimony for good cause. Testimony may be cross-examined.

It is unclear whether Judge Simon has been persuaded to confine public participation in the way the government seeks. Consult Hardesty argued for hearings far more comprehensive, HERE.

In this report to Judge Simon U.S. Attorney Marshall describes community input (Page 7) in the development of an Agreement. An ill-thought-out document was negotiated by insiders, in secret. On 26 October 2012, the DoJ and City released a draft and announced it would be presented to City Council just five days later, on 1 November. Public testimony was robust. The parties retreated behind closed doors. Marshall states, “The parties again engaged in additional negotiations regarding amendments arising from public comments and submitted a revised proposal to City Council on November 8, 2012.” What she does not disclose is that the public were then testifying on a document they’d not yet seen. (Testimony here.) City Council passed their motion to approve of the Agreement without incorporating anything submitted in a massive public turnout.

Judge Simon’s hearing will be the first time the public has had a chance to testify as to the contents of the draft that’s been under consideration since final passage by Portland City Council on 14 November.