08-16-2017  6:50 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Meeting of the NE Community Development Oversight Committee

The fourth meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23 ...

Health Share of Oregon Invests $3M in Community Health Workers

Investment will improve health care access, quality and outcomes for Oregonians who face barriers to care ...

'Eclipse Hate' Rally in Solidarity with Charlottesville

Portland’s Resistance to hold peaceful rally and march Aug. 18 ...

Celebrate Literacy at N. Portland Library’s Children’s Book Fair

Book fair runs from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Aug. 26 ...

Rachel Solotaroff, M.D., Named President & CEO for Central City Concern

Solotaroff steps into new role at the end of September, following Ed Blackburn's retirement ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

SEIU’s President: No Place for White Supremacists in the White House

Mary Kay Henry makes following statement on Trump’s remarks after violence in Charlottesville ...

It’s Time to Show “Middle Neighborhoods” Love, Before It’s too Late

Middle Neighborhoods, School Rehabilitation and Food Insecurity are key action items for the policy agenda of the CBC. ...

Despite Unequal Treatment, Black Women Will Rise

NNPA Newswire Columnist Julianne Malveaux talks about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day ...

PCC Cascade President on Free Tuition Program

Any student who qualifies for the Oregon Promise can attend most in-state community colleges tuition-free ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A man who authorities say led one of South Florida's most violent gangs was sentenced to 65 years in prison on racketeering charges Friday.

A Palm Beach County judge sentenced Futo Charles, 30, shortly after a jury convicted him of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and two other drug charges, according to The Palm Beach Post (http://bit.ly/pJk5Ng ). The conviction in the heavily guarded courthouse came days after a witness who planned to testify was gunned down in a parking lot.

Charles' Top 6 gang was linked to 14 homicides and more than 150 shootings in the past few years, including a fatal Christmas Eve shooting at a busy mall in 2006 - all part of a bloody gang war, authorities said. Estimates eventually put the gang's membership at more than 400.

Charles' racketeering charge included multiple counts, including two shootings. His attorney, Marianne Rantala, pointed out that jurors found prosecutors had not linked Charles to the shootings, yet the judge still gave Charles the maximum sentence.

"It appeared that the sentence was going to be the maximum no matter what," Rantala said in an email. "My opinion of the sentence is that it was extremely overly harsh."

Rantala said she plans to appeal the case.

Witness Eguel Geffrard - a member of the gang - was supposed to testify in the trial on Monday, but police found him shot to death in a parking lot that same day.

Like many of Top 6's members, Geffrard was a suspect in a previous crime, but ultimately became a victim. Authorities say gang members have frequently turned on each other. No charges have been filed in Geffrard's death.

Local authorities turned to racketeering laws after struggling to bring anything other than minor drug charges against Top 6 members.

After Geffrard's slaying Monday, the judge ordered jurors to be partially sequestered with armed guards escorting them to and from the courthouse.

Charles has never hid his affiliation with Top 6, but he has always maintained it is a rap group.

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Information from: The Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com

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