UPDATE: Judge Simon extends deadline. Written testimony will be received through 26 February.
On 18 February, a Federal Judge
will entertained oral, public testimony on a proposed Settlement Agreement. He will then either permit or deny City of Portland and U.S. Dept. of Justice plans to avoid trial on charges that Portland Police use force illegally.
Click here to contact the Court.
Consult Hardesty was well received by the Court, being first among the public called to testify, and also having been credited by the DoJ’s senior trial attorney as having inspired their proposed Community Oversight Advisory Board. You might want to know this was but one element of broader vision, from our model of a Civilian Compliance & Reform Authority (CCRA).
Consult Hardesty is privileged to engage in broad community. When so many uncompensated volunteers took of their time to prepare testimony, we thought you should see statements prefacing their notice of intent to testify. Taken as a broad body of work, we know that – over decades of seeking remedy – our community has within it pools of detailed knowledge of policies and practices most likely to end these civil rights violations.
Portland Copwatch – Incredibly comprehensive and quite readable. The link is to the first of 11 sections. If you want to learn the dozens of ways justice is about to be thwarted, start here.
Personal Testimony – Attorney Tom Steenson has defended victims and their heirs from police misconduct for 30 years. Agreement should be rejected. Sec. V. describes how police train to avoid being held accountable, as opposed to conforming to policy. Also, oversight monitor (or COCL) should not be hand-picked by the City.
ACLU of Oregon – Agreement lacks ‘teeth’ necessary to ensure the City’s compliance; neglects any meaningful system of officer oversight and accountability. “Legal consequences for non-compliance are inadequate …”
League of Women Voters of Portland – Excellent analysis of the Citizen’s Review Committee; their proposed, crushing workload & failures to make it fractionally more effective. Advocates public participation, transparency & depicts what reforms should not be left to the City’s discretion.
Disability Rights Oregon – Encourages input from the community at all stages of police training. This group – with experience of the Behavioral Health Unit – testifies police assigned to this mission must exclude those with a disciplinary history of using excessive force. Asks for “Meaningful independent investigation by IPR, because the system is broken with police investigating police.”
Mental Health Association of Portland – Be sure to scroll down to their prior public testimony. It’s heartening to hear “the mental health system didn’t kill our friends … cops did.” It refutes Chief Reese’s false contention: “What we are talking about today is processes and systems-not about our Police Officers;” a false statement not challenged by the DoJ when PPB responded to DoJ Findings of patterns of civil rights violations.
Individuals for Justice – IFJ rejects Agreement in favor of independent oversight. Important links to Fullerton study and BART legislative language, describing features more likely to protect victims.
National Alliance on Mental Ilness – Multnomah Chapter of NAMI addresses use-of-force policies; understands officers who’ve employed illegal force now train and supervise others, as well as staff response teams; highlights lack of policy and failure to establish any location for treating those experiencing mental health crisis.
National Lawyers Guild – Portland Chapter rejects Agreement. Seeks mandate that IPR investigate significant uses of force; depicts faulty standards CRC uses to review police self-exoneration; seeks transparency and community inclusion in review processes.
Personal Testimony – From community activist and staunch justice advocate Teresa Roberts.
Consult Hardesty – Rejects Agreement. Links to police data reporting ongoing, race-based civil rights violations to the Court; cites DoJ data indicating they have failed to introduce a single care facility; re-introduces our vision, of community-based reform structures with the power and authority to sanction misconduct and foster appreciation for the Constitution. Includes analysis of systemic means by which the perpetrators thwart public involvement and contrasts Agreement’s failings with known best practices.
The Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform will conduct a forum for those wishing more information on how to testify. For those unable or unwilling to attend the Federal Hearing in person, community volunteers will videotape your five minutes of testimony.
Thursday, 13 February, 6-8pm at the Rosewood Community Center,
16126 SE Stark St. adjoining Su Casa.