10-21-2021  2:02 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tool for Police Reform Rarely Used by Local Prosecutors

Brady Lists flag officers whose credibility is in question due to misconduct – a designation that must be shared with defense attorneys. Defense attorneys, public defenders, civil rights groups and some prosecutors are calling for an increased use of the lists.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC) Proposed as a Center for Black Arts and Culture

Feasibility Study for community-led vision moving forward thanks to Parks Local Option Levy

Oregon Housing and Community Services Makes Progress on Federal Emergency Rental Assistance

Agency stresses importance of applying for the program and works with partners to prevent evictions from moving forward 

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bootcamp for Prep Cooks Supplies Ingredients for Entry Into Food Service Career

Individuals interested in starting a career in food service have an exciting new choice – Prep Cook Bootcamp ...

WA BLM Demands Resignation of Criminally-charged Sheriff Troyer

"He is being charged with two crimes: false reporting and making a false statement when he said that newspaper deliverer Sedrick...

'A Dangerous Time': Portland Sees Record Homicides

Unlike previous years, more bystanders are being caught in the crossfire — from people mourning at vigils and sitting in cars to...

State Agency Inadvertently Releases Employees Vaccine Status

Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to...

Simple Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating After Fauci Greenlighted Halloween 2021

Halloween 2020 brought creative ways to trick or treat while minimizing the spread of infection (

Oklahoma GOP leaders upset over nonbinary birth certificate

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and other Republican leaders expressed outrage Thursday after learning the State Department of Health issued a birth certificate this year with a nonbinary gender designation. The agency issued the birth certificate in May to...

Pet hospital to pay K to settle sex harassment suit

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland veterinary services provider Hannah Pet Hospital will pay over ,000 to a former pet nurse to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Hannah last fall on behalf of a nurse at Hannah’s...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

Letter to the Publisher: Black Publishers Shed Light on Pending Litigation Against NNPA

NNPA members Carole Geary, Dorothy R. Leavell and Amelia Ashley-Ward provide an update on pending litigation against the organization, its CEO and its former Treasurer. ...

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Memorial service in honor of Colin Powell set for Nov. 5

WASHINGTON (AP) — A memorial service for Colin L. Powell, the retired Army general and former secretary of state who died on Monday, will be held Nov. 5 at Washington National Cathedral, a spokeswoman said Thursday. “There will be very limited seating and it will be by...

Biden bill would put US back on path of reducing uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ social spending and climate change bill would put the United States back on a path to reducing its persistent pool of uninsured people, with estimates ranging from 4 million to 7 million Americans gaining health coverage. Those getting...

Australia, UK defend AUKUS pact, say fears overhyped

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Australia and Britain on Thursday defended their nuclear submarine deal with the U.S. amid concerns it could escalate tensions in the region and spark an arms race. U.K. Minister for Armed Forces James Heappey said there “has been a lot of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Gwyneth Paltrow tackles bedroom taboos in Netflix series

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow admits she has insecurities about her physical appearance in an episode of her new Netflix series “ Sex, Love & goop,” but she’s working on that. The Oscar-winner and entrepreneur behind the goop beauty and wellness brand opens up in the six-episode...

Chapelle special spurs Netflix walkout; 'Trans lives matter'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix employees who walked out Wednesday in protest of Dave Chappelle's special and its anti-transgender comments were joined by allies who chanted “Trans lives matter,” getting pushback from counterprotesters who also showed up. A pre-noon rally at a...

Canadian wins 18th Chopin international piano competition

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu of Canada was named early Thursday as the winner of the 40,000-euro (,000) first prize in the 18th Frederic Chopin international piano competition, a prestigious event that launches pianists’ world careers. The announcement from...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

India celebrates 1B vaccine doses, hopes to speed 2nd shots

NEW DELHI (AP) — India celebrated giving its billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose on Thursday, a hopeful milestone...

Trump plan for new media venture gets investors' thumbs up

NEW YORK (AP) — Some investors aren’t waiting to see if former President Donald Trump’s plans for a media...

Biden bill would put US back on path of reducing uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ social spending and climate change bill would put the United States back on a...

Year after Nigeria's deadly protests, police still accused

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Joshua Samuel painfully recalls the day, one year ago, when Nigerian soldiers opened fire...

Putin says new pipeline could quickly pump more gas to EU

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia could quickly boost natural gas...

World's biggest triceratops sells for .7 million in Paris

PARIS (AP) — The world’s biggest triceratops skeleton, known as “Big John,” was sold for 6.6 million euros...

By Dana Ford CNN






Self-defense or murder?

That's the question at the heart of the trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Monday marked the start of jury selection in Seminole County, Florida, where Martin was fatally shot on February 26, 2012.

The shooting put a national spotlight on Zimmerman's hometown of Sanford and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws in America.

Zimmerman is Hispanic; Martin was African-American.

An initial decision not to pursue charges against Zimmerman led to the dismissal of the town's police chief and the appointment of a special prosecutor, who accused the neighborhood watch volunteer of unjustly profiling and killing Martin.

Zimmerman now faces a second-degree murder charge in Martin's death. He has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on $1 million bond.

"We don't need you to do that"

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree on almost nothing about what happened that day.

What's clear so far is this: Martin left the home of his father's girlfriend in Sanford to get a snack at a nearby convenience store.

As he walked back, carrying some candy and a soft drink, he and Zimmerman crossed paths.

Earlier, Zimmerman had called 911 to report a suspicious person in the neighborhood.

A recording of that call includes a police dispatcher asking the volunteer, "Are you following him?"

"Yeah," Zimmerman replied.

"OK, we don't need you to do that," the dispatcher said.

Zimmerman says he killed Martin, who was wearing a hoodie, in self-defense after the teen punched him and slammed his head on the sidewalk.

He suffered a fractured nose and cuts to the back of his head, according to a medical report by Zimmerman's family doctor.

Sanford police initially questioned Zimmerman and released him without charges. They said then there were no grounds to disprove his account that he'd acted to protect himself.

The case soon became the center of a national controversy, which continues some 16 months later, though at a lower intensity.

His family has said Zimmerman profiled the teen and crossed the line from neighborhood watch volunteer to vigilante.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin's family, has gone further, accusing Zimmerman of murdering Martin "in cold blood."

"In the fight of his life"

According to Crump, Martin was on the phone with his 16-year-old girlfriend shortly before the shooting.

The girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she heard someone ask Martin what he was doing and heard Martin ask why the person was following him.

She then got the impression there was an altercation, during which an earpiece fell out of Martin's ear and the connection went dead, Crump said.

Neighbors reported hearing gunfire.

Zimmerman recently waived his right to a pretrial hearing under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force when threatened regardless of where they are.

His lawyers will claim self-defense. Zimmerman himself could testify at trial.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said he has no imminent plans to ask for a change of venue and would only do so if lawyers can't select a suitable jury.

As jury selection began Monday, 21 potential jurors were brought into the courtroom. Four of them -- three women and one man -- were interviewed individually by attorneys, but there were no indications how either side felt about any of the potential jurors.

From that group of 21, one person was dismissed. The same group of 20 will be back on Tuesday for more individual questioning.

"If we can pick a jury in Seminole County, this is where the incident occurred and this is where the case should be decided," O'Mara told HLN's Jean Casarez.

He also said the George Zimmerman defense fund has raised $85,000 in the past week and a half.

Media coverage of the case is expected to be intense.

The case garnered so much attention that about a month after the shooting, President Barack Obama spoke about it, saying the shooting required "soul-searching."

Zimmerman's brother, Robert, has called on the state to drop the charges.

"George lived in a community plagued by crime and was the first to come forward to help his neighbors," Robert Zimmerman said last month.

"George is a good, decent and honest man. It is now my honor to advocate for him. George is in the fight of his life quite literally."

Authorities initially "did their job when they refused to charge someone with a crime who committed no crime," he said.

"In this country, you don't charge someone why any crime solely to assuage the concerns of the misinformed masses."

CNN's Vivian Kuo and HLNtv.com's Colette Bennett contributed to this report.

 

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