01-30-2023  6:56 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon State Celebrates Black History Month With a Series of Events

Free events highlight the achievements and perseverance of Black and African American communities from the past to the present. ...

Word is Bond Announces Second Annual In My Shoes Walking-tour Project for Black History Month

Tours run February 4 through February 25, 2023 in King, New Columbia, Vancouver, Woodlawn, Goose Hollow, Montavilla, Parkrose, and...

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Kidnap suspect released day he arrived at Nevada prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state’s custody to serve a kidnapping sentence, authorities said...

Name of Seattle officer in crash that killed woman released

SEATTLE (AP) — Police have released the name of a Seattle police officer who was responding to a medical call when his patrol SUV hit and killed a 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula last week in a city crosswalk. Seattle Police Department Detective and spokesperson Judinna Gulpan...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trustees picked by DeSantis may change progressive college

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: Shania, 'Princess Power' and Pamela Anderson

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week. MOVIES — If you haven’t managed to catch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” yet, the...

Review: Making of 'The Way We Were' is a rich, gossipy tale

“The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen” by Robert Hofler (Citadel) Most people seem to like their screen romances a little on the sad side. When the American Film Institute listed its top romantic...

Amina Luqman-Dawson’s 'Freewater' wins John Newbery Medal

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Amina Luqman-Dawson made time to write a children's book she calls her "little quiet project," a historical adventure about a community of escaped slaves that she completed while raising a son and working as a policy consultant and researcher on education and domestic...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Florida GOP leaders want to get rid of gun permits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Saying gun owners don't need a government permission slip to protect their God-given...

Dems urge Biden to halt aid to Peru over protest crackdown

MIAMI (AP) — A group of House Democrats is urging the Biden administration to suspend all U.S. security...

Trump investigations: Georgia prosecutor ups anticipation

ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been put on notice by a prosecutor, but the...

Turkey favors approving Finland's NATO bid before Sweden's

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey could greenlight Finland’s membership in NATO before that of Sweden, if the...

Germany pledges 2 million for Brazil environment, Amazon

SAO PAULO (AP) — German development minister Svenja Schulze announced Monday that her government will make 204...

Dolphins, humans both benefit from fishing collaboration

A fishing community in southern Brazil has an unusual ally: wild dolphins. Accounts of people and...

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.
 

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.