06-01-2020  9:06 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Governor Brown Announces $30 Million Investment to Protect Agricultural Workers

The funds are intended to secure Oregon's food supply chain and support agricultural workers during the COVID-19 health crisis

Rally Against Racist Violence Planned for Tuesday in Olympia

A rally will be held at 4pm Tuesday in Olympia to demand justice and call on elected officials to pass policies that tackle systemic racist violence

Portland Under Curfew Tonight in Response to Protests Turned Violent

Today Mayor Ted Wheeler issued an executive order declaring an emergency and implementing a temporary nighttime curfew in the City of Portland taking effect at 8 p.m.

Fiery Protests in Portland following George Floyd Rally

Rallies to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned violent in Portland, Oregon, with fires lit downtown and at least one shot fired

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

Washington is one of the 6 states with the highest self-response rates and both Seattle and Portland are one of the top 8 cities with...

Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

The Latest: Trump to governors -- “Most of you are weak”

The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:___WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is telling the nation’s governors that most of them are “weak” and calling for tougher...

More arrests in Portland as George Floyd protests continue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in Portland, Oregon, arrested 12 adults during protests Sunday and early Monday morning after authorities said projectiles – including aerial mortars – were thrown at officers as demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd continued in...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

A Letter to George Floyd: (Posthumous)

As Black mothers, so often we say, our Black boys across this nation belong to all of us. ...

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Trump to governors -- “Most of you are weak”

The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:___WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is telling the nation’s governors that most of them are “weak” and calling for tougher...

Music industry calls for Black Out Tuesday amid unrest

NEW YORK (AP) — The music industry is planning to turn off the music and hold a day to reflect and implement change in response to the death of George Floyd and the killings of other black people.Several top record labels organized Black Out Tuesday as riots erupted around the world sparked...

Biden meets with black leaders at local church amid unrest

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden vowed to address “institutional racism” in his first 100 days in office as he met with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in Delaware Monday morning, leaving home for a second consecutive day to address exploding...

ENTERTAINMENT

Fox News reporter attacked, chased from demonstration

NEW YORK (AP) — A Fox News reporter was pummeled and chased by protesters who had gathered outside the White House early Saturday as part of nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd.For several journalists across the country, the demonstrations were taking an ominous, dangerous...

Herbert Stempel, TV quiz show whistleblower, dies at 93

NEW YORK (AP) — Herbert Stempel, a fall guy and whistleblower of early television whose confession to deliberately losing on a 1950s quiz show helped drive a national scandal and join his name in history to winning contestant Charles Van Doren, has died age 93.Stempel's former wife, Ethel...

Publishers sue Internet Archive over scanning of books

NEW YORK (AP) — Four of the country's biggest publishers have sued a digital library for copyright infringement, alleging that the Internet Archive has illegally offered more than a million scanned works to the public, including such favorites as Toni Morrison's “Song of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lives Lost: A century of learning, bookended by pandemic

In her 80s, Phyllis Antonetz moved to a new state, quickly settling in and volunteering at a school. In her 90s,...

UN forced to cut aid to Yemen, even as virus increases need

CAIRO (AP) — Aid organizations are making an urgent plea for funding to shore up their operations in...

History, right now: Echoes of 1968, and other American years

The streets were on fire as National Guard troops streamed into American cities. The shouts were soaked in anger...

India cautiously opens up even as coronavirus cases rise

NEW DELHI (AP) — More states opened up and crowds of commuters trickled onto the roads in many of India's...

Putin sets July 1 for vote to extend his rule for years

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday set a July 1 date for a nationwide vote on...

Nepal volunteers become local heroes during virus pandemic

BHAKTAPUR, Nepal (AP) — When the new mother died in the hospital last month — the first person to...

McMenamins
Curt Anderson AP Legal Affairs Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- The news media are taking on an increasingly police-like role in the Trayvon Martin slaying by using modern forensic techniques to analyze evidence, an approach some legal experts say can lead to a distorted view of the case because a lot of the key evidence is still under wraps.

The public has been whipsawed back and forth as new revelations emerge, appearing to support one version or the other.

Most recently, the Orlando Sentinel had a voice analysis expert examine a 911 call in which a person is heard screaming for help before the fatal gunshot. The shooter, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, told police he was yelling, but the expert told the newspaper the voice most likely was not Zimmerman.

"It would be nice to know who was doing the calling for help, but identifying the caller is not necessarily going to definitively identify the wrongdoer," said University of Florida law professor Bob Dekle, a former state prosecutor and public defender. "Situations sometimes arise where it is the wrongdoer calling for help."

ABC News on Monday aired what it said was an enhanced version of a police video taken the night of the shooting that appeared to show wounds or welts on the back of Zimmerman's head. The initial, grainier video aired last week seemed to show no wounds or blood, which led Martin's family and supporters to proclaim that it undercut Zimmerman's story.

Legal and forensic experts cautioned that none of the media-led investigations, which are done in many high-profile cases, has been conclusive.

"The public needs to know that this is a very complex case," said Ron Martinelli, a forensics consultant in Temecula, Calif. "There are many issues that come into play and sometimes come into conflict."

Zimmerman told police that he was attacked by Martin on Feb. 26 and believed he had no choice but to fire his gun at Martin in self-defense. The teenager's family believes Zimmerman, 28, singled Martin out as suspicious because he was black. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

The family also said Zimmerman should've listened to a police dispatcher who told him not to follow Martin.

The 911 call analysis compared the screams of "Help" to other recordings of Zimmerman's voice using a computerized matching technique. The consultant, Tom Owen, told the Sentinel that the comparison showed a 48 percent match between the two samples. A positive match should be above 90 percent, he said. Owen did not respond to an email Monday seeking additional comment.

If Zimmerman is charged and the case goes to court, the defense would likely hire experts to punch holes in any conclusions about the 911 tape or the police video.

"The other side will have experts saying `you can't make anything out of this, it's all garbled, look how much they had to enhance it,'" said Robert Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University. "What has been done with the tape? Has anybody tampered with it?"

News organizations also used audio technology to enhance a 911 call in which some reported that Zimmerman muttered a racial epithet under his breath. Other media organizations, including The Associated Press, said the raw recording was not clear enough to determine what Zimmerman actually said.

Experts have also said that photos initially released of Martin and Zimmerman could have skewed initial public perceptions.

Most of the photos of Martin show a baby-faced boy in a red T-shirt or football uniform, much younger than the tall teenager he was the night of the shooting. And Zimmerman no longer resembles the beefy-looking figure pictured in a mug shot from several years ago.

Special prosecutor Angela Corey has been appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to lead the investigation after Sanford officials declined to make an arrest. The Justice Department and FBI are also investigating.

Much still is not known about the evidence being weighed by prosecutors, including:

-The autopsy on Martin's body, which could show signs of a fight and whether the bullet entry wound supports Zimmerman's claims.

-Medical records of treatment Zimmerman received on the scene that night by paramedics, which again could back up or disprove his self-defense assertion.

-Police photographs, notes and other physical evidence probably collected at the scene.

-Videotaped interviews police conducted with Zimmerman.

-Whether there is other surveillance video of Martin or Zimmerman at any point during the evening, including the youth's visit to a convenience store shortly before the confrontation.

-Whether any witnesses saw the actual shooting and the circumstances leading up to it, including the alleged fight.

Many of these unanswered questions, especially the forensic results, will provide a more complete picture of how Zimmerman came to shoot Martin that night, Martinelli said.

"The decedent gets to have a voice only through forensics," he said. "That's how people speak from the dead."

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Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

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