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Thursday, September 20, 2012

City asks judge to exclude some testimony from consent decree hearing

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Attorneys for the city of New Orleans today requested that U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan "limit and exclude" testimony and evidence from citizens and interested parties at tomorrow's fairness hearing on the proposed New Orleans Police Department consent decree. Specifically, the city wants to exclude "any testimony related to specific incidents of alleged constitutional violations or police misconduct."

From the city's memorandum in support:

As this Court noted in its August 31, 2012 order, the purpose of the Fairness Hearing is to determine whether the proposed Consent Decree is 'fair, adequate, and reasonable.' As such, any testimony related to specific incidents of alleged police misconduct or alleged constitutional violations is prejudicial, irrelevant, goes beyond the scope of the Fairness Hearing, and should be excluded pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 401-403.

(More after the jump)

The parties which sought to intervene in this matter have indicated that they will call family members of deceased citizens who were involved in alleged incidents of police misconduct. In addition, parties have indicated that investigators or officers involved in matters such as the Danziger Bridge and Glover investigations will testify. As the Court should note, both of these matters are the subject of pending criminal and civil litigation in this Court. As such, any testimony related to these matters should not be allowed.

Anyone who wishes to file a motion opposing this request must do so by 9 a.m. tomorrow. The fairness hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Read the memorandum in support: ExcludeMemo.pdf

In other consent decree news, lawyers with the city and the U.S. Department of Justice held a question and answer session on the (projected) $10 million consent decree monitor contract. I arrived at U.S. District Court late for this, having just come from today's City Council meeting, so I missed most of the questions. I did, however, get a look at the sign-in sheet.

Here are the firms and/or groups who sent representatives:

Guidepost Solutions

Gautreaux Enterprises

Fulbright and Jaworski

Hillard Heintze

RAND Corp.

Claude Schlesinger, an attorney who represents the Fraternal Order of Police's local chapter, was there as well. FOP national appeared on a list of potential monitor contractors. Barbara Siefkin, an attorney who works with the Office of the Independent Police Monitor, also came to the meeting.


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