02-16-2020  2:18 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

State and Local Leaders Push Back Against Fair Housing Changes

Trump administration proposes weakened regulation, tracking of housing discrimination

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Attorney Jamila Taylor Announces Run for State House of Representatives in Washington

Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Irresponsible Government Use of Facial Recognition Technology

The technology heightens the risk of over-surveillance and over-policing, especially in communities of color ...

Jury decides convicted Oregon meth dealer should lose home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Yamhill County jury has concluded that police can seize the home of a woman convicted of a felony drug crime under Oregon’s civil forfeiture law.Sheryl Sublet, 62, pleaded guilty in 2018 to to selling less than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, The...

Police seek suspect who robbed 3 Portland banks in 1 hour

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man robbed three Portland banks in less than one hour last week, according to the Portland Police Bureau.The robberies occurred Friday, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported.The man wore glasses, a black beanie and flannel shirt.He robbed the Bank of the West on...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Teammates appear to stop player leaving after racist slurs

LIBSON, Portugal (AP) — A player in Portugal who tried to walk off the field after being the target of racist slurs from fans faced apparent attempts Sunday by his own teammates and opposition players to prevent him from leaving. FC Porto striker Moussa Marega, who is black and from Mali,...

The Latest: Steyer's candidacy impresses civil rights leader

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times PST):1:55 p.m.The president of a civil rights organization once led by Martin Luther King Jr. says that Tom Steyer is the presidential candidate perhaps best suited to speak directly to some of the concerns weighing on...

Democratic hopefuls now test strength among minority voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — For I.S. Leevy Johnson, the Democrats’ search for a challenger to take on President Donald Trump is personal.“There is what I call an ‘ABT mood’ in the black community: Anybody but Trump,” said the 77-year-old who was the first black...

ENTERTAINMENT

Snoop Dogg apologizes to Gayle King for rant over Bryant

NEW YORK (AP) — After days of blistering criticism, Snoop Dogg has finally apologized to Gayle King for attacking her over her interview with former basketball star Lisa Leslie about the late Kobe Bryant.“Two wrongs don't make no right. when you're wrong, you gotta fix it," he said in...

Voigt shocked paper ran her photo with Freni's obituary

Deborah Voigt was in California earlier this week when she got a text from a friend on the East Coast."So sorry to hear the news of your passing," read the Monday message.The Gazzetta di Parma newspaper in Italy had run an obituary of Mirella Freni, the great Italian soprano who died Sunday at age...

Lizzo talks diversity, self-confidence and femininity

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fresh from winning three Grammys, singer Lizzo visited Mexico City for a private concert, surprising her fans with acoustic versions of her hits and a toast with tequila.The star from Detroit, who won best pop solo performance (“Truth Hurts”), best...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Elton John, sick with pneumonia, cuts New Zealand show short

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — An emotional Elton John had to cut short a performance in New Zealand on...

Virus renews safety concerns about slaughtering wild animals

BEIJING (AP) — China cracked down on the sale of exotic species after an outbreak of a new virus in 2002...

California to apologize for internment of Japanese Americans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Les Ouchida was born an American just outside California's capital city, but his...

Banksy's Valentine's Day mural covered after it was defaced

LONDON (AP) — The family that owns a house in southwest England where an artwork from Banksy appeared in...

Esper says Taliban deal is promising but not without risk

MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday that a truce agreement between the United...

US secretary of state visits Senegal to start Africa tour

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is working to...

McMenamins
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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