12-05-2022  2:23 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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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.


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...

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...

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for jumi.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. ...

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...


‘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. ...


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 don't have 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. power...

Warnock, Walker: Starkly different choices for Black voters

ATLANTA (AP) — Raphael Warnock is the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, having broken the color barrier for one of the original 13 states with a special election victory in January 2021, almost 245 years after the nation’s founding. Now he hopes to add another distinction by...

Minnesota board stalls addiction help for minority students

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A southern Minnesota school district is expected to vote Monday on a jumi.1 million state grant meant to help curb drug use among students of color after a pair of board members delayed accepting the money by arguing it could discriminate against white students. At...


'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. ...


AP's top 2022 photos capture a planet bursting at the seams

Taken together, they can convey the feeling of a world convulsing — 150 Associated Press images from across...

Preseason No. 1 North Carolina drops out of AP Top 25

Houston and Texas remain firmly entrenched atop The Associated Press men's college basketball poll, while...

Sudan's generals, pro-democracy group ink deal to end crisis

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s coup leaders and the main pro-democracy group signed a deal Monday to establish...

Vatican vendettas: Alleged witness manipulation jolts trial

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The text message to the Vatican monsignor offered forgiveness along with a threat: “I know...

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...

Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

Tuesday morning's news of the city of Portland's $1.6 million settlement in the 2006 death of James Chasse Jr. hit the embattled Portland Police Bureau in a tender spot.
Even as bloggers and critics pencil out the sky-high costs – both financial and ethical –of the unarmed man's tragic death while in the custody of law enforcement, the police bureau is mounting a fiscal appeal for mercy in the wake of Mayor San Adams' proposed budget, released late last week.
Ironically, the amount of one-time special resource money Adams has budgeted for the Portland Police in 2011 is $3.2 million -- almost exactly the same amount that city and county government and their private sector contractors have agreed to pay for settling the Chasse case since last year. They'll be covered by a patchwork of city insurance policies.

And, as The Portland Mercury's ground-breaking reporting on the case indicates, the cost of the legal fees are not included in that settlement price – meaning the cost may reach an additional million dollars or more.
The two cops who were the actual targets of the lawsuit against the city -- Portland Police Officer Christopher Humphreys and Sgt. Kyle Nice – have since Chasse's death triggered repeated complaints and scandals.
Currently Humphries is on stress disability leave after his acquittal in shooting a 12-year-old with a beanbag gun on a MAX train. More charges remain unresolved in his physical "tackling" of an unarmed woman named Lisa Ann Coppock who was accused of not paying for her MAX ticket in 2008; the incident resulted in stitches in the commuter's head. All charges against her were dropped in March of this year, and she is now suing the city for an undisclosed sum.
Nice is now on desk duty while being investigated for allegedly threatening an unarmed motorist with his service revolver during an April road rage incident in Beaverton while he was off duty, which has reportedly triggered a $145,000 lawsuit against the city.

Budget Disagreements

Chief Rosie Sizer on Monday announced that Mayor Sam Adam's citywide budget cuts, made public last week, will force the layoff of 25 officers; close the mounted division and the Cold Case Squad; and cut public availability of police services and facilities.
Adams fired back with comments describing his disappointment at Sizer's public statements.
"Many Portland households have had to cut spending to match reduced incomes. Most households prioritize their basic needs. Portland city government should be no different," Adams said.
"That is why I protected public safety from deeper cuts than I requested from other city bureaus. And, it is why I used 68 percent of one-time resources to fund requested basic needs and public safety requests: homelessness, hunger and housing programs received $3.8 million; the Police Bureau received $3.2 million; and Fire and Rescue received $2.2 million.
"Sizer and her team and I met numerous times during the budget development process to strategize on how to make the necessary cuts in the least painful manner. Today Police Chief Rosie Sizer in her press conference neglected to mention that fact. Or that she approved the cuts recommended by her Bureau and included in my proposed budget."
All told, the Chasse case – considered to be by far the largest payout in Portland history -- has cost local government more than $3 million, not including attorneys' fees. Last year Multnomah County settled for $925,000, and AMR, the ambulance service contracted by the county, paid a reported $600,000.

Finally, Answers

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Portland payout to the Chasse family – which promises to be much higher than the settlement amount because the city has also agreed to pay all legal fees to the family's attorney – will be taken up next week by the Portland City Council for a confirmation vote, Mayor Sam Adams said today.
Saltzman confirmed that a feared gag order on the case has been swept aside by the terms of the final agreement, a major point of contention for community activists who have waited to examine documents relating to the internal affairs investigation for four years.
Add to that an estimated $250,000 in legal fees incurred by Portland city attorneys who fought the settlement for years, even recently hiring a legal consultant who is also a famous television personality.
A respected musician and artist in Portland's alternative community since his preteen years, Chasse was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since his death, he's become an enduring symbol of the need for mental health reforms across the board.
Chasse, 42 at the time of his death, had been chased down and cuffed by Humphries, after he, Nice and Multnomah County Deputy Bret Burton say Chasse urinated in public. After being hogtied and handcuffed by the officers, emergency medical workers called to the scene declared his condition stable; however jail workers refused to allow his admittance by Humphries and Nice, who put Chasse in the back of a police car and drove him on a wild goose chase between the jailhouse, a location on the side of a road and finally to a hospital emergency room, where he was declared dead.
The Oregon Medical Examiner ruled Chasse's fatal injuries were caused by blunt force trauma to the chest. However the Chasse family has consistently argued that witness statements contradicted the officers' claims.
In the family's public statement today, they and family attorney Tom Steenson issued a bittersweet statement about the pain of Chasse's death and the victory of bringing the whole story to light.
"During the course of the lawsuit, the family's attorneys took over 75 depositions of witnesses, Portland Police Bureau employees, and others, obtained over 40,000 pages of documents, retained a police expert and spoke with countless other individuals to assist the family in evaluating what caused James' death on Sept. 17," the statement says.
"During the case, the City and the other defendants sought a protective order which the family and the media opposed. Once the order was entered, the family repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to vacate the order in the interest of allowing the public access to information which was subject to the protective order. As a result of the protective order and other considerations in the case, the family has not been able to share much of the information they have gathered during the litigation, including important training information and information about the City's internal investigations into James' death.
"As part of the tentative settlement of the case, the family insisted upon and the City has agreed to vacate the protective order as it applies to training information relevant to James' death, the City's internal investigations into James' death and any resulting reports or discipline," the family's statement says.
They are currently pulling the documents together and will make them available soon.

Public Apologies

The final announcement of the Chasse settlement triggered a flurry of public statements.
"I want to thank the City Attorney for her commitment to finding an outcome that is amenable to all parties," Mayor Adams said. "And I want to thank the Chasse family for their strength and fortitude. I look forward to Council's approval of this settlement, and to opening a new chapter in the relationship between the Portland community and its public safety professionals."
"Nearly four years ago, James Chasse died in the custody of Portland Police officers. I and members of my organization felt horrible about his death. The Portland Police Bureau has spent the last three years identifying what went wrong and fixing those issues through improvements in policy, training and practice," said Chief Sizer.
"As Chief of Police, I have been frustrated by my inability to address this matter publicly due to the ongoing litigation. I believe that the Portland Police Bureau and the individual officers have been unfairly demonized," Sizer continued. "James Chasse's death was a horrible accident and not a 'beating death.' That's what the Bureau's investigation showed, and nothing in the litigation proved otherwise. The independent witnesses do not describe a rain of blows by Portland Police officers. The medical experts did not agree that the cause of death was the result of a beating. James Chasse's death was an accident, a terrible, tragic accident."

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