05-24-2022  5:48 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Salinas, Erickson, Win Primaries in New Oregon 6th District

Salinas, who has maintained her lead as more ballots have been counted from Tuesday's primary, would be Oregon’s first Hispanic congresswoman

As Registration Opens Portland Parks Needs Staff for Summer Programs

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State Representative Janelle Bynum Calls for Legislative Inquiry into Clackamas County Election Debacle

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Here's How Abortion Clinics Are Preparing for Roe to Fall

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NEWS BRIEFS

'Twitter Philanthropy' Reveals Chasms in Social Safety Net

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Local Podcast Wins Awards at Home and Abroad

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Multnomah County Planning Commission Seeks New Member

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2 Pleasure Boats Catch Fire on Columbia River

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WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

Man arrested for driving toward 2 people on sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle police arrested a man on Capitol Hill after witnesses said he drove his SUV on the sidewalk to strike two pedestrians who confronted him after he yelled a racial slur at a street performer. An altercation between the 46-year-old suspect and the street...

Anti-harassment protection order filed against sheriff

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — An attorney representing a Black newspaper carrier who is suing Pierce County and Sheriff Ed Troyer has filed a temporary anti-harassment protection order against the sheriff. The order, filed by attorney Vonda Sargent, went into effect Monday. Sargent alleges...

OPINION

Costly Auto Repairs Driving Consumers Into a Financial Ditch

Research documents new, growing form of predatory lending ...

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Amidst threats, Kadri scores 3 in Avs' 6-3 win over Blues

Nazem Kadri had a powerful response to quiet all the haters. Refusing to buckle in the face of death threats, racial slurs, a booing St. Louis crowd and a few post-whistle hits, the Avalanche forward scored three times — including the game-winner — in a 6-3 victory over the Blues...

Stacey Abrams aims to recapture energy of first campaign

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Are police consent decrees an asset? Depends on who you ask

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Minneapolis Police Department will face the intense scrutiny of a federal program after a state investigation spurred by the killing of George Floyd concluded that the city's officers stop and arrest Black people more than white people, use force more often on people of color...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Either/Or' is Elif Batuman’s sequel to 'The Idiot'

“Either/Or,” by Elif Batuman (Penguin Press) Do you remember what it felt like to be a college sophomore? The Jell-O shots, cookie dough and moments of abject humiliation and terror as you tried, oh so self-importantly, to figure out how to live? Elif Batuman brings...

New this week: Dinosaurs, Def Leppard and 'The Responder'

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Review: A fun summer mystery with the ‘Bob’s Burgers’ crew

Fans of “Bob’s Burgers” will find a lot to savor in the long-awaited big screen adaptation of the Fox comedy about the oddball Belcher family. “ The Bob’s Burgers Movie ” feels very much like the quirky show — just on a supersized scale, which is all it needed to be. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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NEW DELHI (AP) — The devastating heat wave that has baked India and Pakistan in recent months was made more...

Kemp, Perdue duel could end with Georgia's GOP primary

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Greene seat, 2 Democratic primaries among top US House races

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Davos updates | Spain believes Finland, Sweden to join NATO

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says he believes Sweden and Finland will succeed...

Several injured in train, bus collision in southern Germany

BERLIN (AP) — A train collided with a bus and derailed at a railroad crossing in southern Germany on Tuesday,...

New Australian leader Albanese makes whirlwind world debut

TOKYO (AP) — Hours after being sworn in as Australia's new prime minister, Anthony Albanese found himself fresh...

Mike Schneider the Associated Press

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- When Benjamin Crump got his first call from Trayvon Martin's father last month, the attorney counseled patience.

It had only been two days since a neighborhood watch volunteer had fatally shot the 17-year-old, and surely an arrest was imminent, thought Crump, who has pursued several civil rights cases against law enforcement agencies.

Another day passed. Nothing.

Two more days passed. Still nothing.

"I believed in my heart of hearts they were going to arrest him," Crump said Thursday in an interview. "I said, `Oh, they are going to arrest him. You don't need me on this.'"

More than a month later, there still has been no arrest.

But thanks largely to Crump's efforts, the case has stirred marches and rallies around the nation, merited comment from President Barack Obama, led to the resignation of the Sanford police chief and brought scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice into this Orlando suburb of 55,000 residents.

"When you have the president commenting on the matter and you have celebrities and politicians wearing their hoodies as a symbol of the cause that you're representing, and it has taken over the world's attention, this is overwhelming in a sense," said Crump, who was in Washington for several days of meeting with members of Congress and appearing on national news shows. "We've been pushing relentlessly day and night."

Crump's strategy for making the case international news began with a series of heart-wrenching news conferences in which Martin's parents spoke about their loss. Florida media outlets began to notice. Then, he enlisted U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to help convince authorities to release 911 tapes, recordings that brought the case to the attention of national media. He's further ratcheted pressure on authorities by organizing a series of rallies and working with national civil rights figures such as Al Sharpton.

The push began not long after Martin's death on the night of Feb. 26. Martin, wearing a hoodie, was walking home from a Sanford, Fla. convenience store when he was spotted by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who called a police dispatcher to report Martin as suspicious. There was a confrontation, and Martin was shot. Zimmerman has told detectives he shot Martin in self-defense.

Martin's death raises questions about the role of vigilantism, racial profiling and Florida's self-defense laws. Under those laws, a person isn't obligated to retreat in a threatening situation. Zimmerman's father has said his son wasn't profiling Martin and that he isn't racist. Zimmerman's mother is Hispanic and his father is white.

Crump was first contacted by a cousin of Trayvon Martin's father. The cousin, a Miami attorney, was familiar with Crump's civil rights work in Florida. Before Martin's death, Crump was best known for representing the parents of a teenage boy who died after an encounter with guards at a Florida boot camp in 2006. The videotaped beating of Martin Lee Anderson attracted national attention and led to the closure of the state's boot camps for juvenile offenders.

Crump, 42, and his wife, Genae Angelique Crump, are raising two teenage boys who are the biological sons of Crump's cousin. The oldest is Martin's age.

"Trayvon hits home on many levels," Crump said.

Crump and his law partner, Daryl Parks, are Tallahassee-based personal injury attorneys who primarily handle wrongful death and negligence cases. But their everyday work often involves civil rights issues.

"Daryl and Ben look at things in a broader perspective," said James Messer, a Tallahassee attorney who serves on the board of the Tallahassee Bar Association with Crump. "While there may be a wrongful death issue, it involves, in their eyes, more than anything a civil rights cause ... (Crump) has a passion for issues that have something to do with civil rights violations."

Crump's advocacy on behalf of Martin's family has gotten the attention of established civil rights leaders. Both Sharpton and Jesse Jackson flew down to Sanford to participate in rallies and a meeting before the Sanford city commission.

"He has integrity, smarts and an uncanny ability," Jackson said about Crump. "He is not flashy. He is just kind of a basic, old, solid-thinking, country lawyer."

Crump gets the "country" part from growing up in Lumberton, N.C., a tiny town not far from Fort Bragg. His mother held down two jobs as a factory worker and hotel housekeeper. His biological father was a soldier at Fort Bragg. He was raised by his mother and her high school sweetheart who later became her husband. Crump regards him as his father. The oldest of nine siblings and step-siblings, Crump grew up in an extended family of cousins, uncles and aunts headed by his beloved great-grandmother, Mittie.

"She had a switch in her hand when we came home from school. She would ask what we learned in school that day, and she used that switch to enforce the importance of that question," Crump said of his great-grandmother.

Crump would spend all day every Sunday in Pentecostal church, often missing the chance to watch his Dallas Cowboys play on television. The influence of the church is visible in his public speeches when he often sounds more like a preacher than a lawyer. His interest in civil rights stems from attending segregated schools until he was in fifth grade.

"It was a situation to me, that I said, `Why do people on that side of the tracks have it so much better than people on our side of the tracks?'" he said.

When Crump was in high school, his mother sent him to Fort Lauderdale to live with the man he regarded as his father so he could have a male influence and be exposed to the culture that the bigger city offered.

He attended college and law school and Florida State University, where he met Parks, his future law partner. In his personal statement for law school, he said his hero was Thurgood Marshall, the U.S. Supreme Court's first black justice. After graduating, Parks and Crump formed their own law firm, Tallahassee-based, Parks and Crump.

Crump dodges the question of how, and if, he is being compensated by Trayvon Martin's parents.

"You do it because it's the right thing to do," he said. "As long as you make your goal to do right and do good, all of the money and financial material stuff will come."

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