How to Testify at Judge Simon’s ‘Fairness’ Hearing

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing the City of Portland because it found reason to believe the Portland police has a “pattern or practice” of using excessive force against people who are in mental health crisis. Rather than go to trial and have those violations proven, the City signed a Settlement Agreement in late 2012.

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On February 18, Judge Michael Simon will be hearing from community members about whether the Agreement is “fair, adequate and reasonable.”  Your testimony may counterbalance expected testimony from the City, County, State, the police unions, other organizations and individuals. Persons with mental illness were not included in the writing of the Agreement, and important provisions of the Agreement which would help those with mental illness have been rejected by the City.

Your testimony is valuable and valued. Testimony can be submitted on video, in writing or in person on February 18. Written testimony from the Mental Health Association of Portland will be posted on this web site January 29.

Download and read these PDF documents about the agreement in order to testify:

* The Settlement Agreement – 77 pages
* Judge Simon’s Announcement of the Fairness Hearing
* Form to submit testimony – printable
* Form to submit testimony – fillable
* Form to submit testimony – easy (1 pg)
* AMA Coalition Fact Sheet on Fairness Hearing

The judge will allow testimony in writing or by video (which must be submitted in advance) in addition to in-person presentations in the courthouse (for which members of the public are requested, but not required, to pre-register).

Organizations will have up to 30 minutes (up to 3 representatives who can speak 10 minutes each maximum), individuals will have 5 minutes. If you want to learn more, get help formulating your testimony or want to have your testimony taped and sent to the court, attend an upcoming public forum hosted by the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.

COMMUNITY FORUMS TO PREPARE FOR THE FAIRNESS HEARING

The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is planning a series of community forums to explain the DOJ Settlement Agreement and the purpose of the Fairness Hearing to the community, at which people will also be encouraged to write their testimony and/or record video to send to Judge Simon. The current dates and locations for these forums are:

Tuesday, January 28 • 6:30 PM-8:30 PM • First Unitarian Church • 1011 SW 12th Ave
Saturday, February 8 • 2:00 PM-4:00 PM • St Johns Community Center • 8427 N Central St
Thursday, February 13 • 6:00 PM-8:00 PM • Rosewood Community Center • 16126 SE Stark St