01-28-2023  6:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Russell leads SE Missouri State over Eastern Illinois 79-68

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Phillip Russell scored 19 points and Southeast Missouri State beat Eastern Illinois 79-68 on Saturday. Russell added six assists for the Redhawks (12-11, 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Adam Larson and Israel Barnes scored 11 points apiece. Larson blocked three...

Brown, Hodge lift Missouri over No. 12 Iowa State 78-61

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Kobe Brown scored 20 points, and D’Moi Hodge scored 17 points to help Missouri beat No. 12 Iowa State 78-61 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday. “To have a quad one win in January is very important,” Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. “I think...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since '97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Joe Henry returns with varied 'kind-word blues' set

“All the Eye Can See,” Joe Henry (earMUSIC) “There goes the sun,” Joe Henry sings, sounding nothing like George Harrison as he contemplates our long, cold, lonely winter. “All the Eye Can See” is the most diverse album of Henry’s career, surrounding his...

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump opens 2024 run, says he's 'more committed' than ever

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 White House bid with stops Saturday in...

Pence: 'Mistakes were made' in classified records handling

MIAMI (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he takes “full responsibility” after...

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid...

Study: Enough rare earth minerals to fuel green energy shift

The world has enough rare earth minerals and other critical raw materials to switch from fossil fuels to renewable...

Brutality of Russia's Wagner gives it lead in Ukraine war

Fierce battles in eastern Ukraine have thrown a new spotlight on Russia's Wagner Group, a private military company...

Challenge for Tunisian democracy: Getting voters to show up

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia was once the Arab world’s hope for a new era of democracy. Now it’s in the...

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.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.