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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PSU to Offer Interns Opportunity to Help Organize

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Click for Course Description

Our work may be enhanced by students taking ‘USP 316 – Community Organizing and Social Change’ this semester. This is the professor’s pitch:

Keaton Otis was a young black man who was killed by the Portland Police in May 2010 after being pulled over because he “looked like he could have been a gangster.” His death and others’ sparked community members to press for a federal Department of Justice civil rights investigation into the Portland Police Department’s use of force. The Justice Department found that the Portland Police routinely violated the civil rights of people with mental illness … by using excessive force.

As a result of the findings, the City of Portland and the federal Department of Justice must outline a series of reforms that will be instituted to prevent further civil rights violations. Despite the fact that community members pushed for this investigation, there has been little opportunity for Portlanders to be involved in designing the proposed solutions. The judge supervising the agreement will hold a Fairness Hearing on the proposed agreement and police use of force issues in Portland on Tuesday, February 18th.

Participants in this project will be working with the J4KO committee to help organize a series of community meetings where Portlanders can record testimony about their experiences with the police to present to the judge at the Fairness Hearing. Participants will help organize these meetings, conduct outreach to community members, record testimony and publicize these events. Because of the scheduled date of the Fairness Hearing, this will be an accelerated field experience—it will be 5-6 weeks in length, but you will asked to commit 5-6 hours per week rather than 3-4. You will need to be available for the Feb. 18th hearing. The committee currently meets Tuesday evenings.

Kickoff Meeting Scheduled – Tuesday, 7 January, 6-8pm

A bulk email has just gone out to justice advocates who left contact information on clipboards developed by Consult Hardesty. Those willing to step into a 6-week commitment have been invited to this site, and use the Contact Form to request the East Portland location of the kick-off meeting.

An initial step in the campaign will be to identify and network among those in our community who might join us. See the green text here, for brainstorming ideas.

We’ll be looking at different ways of engaging in the work. Attendees should think about which of the Four Tracks they would like to pursue.

Also, we’ve put out a call for those who’d like to ‘advocate from home.’ We’ll have discrete, supportive tasks that can be accomplished outside of meetings. Respondents should leave a phone number at the Contact page.

If we reach critical mass in this meeting, it will become likely that a few interns will become available through Portland State University.

Here’s the text of the email:

Thank you for leaving your contact information (likely at a Michelle Alexander event) last January. We hope you’ll get involved in what is perhaps the most significant press for civil rights in Portland … in a generation.

On 18 February, beginning at 9am, a Federal judge will convene a Fairness Hearing, regarding a proposed Settlement Agreement following Department of Justice Findings that the City of Portland engages in illegal use of force. We hope you’ll want to testify, and that you’ll help us spread the word. It will be the first time the public has had an opportunity to weigh in on the final document.

On Tuesday, 7 January, from 6-8pm, a 6-week campaign will kick off, to engage community participation in this hearing. A ‘Coalition of the Willing,’ it is an action group forming to organize maximum attendance and informed testimony. It is an advocacy group, emerging from those who understand the Agreement is not sufficient to replace what the DoJ called a ‘self-defeating accountability system’ run by the City, in regards to the Portland Police Bureau. We do this to honor the work of Fred Bryant, who put his all into seeking an investigation into the police killing of his son, Keaton Otis. Portland’s Independent Review Board failed him. It failed to bring justice while our constitutional protections were not in force.

Interested in a short-term, closed-end commitment? See details of the proposed campaign here.

To join the Action Group, we request you use the Contact Form at the Justice for Keaton Otis & Fred Bryant web site. (https://justice4kofb.wordpress.com) We’ll reply with the East Portland location of Tuesday’s meeting.

Help us encourage testimony by subject matter experts. Help us get personal, video testimony into the record, among those who cannot attend the Hearing.

We’re also able to accommodate a few who wish to ‘advocate from home.’ We currently need justice advocates who are able to work the phones.

Dave & Jo Ann Hardesty, Consult Hardesty in solidarity with Justice for Keaton Otis & Fred Bryant

Please forward.

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.