12-05-2022  4:01 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Inslee touts new housing program for Spokane's homeless

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was in Spokane Monday to preview the opening of a new housing project for homeless people, calling the Catalyst Project a step toward ending the state's homelessness crisis. The new housing, in a converted hotel, aims to provide...

Sale jumpstarts floating, offshore wind power in US waters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tuesday marks the first-ever U.S. auction of leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms, in the deep waters off the West Coast. The live, online auction for the five leases — three off California’s central coast and two off its northern coast...

Wake Forest, Missouri meet for first time in Gasparilla Bowl

Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. EST LOCATION: Tampa, Florida TOP PLAYERS Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game because of...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Justices spar in latest clash of religion and gay rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court 's conservative majority sounded sympathetic Monday to a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples, the latest collision of religion and gay rights to land at the high court. The designer and her supporters...

Former Education Secretary King named SUNY chancellor

Former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. has been appointed chancellor of the State University of New York, the nation's largest university system, SUNY announced Monday. King is scheduled to begin in January at a salary of a 0,000. The appointment marks a return to New York...

EXPLAINER: US power grid has long faced terror threat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators believe a shooting that damaged power substations in North Carolina was a crime. What they haven't named yet is a suspect or a motive. Whatever the reason, the shooting serves as a reminder of why experts have stressed the need to secure the U.S....

ENTERTAINMENT

'Road Trippin' — Red Hot Chili Peppers unveil 2023 tour

NEW YORK (AP) — There's no rest for the spicy: Fresh off a world tour and two albums this year, Red Hot Chili Peppers are preparing for a set of stadium shows and festival stops across North America and Europe in 2023. Live Nation said Monday the band's 23-date global trek kicks...

Review: Thief forced to steal a vital U.S. defense secret

“Three-Edged Sword,” by Jeff Lindsay (Dutton) After the Cold War, former Soviet spy Ivo Balodis built himself a fortress in an abandoned missile site on an island in the Baltic Sea. There, he has continued to deal in secrets — but for profit instead of for country. ...

Review: A Sugarplum Fairy waves a sweet 'Nutcracker' goodbye

NEW YORK (AP) — George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker” ends with a big, collective farewell wave. Every single dancer onstage is waving — from the Sugarplum Fairy and her fellow inhabitants of the Land of Sweets down below, to Marie and her Prince up above, soaring in their wooden sleigh. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

North Carolina blackouts caused by shootings could last days

CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) — Tens of thousands of people braced Monday for days without electricity in a North Carolina...

Ex-Miami congressman Rivera arrested in Venezuela probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Miami congressman who signed a million consulting contract with Venezuela’s...

China eases controls, gives no sign when 'zero COVID' ends

BEIJING (AP) — China is easing some of the world’s most stringent anti-virus controls and authorities say new...

Trial of 10 accused over Brussels suicide attacks underway

BRUSSELS (AP) — More than six years after the deadliest peacetime attack on Belgian soil, the trial of 10 men...

Indonesia's Mt. Semeru eruption buries homes, damages bridge

SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (AP) — Improved weather conditions Monday allowed rescuers to resume evacuation efforts...

Report: Ukraine war ups arms sales but challenges lie ahead

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Global arms sales increased by nearly 2% in 2021, the seventh consecutive year of increases, an...

Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its investigation into the Portland Police killing of Aaron Campbell on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

(Read The Skanner News previous reporting, US Department of Justice Confirms 'Pattern and Practices' Probe of Portland Police)

The Justice Department today announced it will not be filing federal criminal civil rights charges against the officers, and that officials from the department's Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon and the FBI have already met with Campbell's family on their decision

"Under the applicable federal criminal civil rights laws, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids," said a statement from the DOJ released Tuesday afternoon. "Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish such a criminal violation," it said.

"After a careful review of the facts, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the law enforcement personnel who fired at Campbell acted willfully, meaning with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids."

Community members in February of 2010 enlisted the help of lawmakers to convince the DOJ to take up the case of Campbell's shooting Jan. 29 of that year.

Unarmed and in a mental health crisis, Campbell was shot in the back by Officer Ronald Frashour with an AR-15 rifle as he surrendered to negotiators in a dark, rainy parking lot off Northeast Sandy Boulevard.

A Grand Jury that convened on the issue of police use of force in the Campbell case in February of 2010 found officers did not violate policies, but it also expressed outrage at the scene that led to Campbell's death and urged the city to rethink its rules on use of force.

In an almost unprecedented move, jury members pushed Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk and Mayor Sam Adams to petition the court to reveal transcripts of its hearings. "Portland deserves better," jury members wrote in a statement. "Aaron Campbell deserved better."

Community organizations including the Urban League of Portland, the African American Alliance, the Albina Ministerial Alliance, as well as then-Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer together called for a "pattern and practice" investigation by the Civil Rights Division that was eventually referred to the DOJ Special Litigation Section for review.

Frashour, who was fired last year for failing to observe bureau policy on use of force – but has been the subject of recent reinstatement hearings -- eventually racked up tens of thousands of dollars in legal settlements for other use of force incidents, including:

--$55,000 awarded in a federal lawsuit to Frank Waterhouse, tasered without warning by Frashour while videotaping a police search in 2006;

--$44,043.26 to settle a lawsuit from August 2008 when Frashour rammed into a Honda Civic as he was trying to stop a reckless driver who was driving a differently-colored Honda Civic.

Other unresolved lawsuits against Frashour include:

--A 2007 domestic dispute in which a married couple was arrested and Frashour pepper-sprayed the wife inside her house. Ultimately all charges were dropped against both husband and wife, who sued the city of Portland for arresting them without probable cause.

--A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Aaron Campbell against the City of Portland which is still underway.


Joint Statement by Mayor Sam Adams and Police Chief Michael Reese on the DOJ Investigation
 
Today, following a yearlong inquiry, the United States Department of Justice announced that there is "insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers" involved in the January 29, 2010 fatal shooting of Aaron Campbell. Shortly after the shooting occurred, then-Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Mayor Sam Adams urged Senator Ron Wyden to ask the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) Civil Rights Division to conduct a full review of the incident and all aspects of the Portland Police Bureau.
"The fatal shooting of Aaron Campbell was tragic, and I appreciate the Justice Department taking a thorough look at the facts of this case," Mayor Sam Adams said. "Chief Mike Reese and the Portland Police Bureau and I have already taken action in the last year to learn from the Campbell case, and making necessary changes in police training and practices. We've sought to be decisive in addressing this issue."
"I want to thank the DOJ for their investigation into this officer-involved shooting. We can't undo the death of Aaron Campbell, but I believe we have taken significant steps to learn from it," Chief Michael Reese said. "In this case, I believe each Bureau member involved was attempting to do their best to resolve a complex situation. However, there were significant issues that were brought forth in the Bureau's internal reviews and those involved were held accountable."
Immediately following the Campbell incident, the Police Bureau began an in-depth investigation followed by a Grand Jury review. There was also an exhaustive internal review focusing on potential policy violations, officer performance and adherence to Bureau training. The case then went to the Use of Force Review Board, which is comprised of community members, peer members and command staff. Based on recommendations by the Use of Force Review Board, the Mayor and Chief approved appropriate discipline for the sergeants and officers involved in the incident, including termination and suspension for policy violations and performance. The entire investigative file, training analysis and letters of discipline were released to the public.
As a result of the incident and subsequent review, additional training was implemented including the selection and training of officers carrying AR-15 rifles. The Chief also ordered all of the Bureau's policies concerning less lethal tools to be reevaluated to ensure uniformity in each policy. In addition, ballistic shields were purchased and have been deployed allowing officers to approach down subjects in a more timely manner.
 

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