01-23-2021  11:04 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
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NORTHWEST NEWS

FEMA Site Will House Survivors of Wildfires

Mill City site will offer temporary housing for up to 16 families who lost their homes in last year's wildfires

Portland Police Shooting of Man Under International Scrutiny

Aaron Campbell, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man was shot in the back and killed Jan. 29, 2010 by Portland Police Officer Ronal Frashour

John Hairston Becomes First Black CEO of Bonneville Power Administration

29-year employee appointed to new role by U.S. Secretary of Energy  

Natural Gas Terminal Plans In Oregon Hit Snag Over Permit

The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states.

NEWS BRIEFS

Everybody Reads Program to Hold Event with Author Ross Gay

Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights will speak at a special event in April—free for people in financial hardship ...

The Mayor Turns 90: A Paul Knauls Celebration to be Held Friday, January 22

Albina legend Paul Knauls, Sr. will be celebrated with a virtual event featuring public officials, musicians, and community...

People For the American Way Supports Congressional Gold Medal for Officer Eugene Goodman

Goodman, a Black U.S. Capitol Hill police officer, diverted a white mob away from the unprotected Senate chambers during the violent...

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Awards

The Community Service Award went to cameron whitten of the Black Resilience Fund ...

Applicants Sought for Free Girls’ Summer Wilderness Science Education Expeditions

The programs provide 16- and 17-year-old young women opportunities to travel with professional scientists, artists and wilderness...

Crews recover body of Oregon woman swept away in mudslide

Sheriff's deputies and firefighters on Saturday recovered the body of an Oregon woman whose vehicle was swept away in a deep mudslide during a winter storm last week, authorities said.Jennifer Camus Moore, a registered nurse from Warrendale, Oregon, was driving in the Columbia River Gorge near the...

Washington, Oregon report cases of new strain of coronavirus

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington and Oregon are now confirming additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest.The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom last September, has been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County,...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

OPINION

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman Issues Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

We see painful parallels between the America in which King lived and the present day ...

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain, GOP governor

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump.The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are merely symbolic. But...

Police: Black teens wrongly detained at Target in California

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department has said three teens, who are Black, were wrongly detained at a Target store in Westlake Village during a grand theft investigation last week.The teens — a 17-year-old and two 16-year-olds — from Thousand...

Judge: Kenosha shooter can't associate with supremacists

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — An 18-year-old Illinois teen charged with fatally shooting two people during a protest in southeastern Wisconsin last year is prohibited from associating with known white supremacists under a judge's recently modified bail conditions. Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 during the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Tom Brokaw says he's retiring from NBC News after 55 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, once television news' most popular broadcaster as he told viewers about the biggest events of that late 20th Century, said Friday that he's retiring from television.Brokaw, who is 80, said he'll continue writing books and articles. He's...

Screenwriter Walter Bernstein dies at 101

NEW YORK (AP) — Screenwriter Walter Bernstein, among the last survivors of Hollywood’s anti-Communist blacklist whose Oscar-nominated script for “The Front” drew upon his years of being unable to work under his own name, died Saturday. He was 101.The cause was pneumonia,...

'Barney Miller,' 'Sanford and Son' actor Gregory Sierra dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Gregory Sierra, who had memorable roles in the 1970s sitcoms “Barney Miller" and “Sanford and Son," has died after battling cancer. He was 83.Sierra's widow, Helene, said Saturday in a phone interview with The Associated Press that the actor died on Jan. 4 in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Poirier knocks out Conor McGregor in 2nd round at UFC 257

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor with a flurry of punches...

Michigan Mega Millions ticket wins jumi.05 billion jackpot

DETROIT (AP) — Someone in Michigan bought the winning ticket for the jumi.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot,...

3,000 arrested at protests demanding Navalny's release

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian police arrested more than 3,000 people Saturday in nationwide protests demanding the...

The Latest: New Zealand reports 1st community case in months

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine...

UK doctors seek review of 12-week gap between vaccine doses

LONDON (AP) — A major British doctors' group says the U.K. government should “urgently...

Asia Today: New Zealand reports 1st community case in months

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
Suzanne Manneh, New America Media

No one denies – at least openly – that racial profiling is bad practice. The question at hand, and one raised during a Senate committee hearing on civil and human rights earlier this week, is how to end it.

On Tuesday, April 17, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights listened to testimony from legislators, legal experts, law enforcement officials, and advocates expressing their views on the state of racial profiling in America.

The issue has taken on a heightened sense of urgency in the wake of the shooting death of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. The shooter, George Zimmerman – who is of Jewish and Hispanic descent – is now on trial for Martin's death.

Members of the committee debated the merits of The End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 – which supporters say would help strengthen ties between minority communities and law enforcement agencies that are supposed to serve them.

Opponents describe the bill, first introduced last October by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), as an insult to police officers everywhere.

Captain Frank Gale, with the Denver Sheriff's office, says the bill would only "make matters worse." The language, he argues, is "too broad" and calls for policies that are "in real life not practical."

Gale, who is the National Second Vice President with the Fraternal Order of Police, also took aim at the bill's financial consequences. The legislation, he says, "threatens to penalize local and state law enforcement agencies" by withholding federal funding unless these agencies comply with the requirements of the bill.

Those requirements include providing training to all officers on racial profiling issues, collecting racial and other sociological data in accordance with federal regulation, and establishing an independent audit program to ensure appropriate response to allegations of racial profiling.

"How can we fight the battle if we also propose to deny these funds to agencies that need them," asked Gale, "because they can't afford training or personnel to document allegations of racial profiling issues?"

Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel for the conservative think-tank Center for Equal Opportunity, echoes Gale's concerns.

Claiming that the frequency of racial profiling is often "exaggerated," he urged committee members to exercise caution when analyzing related date. His later remarks caused a stir.

"I am opposed to profiling, particularly to profiling in the traditional law enforcement context where frequently it is African Americans who are the victims of that profiling," he said. "Nonetheless, I think we have to recognize that it's going to be tempting for the police and individuals to profile so long as a disproportionate amount of street crime is committed by African Americans."

Legal analysts and supporters of the bill argue Clegg's comment misses the point, which revolves not around street crime but around the need to build community trust.

"The issue is how we deploy our street officers in ways that are effective, fair, and carry out the most important ideals of our society," said University of Pittsburg Professor David Harris.

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami) spoke passionately about the treatment of minority youth, especially African American males, at the hands of law enforcement, referencing the Trayvon Martin case as a "textbook example of racial profiling."

"When my son learned how to drive, I bought him a cell phone because I knew he would be profiled… and he was," she said.

In Illinois, said U.S. Senator and Subcommittee member Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), "Hispanic motorists are two to four times more likely to be searched and African Americans are two to three more times as likely to be subject to consent searches than white motorists."

Pointing out that white motorists were "89 percent more likely than Hispanic motorists and 26 percent more likely than African American motorists to have contraband in their vehicles," the statistics around incidents of racial profiling "made no sense from a law enforcement" point of view, he added.

The debate has reignited a level of intensity around the topic of racial profiling that has not been seen since the days and months following the 9/11 terror attacks, when Muslim Americans across the country complained of being targeted for their religious and ethnic backgrounds.

Many who testified at this week's hearing argued that ensuring a strong relationship between Muslims and Law enforcement is critical, especially in the continued fight against homegrown terror. Most recently, an Associated Press series documented the New York Police Department's spying on the Muslim community.

Citing the scandal, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D,CA-32) reminded fellow lawmakers that "the only thing they were guilty of was practicing Islam."

Sen. Cardin ended the hearing by recognizing the differing viewpoints and stressing that at its core, the issue is one of "accountability."

"We serve the public," he said, and whether elected or appointed, "accountability has to be part of that service."

The debate around the bill, meanwhile, is expected to continue.

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