08-06-2020  3:58 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Inslee, Culp Advance to November Ballot in Governor's Race

In early returns, with nearly 17% of the vote, Loren Culp, the police chief of Republic, had the largest share among 35 other candidates.

Portland Police Declare Unlawful Assembly During Protest

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty addressed event organised by NAACP focused on Black Lives Matter

Shootings Increase During Portland Protests

Between June 1 and end July 31, 2020 there were 125 reported shootings compared to a total of 59 shootings in 2019

Portland Protest Scene Relatively Calm After US Drawdown

Under the deal announced by Governor Kate Brown, the federal agents will withdraw in phases.

NEWS BRIEFS

New Rule by The U.S. Department of Education Would Misdirect $11M from Oregon Public Schools

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer called a...

Barbara Bush Foundation Partners with Barbershop Books and Penguin to Provide Child-Friendly Reading Spaces in Baltimore and Detroit Barbershops

Developed in Harlem, Barbershop Books is a community-based program that leverages the cultural significance of barbershops in...

All Classical Portland Awards Grant to Support Emmanuel Henreid's 'Livin' in the Light'

Livin’ in the Light documents Onry’s experience as a Black, male, professional opera and crossover singer in Portland, Ore. ...

House Approves Legislation to Stop Trump Attack on Fair Housing

Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer amendment would block rollback of anti-discrimination rule ...

Louis Mair Named as New Principal at Harriet Tubman Middle School

Louis comes to Harriet Tubman from Georgia, where he was a leader in building an inclusive and supportive learning community. ...

Chief: Violent Portland protests detract from message

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Clashes outside a U.S. courthouse in Portland, Oregon, have largely stopped since Democratic Gov. Kate Brown reached a deal that called for the draw down of federal agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the building — but the turmoil is far from...

Lack of study and oversight raises concerns about tear gas

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — On June 2, Justin LaFrancois attended a protest against police violence and racism in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, where he planned to livestream the event for his alternative newspaper’s website. Shortly into the march, police, who reported that water...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

OPINION

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

Bill Deiz urges Oregonians to Defend their Constitutional Rights

Elements of federal police, sent in by our president, are nightly tormenting our citizens with tear gas, impact munitions, kidnappings and beatings, and other criminal acts, in order to suppress our rights of free speech and free assembly ...

The Power of Love

Powerful lessons for me today on forgiveness. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Feds: Man pleads guilty to threatening to burn Black church

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to threatening to burn down a Black church in Virginia days after one of the church’s leaders took part in a vigil for George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minnesota.John Malcolm Bareswill, 63, entered the...

Lack of study and oversight raises concerns about tear gas

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — On June 2, Justin LaFrancois attended a protest against police violence and racism in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, where he planned to livestream the event for his alternative newspaper’s website. Shortly into the march, police, who reported that water...

Lack of study and oversight raises concerns about tear gas

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — On June 2, Justin LaFrancois attended a protest against police violence and racism in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, where he planned to livestream the event for his alternative newspaper’s website. Shortly into the march, police, who reported that water...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kaley Cuoco takes to skies in 'The Flight Attendant'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kaley Cuoco was looking for her next project three years before “The Big Bang Theory” ended. She found it reading a snippet about a book on Amazon.“The Flight Attendant” is a dark thriller with comedic overtones, letting Cuoco employ the love of...

HBO's 'Coastal Elites' cast tackles social satire, anxiety

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For Bette Midler and Sarah Paulson, making HBO's “Coastal Elites” in pandemic-forced isolation proved an unsettling challenge.“It was just bizarre, completely bizarre, because it leads you ... down all these rabbit holes of ‘What’s next?...

Selena Gomez takes the heat in new cooking show

Selena Gomez is taking the heat in the kitchen.The singer-actress slices and dices in “Selena + Chef,” debuting Aug. 13 on the new HBO Max streaming service. The 10-episode series was shot in the kitchen of Gomez’s new Los Angeles-area house. Her grandparents and two friends,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Virus lockdown for world’s smallest and rarest wild pigs

NEW DELHI (AP) — Pygmy hogs — the world’s smallest and rarest wild pig — are under a...

Polish LGBT people leaving as post-vote mood grows hostile

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — When a right-wing populist party won the right to govern Poland five years ago, Piotr...

Is it safe to reopen schools during the pandemic?

Is it safe for schools to reopen during the pandemic?It depends on how widespread COVID-19 infections are in the...

New lockdown ratchets up economic pain in Australian city

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A bright side for plant nurseries of Melbourne’s first pandemic...

China sentences 3rd Canadian to death on drug charges

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a third Canadian citizen to death on drug charges amid a steep decline...

N. Korea's escalating virus response raises fear of outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is quarantining thousands of people and shipping food and other aid...

ODOT I-205 toll
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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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