09-27-2021  11:54 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Graves of 19th century migrants found on trail in Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Cadaver dogs have found what are probably seven graves of mid-1880s migrants who died in south-central Idaho on the California Trail while crossing what is now the City of Rocks National Reserve. Experts with the Oregon-California Historic Trails and...

House Republicans return to Oregon Capitol for redistricting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite a threat to block new political maps Republican state lawmakers returned to the Oregon Capitol on Monday — the final day for the Legislature to complete redistricting. Enough GOP lawmakers returned to the House floor to achieve a quorum...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lower death rates for Black moms is goal of California bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has among the lowest death rates nationally among pregnant women and new mothers, but the numbers for Black mothers tell a different story. They were six times more likely to die within a year of pregnancy than white women from 2014 to 2016...

US Rep. Karen Bass enters race for Los Angeles mayor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Karen Bass entered the 2022 race for Los Angeles mayor Monday, shaking up an already crowded field hoping to replace outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti. Bass made the announcement online, saying on her website that she planned to focus on...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo on Monday increased its patrols on the border with Serbia in a bid to deescalate tensions between the two Balkan foes over a dispute about license plates. “KFOR has increased the number and time length of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Select list of winners at the Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Select winners at the Tony Awards, presented Sunday night in New York City: Best Musical: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” Best Play: “The Inheritance” Best Play Revival: “A Soldier's Play” Best...

Autopsy: Actor Michael K. Williams died of drug intoxication

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams died of acute drug intoxication in what New York City's medical examiner said Friday was an accidental death. Williams, known for playing Omar Little on “The Wire” and an Emmy Award nominee this year, had fentanyl,...

Tonys Latest: ‘Moulin Rouge!’ wins best new musical crown

The Latest on the Tony Awards (all times local): ___ 10:45 p.m. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, has danced away with the best new musical Tony Award. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Haitians returning to a homeland that's far from welcoming

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Deported from the United States, Pierre Charles landed a week ago in...

UK mulls calling in army to help ease gas shortages at pumps

LONDON (AP) — Lines of cars formed at British gas stations for a fourth day on Monday, as the government mulled...

Biden, Congress face big week for agenda, government funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a consequential week for President Joe Biden's agenda, as Democratic leaders trim back...

Police swoop on Balkan cartel's European ‘cocaine pipeline’

MADRID (AP) — Law enforcement agencies from eight European countries pounced on a Balkan crime organization...

Jailed Belarus opposition leader wins European rights prize

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Council of Europe on Monday awarded its major human rights prize to jailed Belarus...

Egg thrown at French President Macron during food trade fair

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron was hit on the shoulder Monday by an egg thrown at him by a man...

Eric Tucker the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Yogananda Pittman and Monique Moore climbed the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police, they encountered no top-level supervisors who looked like them. No black women, from the chief down to the captains, were represented in the upper management of the federal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting lawmakers and congressional buildings.

So it was more than a personal honor when the two became the first black women promoted to captain in the department, which in the past decade has been roiled by allegations from minority officers that they were passed over for promotions and subjected to racial intimidation and harassment.

"I just definitely think it lets them know that it's attainable," Pittman said, referring to younger black officers. "When you see someone who looks like yourself in the rank of captain and what have you, they know they can do it."

The promotions may seem a pedestrian milestone in the year 2012 but they carry symbolic significance for the agency. Accusations of racism within the department have been addressed at congressional hearings, raised in multiple lawsuits and drawn concern from the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members in 2003 said they were "incensed and embarrassed" by the alleged mistreatment

Sworn statements from black officers and a 2001 class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 300 current and former officers paint an unflattering portrait of the department. Black officers complained of losing promotions and favorable assignments to less-qualified white officers and of being humiliated in public and harassed with racial epithets. One officer says he found a hangman's noose on a locker; another reported finding a swastika-like symbol. One black officer nicknamed Ike says a K-9 unit dog was given the same name.

That lawsuit is pending after being revived by a federal appeals court in 2009. Other cases have been filed in the past decade, including just this year.

The Capitol Police has challenged at least some of the claims in court papers, denying that race played a role in the promotional process.

Police departments have generally been slow to promote black women - partly because of promotional exams often alleged to be discriminatory and more likely to produce higher scores among white test-takers - even at a time when black men are increasingly in upper management, said Christine Cole, a criminal justice policy expert at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"I don't believe that we have an equally diverse command staff even though we have large and growing numbers of African-American men who have made their way to the title of chief," she said.

The promotions show the department is making progress, though it remains an "evolving organization," said Deborah Lewis, the department's diversity officer. Nearly one-third of sworn Capitol Police officers are black, and just more than 8 percent are black women, Lewis said. Blacks make up roughly 43 percent of the department's civilian workforce, the agency says.

Of the department's 17 top leaders, two are black men and two are white women. The rest are white men, Lewis said. That pales next to the D.C. police department, which has a female police chief, black assistant chiefs and female black commanders.

"Great strides have been made to develop a climate of openness," Lewis said. A third-party contractor, for instance, now oversees the promotion process.

Joseph Gebhardt, one of the lawyers who brought the class-action case, said in an email that the promotions were "completely out of character for the department" given its history and that the appointments can't fix the "decades-long injustice" black officers have experienced.

Sharon Blackmon-Malloy, a plaintiff and current vice president of the U.S. Capitol Black Police Association, said she was pleased by the promotions but considered them an overdue and incremental accomplishment.

"Although there have been some changes, small changes, the overall atmosphere of the department is not satisfactory," said Blackmon-Malloy, who says she was one of the first two black women promoted to lieutenant and has since retired. "Because if it was, why would we still have to file class-action lawsuits?"

Moore and Pittman say they haven't directly experienced discrimination but don't discount anyone else's claims.

"Even if I did experience that type of behavior from the department, I don't think that would have stopped me from my goals," Moore said.

The captains, who were promoted in January, will together oversee some 500 or so officers in the department, which responds to everything from suspicious packages to thefts from offices to drunken driving.

Pittman, who comes from a family with a military background, joined in 2001 and has served in varied capacities, including in the communications division. Moore had been hired a few years earlier, working initially as a civilian before becoming a sworn officer, where she helped keep congressional committee hearings safe.

The two have had their share of memorable experiences, including being on Capitol Hill during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Pittman, a new recruit, was preparing to graduate from training; Moore, meanwhile, helped evacuate First Lady Laura Bush from a Senate office building, where she had been scheduled to testify about education.

"Mainly it just validated my line of work, basically, as far as protecting the community, the professional community and staff," Moore said. "Everything that we train for just kicked in at that moment."

The two envision higher ranks than captain.

"We both have our eyes on when we'll make chief," Pittman said.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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